Saturday, May 31, 2008

My Homemade Powerplant

About 12 years ago, my dad gave me a camper that had been given to him. The previous owner had placed the camper on barrels when they unloaded it from their truck. They evidently waited to long to put supports under it, and a wind storm knocked it off the barrels, tearing off all but one of the hydraulic jacks. That's why it was free.

Dad and I fixed up the damage and put the camper on a flatbed trailer we had built out of a travel trailer we had junked out. We added a large water tank and a bank of automotive batteries for power. Since I needed something to charge them with, we set about to build one. Dad had already built one for his camper and we decided to make mine similar.

For an alternator, we used what was at hand, a 55 Amp Motorola Alternator out of an AMC we had parted out. The Motorola uses a external regulator and is a compact unit. In retrospect, I would rather use a Delco 1 wire alternator, but we used what we had at the time.
Here is a view of the wiring on dad's genny.

That round device at the top right of the picture is the rheastat.

As you can see by this picture, the unit is very narrow.

Here is another view of the wiring. If you look closely you can see the external voltage regulator.

Rather than hassle with a fuel can, Dad made this up to refuel the genny's out of his saddle tanks on the camper. The little white rectangular thingamabob is an on/off switch. I believe the long end went to the saddle tank.

Here is my genny. The concept is a little more polished in this one.

The wiring is similar if not the same, just laid out different. I believe the (momentary) switch is used to excite the field once the unit is running.

My unit has a double v-belt setup. I had planned to power multiple devices such as a power steering pump for powering a wood splitter and a water pump for suppling water to the campsite.

Some one with real good diagramming skills could probably draw up a wiring diagram for the blog readers. Any takers?

When charging the batteries we would crank up the amps for about 20 minutes. After that we would turn the amps down to finish the charge. Total run time was about an hour. I don't remember how much fuel it used. Think lawn mower for that.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Gettin 308

The high price of gas makes me 308
Food prices climbing weekly makes me 308
An inept congress wasting money makes me 308
A President who thinks he's an Emperor makes me 308
Power mad Gestapo (LEO) makes me 308 (I Am The Law, Heed My Decree’s)
Petty Hitler’s in City Hall makes me 308
Spend-o-holic’s in State Gov makes me 308
Monsanto’s plan for food control makes me 308
Stupid Sheeple with no clues as to what’s happening makes me 308

I’m mad
I ain’t taken much more
I'm gettin 308 (pissed off)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Raped At The Pump

Gas prices keep climbing even as oil prices drop
content edited due to low-life scum suing bloggers for alleged copyright infringement

Whoever is responsible for this travesty needs to be executed in a slow and torturous manner. I recommend bamboo slivers under the fingernails as well as waterboarding and electric shock. I might even go so far as to suggest dragging fingernails across a chalkboard!

This insane drive up in fuel prices seems to be contrived to push the economy into crisis. I see no other purpose for it as the dollar strengthens and oil prices fall off, as is demand for fuel.

The pain at the pump is having its effect on those whose budgets no longer allow any but planned trips for shopping and appointments. School budgets are getting creamed as fuel costs escalate beyond projections. So you can expect new levies to try to offset these overages. Our country has developed over time to be more spread out, mainly because of cheap fuel.

Sure, they are paying more in Europe and other countries, but most of them have alternate transportation systems that people use rather than drive. Also, most all European countries are much smaller than our largest states, thereby increasing population density in urban centers rather than the suburban and rural as it is in the US. They also are moving to use more diesel than gas (petrol).
On my way to work yesterday I saw regular unleaded for $4.19 per gallon.

If nothing changes we will have $5.00 a gallon much sooner than Christmas. Halloween maybe?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another Peek

I've been doing lot's of yardwork, trying to keep up with things. I'm getting ready to till up some soil but need to prep the area. I'm also working on plans for my greenhouse using recycled sliding glass doors. I was given a bunch of them about 10 years ago but could not decide where to build.

Heres another look at my Dads 12 volt generator.

He used a lovejoy coupling and included a v-pulley for powering other devices in the future.

As you can see from the tape measure, it is pretty compact.
It would run a fairly long time on one tank of gas. He used it to keep his battery charged when he was out camping for several weeks at a time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sneak Peek

Ok, so I didn't get everything done I wanted. The lawn mower was stubborn and so was I. My articles didn't get finished so here is a sneak peek at the portable genny my Dad built some years back, about 12 years I think.
More details soon.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

109 Historians Agree

Now isn't this interesting...

Historians Write Off Bush's Presidency

content edited due to low-life scum suing bloggers for alleged copyright infringement

Nero fiddles while Rome burns. Notice that all his success is international while the "Homeland" crumbles from neglect.

I'm going to take off the next few days, work on some new prepping articles (my homemade generator, Marlin 60 Survival Kit, etc..,) and in general enjoy my family, barbecue and beer.

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend, and for those of you outside the U.S., have a great weekend!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Personal SHTF

Gas hit $4.05 a gallon today.
I am not surprised, but deeply angered.
A hate is growing in me, for all things elitist.
I suspect it is growing in others too.
When this hate explodes, it's going to get real ugly.

As each of us earn differing amounts of wages, this raping at the pump affects each of us at different levels. For some it is a devastating experience each time they have to fill their tank. For others, it’s an outrage, it means they have to quit driving so much on the weekends. And for others still, it is ridiculous to have to pay so much, but they’ll keep on driving no matter what.

So far gas prices outrage me, but I can still put food on my table. So while not a SHTF for my family it is a very painful experience at the pumps. I don't drive any extra now so it is hard to cut back in this area. It cuts into my preps funding and accomplishes nothing new for me. Others may not be so lucky. They are even now having to cut back on the food budget to feed the fuel budget.

It appears to me that SHTF will be a series of small economic events that are experienced by people at different income levels over a course of time. This will create the perception of a slow slide, but at the family level, it is still a SHTF event.

Many people can’t be hurting too badly yet, as today the highway is full of cars, campers with boats, and travel trailers. I hope you are not one of them as these are the people who feed the beast. In reality, they are also your enemies. They continue to support higher priced fuel with their unbridled consumption. They are the ones helping to create pain at the pump. Their selfish driving habits contribute to the cost of feeding your family.

Remember them. They are everywhere. Even in your neighborhood. They live in the McMansions, with the big boat and motor home. They are off doing something every weekend.

When they knock on the door asking for food to help feed their families because they lost their job, look them in the eye and tell them they are the ones who helped create the mess.
Then tell them to go hell.
They will be there soon enough.
And if they give you any crap, well you know what to do.

At the rate gas has been rising, we may be at $5.00 a gallon before Christmas.
God help the poor retailers, I ain’t buying any of their shit! This Christmas is all about survival. In fact every payday from now until SHTF is about survival. I have officially stopped buying anything not related to prepping.

Food, Gear, Ammo, Shoes, Socks, Underwear and other rugged Clothing.
Not one frivolous consumer item.
Screw them.

In the future, any existing society that is beyond the dark ages will look back on the Bush economy much as we look back on the Weimar economy of pre WWII Germany. Bush will be known as the man who destroyed America. Allen Greenspan will be listed along with him as an architect of the destruction of America. They are accomplishing Osama Bin Laden’s goal of destroying "the Great Satan".

On a brighter side of the economic crash, it will give us the opportunity to purge ourselves of the worthless politicians who posture in D.C., acting like they are working for our benefit; all the while they are lining their pockets from the coffers of big business.

The next group needing to be purged is the traitorous bastards called the Media. They spout whatever crap handed to them by the government like it is gospel, and are largely responsible for the dumbing down of the sheeple. Ever watch Reality TV? Stupid!

It is said that paybacks are a bitch.
After the crash I see a large need for rope.

Now, back to loading magazines, for something wicked comes.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Can Anyone Say: DUH!

Daily world financial news from Thomson Financial News
content edited due to low-life scum suing bloggers for alleged copyright infringement
What geniuses these people be. Oil prices are the magic bullet to kill the American economy. And when our economy goes south, it's gonna take some other countries down with it. This whole "Global Economy" is going to bring a world of hurt upon all nations of the earth.

In reviewing my blog's stats' I see that there are people from quite a few different nations reading the blog. Glad you can visit. How about dropping us a comment on the current economic view from your nations perspective? Feel free to post a comment, please!

U.S. Achieves Goal: Osama Bin Laden Dead

It was widely reported today in the Arab world media that Osama Bin Laden has died.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency confirmed the report as true. It seems that Osama died in a fit of uncontrollable laughter after reading the headlines touting the crash of the American economy, brought on by the greed of Commodity Traders driving the price of gasoline and food out of the reach of most consumers.

The resulting meltdown has all but stopped deliveries of foodstuffs to urban centers and the Government is now encouraging citizens to relocate to specially designed food distribution camps, run by FEMA. Security teams provided by Blackwater will be on hand to keep order and reduce the possibility of rioting. You are encouraged to bring bedding and the whole family for verification of food allocation. Pickup services will be provided.

An emergency session of congress has decided to remedy the crisis by giving themselves a 20% cost of living raise, personal security teams and guaranteed delivery of pizza at all hours. Certain members of congress urged that a bill be passed that outlaws law enforcement sting operations in public bathrooms. This bill has met stiff opposition from members of both partys.

In other news, a nationwide truckers strike has been called because, well , they are fed up with the way fuel costs have skyrocketed. Government handling of this crisis has created windfall riches for the ruling elite at the expense of the middleclass. However, nothing was heard from anti-poverty advocates as they have all starved to death.

Following this development, demand for government services has dropped tremendously from the previous 2 quarters. Demand for welfare benefits such as housing, healthcare and food stamps has fallen off 99% in this quarter as it seems the dead require nothing in the way of services. This has worried government workers in the Welfare system as they now face layoffs due to lack of demand.
If I don't laugh, I will cry.

Unlimited Greed Destroys American Economy

content edited due to low-life scum suing bloggers for alleged copyright infringement

At this rate, we could be in full collapse by early fall. If not, we will most certainly be seeing $200 a barrel by the end of the year or early next spring.

God help us all.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Persistent Gloom

It is my turn now it seems to have the feeling of dread and gloom hanging over me.

My post today is but a sampling of what I feel, weighing me down.

A storm came through the other night and decimated my onions, radishes and greens. It flooded my trays and floated the little guys right out of the tray. I need to build a small greenhouse for growing the small stuff in.

The largest amount of my stimulus has gone into my gas tanks, and I hesitate to spend whats left.

Damn the greedy bastards.

May all their wealth be as dust in their mouth come the crash! Let not a crumb of bread be available to them. May they thirst and not a drop be found to drink!

That is my curse upon those who drive the prices up.

Dire Warning

content edited due to low-life scum suing bloggers for alleged copyright infringement

What evil purpose is there, that requires destroying the American economy? Is it to force us all into FEMA controlled food distribution camps? Halliburton (God curse them) has contracts for building more, and they will probably be staffed by Blackwater mercenaries.

Or is it merely to shift ownership of our lands back to the banks so they can sell them yet again for more ill gotten gains. Many people fear that the Government will request UN help to pacify the unruly mobs that will form when food supplies are withheld (to coerce us into the camps).

Seeing the performance of these clowns wherever they are deployed leads me to believe that they will be ineffective at controlling our population. The only way they can do it is if they weaken us with hunger and disease and reduce the population down to numbers they feel they can control with UN assistance.

Do not go to the camps. The camps will be slow death and servitude. Better to starve in your home or the wilderness than enter the camps. Fight to the death to stay out of the camps. Better to die free than serve the beast.

Buy more food. Arm your family.
Get out of the cities if you can.
Hunker down and prepare for future house to house searches if you can’t leave.
Hide your stuff! They will take your preps and leave you with nothing.

Perhaps they will take you too!

Or maybe just your children, to use as leverage against an unwilling population.

Something Wicked Comes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Goodbye To Fruit Salad

With the demise of cheap fuels, we can expect to say goodbye to the large variety of tropical fruits that we now enjoy. The price of shipping will make them unaffordable. My favorite fruit happens to be Oranges. I just about cry when I consider that in the future their wonderful taste may be just a memory.

So, I have been buying fresh oranges whenever possible and pigging out on them. Same with orange juice. Yeah, I buy the cheap SunnyD but it goes down good on a hot day.

Hmmm, Think I will freeze some into cubes and store them in freezer bags for later in the summer when the heat is screaming for a 'cool me down but not beer' drink. (did I really just say that? not beer?) Toss a couple of cubes into a tall glass of really cold Ice Tea and start sippin.

Ahhh.... sounds good.

Sure, you can buy the frozen concentrate, but realistically, in a possible grid down SHTF you would not want all that stored frozen food to be ruined. You can buy fruit cocktail in a can and store it when possible, but what about Oranges? I don’t recall seeing regular (not Mandarin) canned oranges. Fresh or juice concentrate is the only choice.


Woohoo! Do it yourself canning instructions for citrus. Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Tangerines, Grapefruit; all of your favorite, scarce after SHTF citrus, in a jar, on a shelf, in your root cellar (with the cheapo air filtration system of course!).

I will be looking for fruit on sale and will be purchasing and processing. Peaches, Apricots and Nectarines are other fruit that don’t grow well in some northern climates. Canned isn’t as good as fresh but it sure beats not having it at all.

For those of you who are using an incremental purchasing plan, add 1 package ea. regular and wide mouth canning lids per grocery day. Stock up if possible come canning season; jars, lids and extra rings. These will become non-existant except in manufacturer's shipping warehouses when TSHTF. If you can't use them yourself you will be able to barter them for food later.

Happy Canning!

P.S. Gas just hit $3.95 a gallon yesterday.
Get your ropes ready.
13 knots...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hang Em' High

content edited due to low-life scum suing bloggers for alleged copyright infringement
I wouldn't want to be in this guy's shoes. One can only hope they put him in with the general prison population.

This type of behavior hardly creates trust. Winning the support of the public is hard. Losing it is easy.

Makes my pucker factor go to 10 just to think of it.

Stocking Up

With all the recent attention on foods shortages, and all the admonissions to stock up on food, I thought it prudent to provide you with some links to bulk food distributors.

The Internet Grocer has canned cheese, butter and real meats. Check them out!

Update: It seems that MREdepot and Healthy Harvest also have the same meats, cheese and butter as the Internet Grocer. Pick the one closest to you and save on shipping.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday Hot and Heavy

I'm taken a break.
It was F'n hot here today. It's 9:25 pm and 75 degrees on my front porch. Now that may not seem like much to some of you but it is a nearly 40 degree increase in nighttime temps from a few days's ago.

The weather service is kaka. It said the high would be 86, but it was nearly 97 degrees today.

On another note:

US Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy is resting and undergoing tests in a Boston hospital after experiencing what his office says was a "seizure".

What did they do? Take away his bottle of scotch and his gay porn? This dinosaur needs to go.

Can we Tar and Feather this guy and then run him outa town on a rail?

What a well concocted BS story. Same thing I hear time and again. Tell someone else your sorry ass lies. We are living the pain at the pump. It is being driven up by something and it is not my extravagant driving habits.

The greedy bastards have sent gas to $3.91 a gallon for Memorial day weekend. Everyone needs to send them a message. Stay home and don't spend any money. If lots of people grew a set of balls and said enough was enough, maybe the bastards would get the message.

Naw, I bet they wouldn't. Whatever we wouldn't buy, they would sell to China or India.

The only way to send anyone a message is to vote out all incumbants. Git rid of them all. One term and then your out. Big business would go broke having to buy each new politician.

So is $4.00 a gallon the trigger?
Is that what will set off the crash?
Will it set off your personal SHTF?

Buy a scope for each of your firearms for in the future they may outlaw them. Any one with a scope is a would be sniper, at least as far as the gun haters are concerned.

Buy a cheap Mosin-Nagant and get a scope mounted on it. Buy a sealed tin of ammo for it. Buy another tin to use for sighting in your scope. Practice with your new scope until you can hit out to 400+ yards.

Hunting season is nearly here.
Be ready.

Something Wicked Comes.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Low Cost Shelter Ventilation Filter

If you have ever thought about building a fallout shelter/safe room you know one of the major expenses is the ventilation system. Without it you would suffocate in a concrete tomb. The heart of the system is a good quality HEPA filter to keep out the radioactive dust.

Since these filters are not cheap, I wanted to find something that would work just as well for a low cost. I see 2 options. The 1st one is to use the air filter assembly off of an automobile engine. These filters are made to keep small particulants out of your engine.

If you take 2 or more of these filters and glue them together with some silicone, you can make a vary large filter quite easily. Large V8 engines will breathe over 650cfm, which should be more than adequate for most smaller shelters, so choose a filter for one of these. Anything over 350ci should be sufficient.

If you build a box to house it in, you can create a prefilter out of furnace filters. Build it fancy or not, you can staple, glue, slide fit; whatever it takes to attach them. Personally, I would build it so they could be replaced easily in case they plug up.

The next best option would be an oil bath air cleaner from an old diesel engine. You can get these from old farm equipment such as combines, balers and tractors.

These types of filters were also used on emergency vehicles when Mt. St. Helens blew it's top. They did just fine filtering out the ash, protecting the engines from the grit.

Choosing a proper fan is critical as not just any fan will do. You need one that is designed to work against a static pressure as they are built differently than fan motors that just blow air, like your common box fan. Here is one that will work for this purpose:

With a little bit of ingenuity this can be incorporated into your ventilation system and you will have an inexpensive solution to filtering your shelters air.

This could be also used to filter air for a safe room, but for that you may need the HEPA filter. I looked on FRAM's website but could find no details on how small of particles their air cleaner will filter. The oil bath method should work fine though they are a little harder to come by.

For extra protection against Biological and Chemical attack, create a prefilter of activated charcoal to absorb these agents before they hit your main filter.

Use furnace filters and hardware cloth to create a "cage" to hold the charcoal in. Be sure that it will fit around your auto filters, or create a prefilter box through which your system will draw air and fill it with the charcoal.

AlphaRubicon has some great info on this which was some of my inspiration to come up with this solution. Much of their info is for members only, but they have some valuable stuff available to the public at large.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Load Of Crap

Inflation pressures ease, despite food price jump - Article no longer available at this link
WASHINGTON - Inflation pressures eased a bit in April despite the biggest jump in food prices in 18 years.
What planet is this guy on?
Nothing has come down in price. Gas has jumped up over $0.15 in just the last 2 weeks alone. Food continues to skyrocket, raping our wallets with impunity and in his own words, we are experiencing the biggest jump in food prices in 18 years.
If prices were continue to inflate at the same rate as the first 2 months of the year, we will be looking at 30% inflation thru the end of 2008. My wages sure haven't increased that much. Have yours?

Didn't think so.

What this article is actually saying is: Corporate america is not done raping you yet, please continue to bend over while we finish our task. Due to the escalating costs of lubricant, we will not be using any. Have a nice day!
So where is this ease in pressure the author is talking about? Anyone seeing any rollback in prices? Or is this just some more double speak for the masses of sheeple.
On another topic, it looks like the people of Burma are about to get handed the crappy end of the stick again.
These poor people can't seem to catch a break for nothin. I guess thats what "Buddha" wants for them.

Two more interesting articles:
Looks like S is HTF in a whole lot of places.
Just be glad that it is not your turn....Yet!
Buy my crap!
Ooops, I don't have any crap for sale.
But if I did, Buy It!
(sorry Jim, couldn't resist)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Letter To A Friend

This post originally started out to be a comment to a fellow prepper on his blog posting, to hearten him and perhaps give him some pointers on where to focus his attention, but it grew beyond what seemed reasonable to post in a comments section.

Emergency shelter can be as simple as a blue tarp, or as elaborate as a camp trailer. If you have no emergency shelter of any kind, purchase a 16’x20’ blue tarp and about 300’ of yellow poly rope as well as about 10 bungee cords. That will serve as an emergency shelter large enough for your whole family as well as most of your bug out gear.

Or, some chain sporting goods stores have regular sales on family size tents for under $70. I would recommend Big 5 but there don’t seem to be any in your location. They currently have an 8’x8’ 4 person dome tent on sale for $59.99.

In examining your list of “gear”, I see you have lots of the basics covered.

You didn’t have a water purifier listed, so that is what I would focus on after you get the shelter squared away. Get 2 food grade 5 gallon buckets and buy a Berkey replacement filter element or 2 here:

This will take care of those times when a fire isn’t practical for boiling water but you need to replenish your supply.

Since your Coleman Stove and Lantern use the same fuel (propane I assume), you will want to pick up a few extra cylinders each payday. Same with the mantles. Consider getting a kerosene lantern for backup lighting.

Your port-a-crapper probably requires the addition of a chemical deodorant to keep the smell down. You will want to purchase extra bottles of this to prolong its use and keep the women folk happy. Make sure you have plenty of TP also.

You didn’t mention having either a saw or an axe, just a maul. If you don’t have them, they will be needed. A good 1 man hand saw is worth its’ weight in gold, not only because it requires no fuel other than your arm, but because it has virtually no noise signature. Checkout this companies offerings:

Your Mossberg is a good and versatile weapon with different types of ammo. As it is your primary (only?) weapon currently, I would purchase 100 rounds of 00 buckshot. This is a great defensive round and will take down deer sized game at closer ranges. Get other sizes of shot for geese and rabbit as well as possibly purchasing some specialized rounds from Firequest International, Inc.

They have many types of lethal and non-lethal rounds that will turn your shotgun into a awesome weapon.

I would recommend always having at least 3 methods of starting a fire, with 1 of them being a magnesium fire starter. Dollar stores have packs of lighters available, and $10 will keep you in lighters and fire for years to come. Paper and wooden matches are fairly cheap right now, but come the crash they will disappear fast.

There are many websites dealing with stocking up on food, so I will not go into it other than to say: make sure you eat the same foods that you store. Having diarrhea the 2nd day of TSHTF is not the best of plans. Make sure your body is used to what you are storing.

I’m not sure of your current housing arrangements, or any restrictions placed upon you by city ordinances, but if you can, watch your local Craigs list free ads. Sometimes campers and trailers show up there, and even if they are not livable, they are worth taking for the appliances, fixtures, plumbing and wiring. You may come across a gem and fill your shelter needs for a minimal investment.

One option which I have used in the past is to take a junk travel trailer and strip it down to the bare frame. Using good quality plywood, build a new deck and side board for a nice utility trailer. Now when a great deal on a free camper comes along, load it onto your trailer and bolt it down so it won’t shift around. I pulled one of these around for years with my Jeep Wagoneer.

Garage and yard sales are a great place to fill your needs for preps at a fraction of the price of new items. Also check with the local mini storages as people will at times abandon their property and the storage manager will auction off the contents, or just sell them outright for a rock bottom price. You may end up with great stuff or need to haul several loads to the dump. Yard sale what you don’t want and put the money into preps.

Even when you have no money to prep with, you can still prep. Plan routes outta Dodge, research retreat locations, learn from all the available resources on the internet. Create an Inventory list and a location list so you know what you have and where it is stored.

Although it is easy to get jittery with everything that seems to be converging on us, try to be calm as you approach building your preps. Hopefully this will keep you from overlooking something and coming off as being a bit weird to those around you.
Many people balk at the thought of the familiar world around then ceasing to exist, and therefore refuse to accept the fact that they need to prepare for themselves. They cling to the delusion that all will be well as they cannot cope with the reality that their little world could become so unfamiliar in a short space of time.

When these people are family members it becomes especially tough to get them involved, or even to accept what you are doing. To do so, you must put on a face of something familiar to them, such as preparing for hurricane season early, to beat any shortages that might occur because of the downturn in our economy. You may have to embellish the truth to make it acceptable to them.
Hopefully over time they will recognize the value of what you are doing and join in with you. If not, you have done your best to prepare under the circumstances.
Good luck and I hope this is of some help.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Economic Meltdown

Well it looks like we will have $4.00 a gallon gas before Memorial Day. I just saw $3.86 per gallon on my way to work this morning. I can see no reason for this other than outright greed.

When the trucks stop hauling groceries, the greedy bastards will get to starve just like everyone else. All their ill gained wealth will avail them naught when the store shelves are empty and there is nothing to buy with their worthless paper.

So who is to blame for this current mess?

#1. The Federal Reserve Bank
The constant printing of money to bail us out of this recession is driving inflation to new levels. While a low value dollar may be great for paying off debt, it hurts the hell out of the wage earners.

A low value dollar may open up foreign markets to US goods, but what are we selling? The majority of our manufacturing went over seas, so I am not sure what they would be buying. Seems all that’s left anymore is our farm products that should be purchased by the Government and stored against future needs, instead of selling off our food supply.

#2. Commodity Traders
These lowlife bastards contribute nothing to our society and due to their uncontrolled greed, drive prices up on everything. Every article I read on why the price of gas keeps going up mentions them fleeing the dollar and buying gas and oil, driving up the cost. Just the mention of $200 a barrel oil caused these vermin to drive the price up some more.

#3. Do Nothing Congress
What meaningful legislation has this pack of do nothings passed? Immigration reform? No. They could be saving our nation so that our children could enjoy the freedoms that we have enjoyed, but no. They have been bought and paid for by the highest bidder and nothing gets passed that does not benefit some large corporation somewhere.

#4. Out of Touch Presidency
Face It. This is probably the worst presidency in the history of our nation. At least Clinton spent most his time chasing women and did little lasting harm to our nation. Not so dubbya. He has managed to mire us in an everlasting war, alienate a large portion of our world wide friends, help institute the framework for this run-up in fuel costs, and saddle the American people with enormous debt that does nothing for the country.

#5. Greedy Oil Companies
Windfall profits.
What else can I say, when this says it all.

So what effect does this upward spiral in fuel costs have?

In my life it does the following:

I will never be purchasing a new automobile again. Sorry Detroit.

I will no longer go to the movies. The nearest theatre is 13 miles away 1 direction. That’s 2 days worth of gas to get to work.

No more lunches from convenience stores. I will brown bag it.

No more dining out. That includes fast foods. Sorry McDonalds and Jack in the Box.

I will not be purchasing any more DVDs. Sorry Hollywood. I will just rent a couple. For the cost of that new movie I can buy several used movies or just rent the same one again if I really want to see it that bad.

All the mom and pop businesses that I used to patronize will not be receiving my business. I will order what I need over the internet and not worry about finding what I need locally.

So who stands to gain from this mess?
Anyone who would profit from the US drilling new wells in previously closed lands. Like the ANWR. Make the consumer scream loud enough at the pumps and congress will finally react in the manner this mess was contrived to produce.

"Environment be damned! We need the oil to keep the economy alive and to give the consumer some relief." And some corporation(s) makes money hand over fist in this new opportunity. But will the price of fuel come back down? Hell no, there is too much money being made.

It may drop a bit to make it seem like we have received some relief but it will began it's climb again with everyone pointing their fingers at China and India, blaming it on them.

Welcome to the crash.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Stimulus, Garden, and Water Softener

Since I have direct deposit for my IRS tax return, my stimulus rebate landed in my account on Friday. $900 of free money to spend as I see fit. Like many of you, I am going to put it into my preps plan to purchase the next bigger ticket items on my list. There are lots things that this money would be great for, but I must stick to the purchasing plan I have created.

My next project is a small scale photovoltaic system to keep 4 Crown 6 volt, 225 ah batteries charged up. This should be sufficient to keep my CPAP machine powered with some left over for other uses, such as 12v lights (LED?), 12v DC Fridge and my laptop computer.

So far my experiences with my garden have been going ok. I just transplanted most all the items from the peat pellets into small plastic pots. I also experimented with sprouting corn between 2 pieces of paper towel, moistened and placed in a 1 gallon zip lock freezer bag.

This worked out well, but they didn’t sprout as fast as the corn in the peat pellets did.

I have given up on the older cabbage, broccoli, cucumber and spinach seed and recognize them as no longer viable. It was interesting that the mustard, bok choy, lettuce, kale, onions and 2 kinds of radish from 1999 all sprouted. It gives me an idea of what items will need special care and those that are tolerant of nothing special in the way of care.

I picked up 80 lbs of water softener salt today (sodium chloride), $4.37 for 40lb bag. At this price, it is perhaps the cheapest and most important item to stock up on. In preparing for food storage after TSHTF, salt will play a key role. Buy some 5 gallon buckets with lids, some desiccants and some zip lock bags to prepare this for long term storage.

I bought another 60lbs of rice for $0.65 per lb, so the price has not gone up in the last week. I also picked up a 10 lb bag of large russet potatoes for $2.99. They may be cheaper elsewhere, but elsewhere is not close enough when gas is $3.82 a gallon for regular unleaded.

The poll shows that most of you will be stocking up on ammo and firearms, followed by food and savings. Gas and consumer goods tied with the TEOTWAWKI party being last. All I can say to you who are having the party is: Where and When? I love a good party and as long as your footing the bill, I’m in!
One of the Items I recommended earlier is the P3 Kill A Watt Electricity Load Meter and Monitor. This handy item will allow you to monitor the electrical usage of all your AC electrical items when you plug them into it. The best price I found was at NewEgg, for $23.98 including shipping (3 day UPS). Get one while they still have them. At this price they will probably go fast.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Garden Update

Well the Onions finally decided to show themselves, well within the standard germination timeframe at 9 days.

No cabbage yet so it is past its germination time by 1 day.

What I thought was broccoli actually turned out to be mustard.

The broccoli is also 1 day late.
The cucumber is 1 day late too.
The spinach still has a few days to be on time.

I will be replanting with fresh seed everything that does not come up by sunday.

My second planting into peat pellets have just about all sprouted with most of them being in the sprout stage yesterday.

I planted 2 seeds in each peat pellet of the following:

Sweet Corn, Early Sunglow Hybrid
Sweet Corn, Golden Jubilee Hybrid
Beet, Detroit Supreme
Beet, Red Ace Hybrid
Squash, Table King, Bush Acorn
Squash, Zucchini, Black Beauty
Squash, Vegatable Spaghetti
Bush Beans, Blue Lake

This weekend I will be planting:

Tomato, San Marzano, Roma Type
Tomato, Sweetie, Cherry
Tomato, Roma
Bush Beans, Burpee Stringless

as well as


As soon as I find my 6" pots, I will be transplanting the Bok Choy and Mustard to them.

Van Dwelling: Is it for you?

Vandwelling is a concept that I see becoming more viable for those who are single and without a family to care for. Even a retired couple could exist peaceably in a larger van. For families, substitute an RV or a Motorhome for the van.

However you are housed currently, mortgage or rental, the costs of that form of shelter most likely consume up to 34% of your income each month. This does not include utilities.

Now, I know you are asking "Why would I want to do this?"

Lower cost of living
Save money for buying your retreat land
Not tied to a fixed location
More Freedom

Face it. When you rent, the landlord tells you what you must do and can't do. When you buy a house, everyone gets to tell you what to do: City Ordnances, Property Taxes, Mortgage Payments. Its like a form of enslavement that keeps you tied to a 8 or 10 hour workday, with you know how much commute time.

The cost of rent for a one bedroom apartment where I live is a minimum of $675.00 per month, and a decent 3 bedroom house no less than $1275.00 per month. $15,000.00 per year is a nice savings and you could buy a real nice piece of land in a few years time. Or a not so nice piece (junk land) real quickly along with some improvements.

So let’s say you have a mortgage. What do you do, just walk away? Sell your home? Neither just yet. The best bet would be to lease out your home for a year while you try living in the van. If you can not adjust to the smaller quarters within that year, you can move back into your home without its loss. You might also be able to negotiate parking rights so that you do not have to hunt for a place to overnight.

If it all works out and you like your new arrangements, you can sell your home, buy some land, and move to it permanently or part time.

The cost of fuel keeps going up and up. The cost of feeding yourself and your family keeps going up. That mortgage or rent payment would go a long way to keep fuel in your vehicle and food in your family’s stomach.

Sure, living in a vehicle is cramped, but it can be done for quite a bit less than conventional housing. Spend time at the library, the gym, the theatre, visit friends. Use the out of doors to break up the time you spend in the van so that it doesn't feel like a prison.

Let’s examine the expenses by putting your monthly costs here.

Conventional Housing:
Rent or Mortgage
Land Line Telephone
Cell Phone
PO Box
Cable TV
Internet Connection
Natural gas
Renters/Homeowners Insurance
Auto Insurance
Auto Maintenance

Am I missing anything? If so add it in.

Van Dwelling:
Auto Insurance
Auto Maintenance
Cell Phone
PO Box
Gym Fees (for showers)
Groceries (for 1 person)
Storage Rental

As you can see, there is quite a dollar difference between the two choices. If you were to save all that money, you would be on your retreat property, payment free in short order. The longer you live this way, the more money you can soak into supplies and upgrades on your property. Improvements such as wells, septic systems, greenhouses and storage buildings.

Here are some links on this topic for further reading:

The Urban Vandweller

Hobo Stripper

Car, Van and Campervan living

Cheap RV Living

VanDwellers at yahoogroups

Everything I Know About Living In a Vehicle

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

And The Bad News Keeps On Coming

Original link, CNN article no longer available
From what I have read, Colony Collapse Disorder does not affect wild bees, only those raised commercially. An alternative to the commercial Honey Bee is the Mason Bee. Here is a link to some info on them. Add it to your Survival Bible.
Buy some for your retreat garden here:
Prepare now!
The Fan is rotating and the Feces is imminent!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

When the Technology Stops Working

Here is an article that I found to be interesting.

Playing God

"Doctors know some patients needing lifesaving care won't get it in a flu pandemic or other disaster. The gut-wrenching dilemma will be deciding who to let die.

Now, an influential group of physicians has drafted a grimly specific list of recommendations for which patients wouldn't be treated. They include the very elderly, seriously hurt trauma victims, severely burned patients and those with severe dementia."

This criteria should include all politicians also.

A politicaly correct way to say Die:
"may have to forgo life-sustaining interventions"

It all boils down to don't save anyone who can't toil under the government lash.

Good little wage slaves, to feed the beast.

Goodbye 911

One of the benefits of living in an urban area is the close proximity to emergency services. The response time for Fire and Aid Car is amazing, all things considered. Police response can be varied, depending on the level of the threat. Reporting a bicycle stolen may get a response in an 8 hr period. Mention a gun or shots fired and the Police Dept plus Swat, Helicopter, and K9 unit shows up.

I know, I had it happen outside my house. An altercation over a ex-girlfriend, a gun accidentally discharged and the next thing I know there are 20 sheriffs vehicle along with K9's looking for the gun owner. A helicopter is circling overhead, spotlight lighting up the dark as they try to find this guy. A lot of excitement for a small town. Sheessh!

But after SHTF, you will no longer be able to count on response in a timely manner. if at all. The 911 service is heavily dependent on the power grid and if that goes, what then? While they may have backup generators just as hospitals do, when the fuel is gone and no supply in sight, that’s it.

So which service will be the first to go? I suspect that it will be the Fire Department, as they require large trucks and much water to complete their mission. Next will be the Aid Car as fuel becomes scarce. Last will be Law enforcement as they can perform their job on foot, horseback, bicycle or driving.

However, in large cities they may collapse at the same time as rioting and arson take their toll on overtaxed resources. City governments may use the majority of these emergency services to protect vital infrastructure and the rest be damned. Housing can be rebuilt as long as the infrastructure remains intact.

One thing that is unclear is how many emergency service personnel will remain on the job with the city collapsing around them. Many may not show up for work at all, staying home to protect loved ones and neighborhoods from the chaos that is ensuing.

Ultimately, the infrastructure will be destroyed, as the forces of the lawless overwhelm those who show up to perform their jobs. The city will burn, and the rioting population will leave, fanning out in different directions, diluting their strength with distance.

That leaves you, the prepper to provide for your own emergency service needs. Take 1st aid classes when available. Stock up on common over the counter meds for most all situations. With the collapse will come disease, and stuff you thought was only to be found in the third world will once again raise it's ugly head.

Study these diseases and how to treat them. Purchase needed equipment and supplies now while your dollar will still buy some. Purchase books on nutrition and nursing. Home medical references. Grays Anatomy. Books such as Emergency War Surgery. Then pray you will not need them.

Pamwe Chete (forward together)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Surplus U.S. food supplies dry up

If you haven't already read this news article, read it and act.

When prices rise above what you can pay, what will you do?

The Long Road

My trip down the road to preparedness began back when I was quite young. Reading about the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, The Swiss Family Robinson, Robinson Crusoe and like stories kindled the flame of adventure and self reliance.

I had my 1st part time job at age 15 and used the money for buying hiking gear, bicycles and motorcycle parts. When I was 16 I bought my 1st vehicle: a 1948 Chevorolet 1/2 ton Pickup with a 4 speed and granny low. I only had it a few months before I sold it and bought a 1962 Chevy II.
When I was nineteen, I moved out into an apartment and began to collect more and better backpacking gear. I also began to hit garage sales and buy army surplus gear where ever I could find it.
I continued along this way until I was 25. Then came the event that forever changed my life. The survival movement was relatively young and unknown to me until I picked up this magazine at the local store.

Now a whole new world previously unimagined was introduced to me. I began to subscribe to more magazines such as Soldier of Fortune, Survive, Mother Earth News, Survival Tomorrow and Shooters Survival Guide.

At this time the cold war was the big threat and nuclear disaster dripped from every magazine. Natural disasters were also discussed and Global Warming was just an Al Gore wet dream.
26 years later I am still buying and preparing for the new threats emerging. New threats equals new preps. As long as I love my children I will continue to prep for beyond my lifetime and into theirs. Do I think I will ever be done? Not much chance of that thanks to the powers that be.

Prepping is indeed a long and rewarding road. If nothing were to ever happen, I would at least have the satisfaction of knowing that my family will be able to provide a large portion of their needs themselves. And if the train wreck that many see coming happens, we will ride out the storm in a much better position thanks to the preps.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Wayback Machine

Ok all you old gummers, do you recognize this?

Anyone actually own one of these?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Rice and Garden Update

Just got back from shopping and I scored on 60 lbs of rice in 2 lb bags. Total price was $37.41. That works out to $0.6235 per lb. It looked as though they had about 200 lbs left out on the floor after I grabbed mine.

My indoor garden is doing great! Most of the radishes have come up, all of the broccoli has come up, another bok choy has popped up, most of the kale and lettuce has popped up too! The onion seems to be taking its sweet time compared to the other seeds.

Overall I am quite pleased with the performance of these seeds. The oldest seeds which I planted were; the broccoli, cabbage, cucumber and spinach (1999), The lettuce, kale and scarlet globe radish (2005), the mustard, onions, bok choy and scarlet white tip radish (2006).

What this tells me is that most of these seeds will be viable for a long time as long as they are not allowed to get moist. These seeds sat in a cardboard box up until last fall when I placed them into a plastic box so I could catalog and organize them.

I did buy a complete gardens worth early this spring, but I am going to store them in the reefer until they are needed. I still have a bunch of non-hybrid seeds which I bought in 2006 that will be joining them. I intend on using up all this old seed this year so as not to push my luck with them germinating.

Since I didn't have everything I wanted to plant, I bought more seeds last week; zucchini, spaghetti and acorn squash, as well as two kinds of beets, two kinds of roma tomatoes, a cherry tomato and two kinds of bush beans.

Time to get some peat pellets soaking so I can plant tomorrow.

SHTF Planning

Avian Flu Pandemic, Climate Change, Economic Collapse, Food Scarcity, Peak Oil, Martial Law, Terrorism, Natural Disasters, Government Tyranny...


Take a deep breathe and settle down.

All of these things can trigger the SHTF, so you need to plan accordingly.

But First...

Before you do anything else, plan a months worth of daily menus that need no cooking beyond possibly heating up for yourself and your family. Stick to canned and dried goods that have a long shelf life. Try to utilize familiar foods that your family likes to eat. Include desserts and snacks. MRE's will work but are fairly expensive as well as some people don't like them.

Freeze dried foods such as that produced by Mountain House, Alpen Aire, Rainy Day Foods and others are a good choice as they are stored in #10 cans and mylar pouches for long life and need only heat and water to be made ready to eat. There is a good variety for building your menu also.

Now go out and buy it.

Store it in an easily accessible area in case you need to leave your home quickly.

FEMA recommends a 72 hour (3 days) supply for emergencys. Just look at how long it took for aid to reach Katrina victims. It took 7 days to get the people stranded at the Superdome evacuated.

Do you still feel comfortable with only 72 hours worth?

For a small scale disaster that may be ok, or as a starting point for working up to a month or longer.

You should also store one gallon of water per person, per day for the same Month period for which you made the menus. If you do not have room to store this much water, get the means to purify it and store what you are able. This means filters like the Berkey (or homemade Berkey style), Bleach (non-scented), Katadyn brand filters and such.

Now, make lists.

Create a list of everything you consume during a months time.

Fuel: Kerosene, Lamp Oil, Liquid Paraffin, Diesel, Gasoline, Alcohol, Propane
Entertainment: Console games, Movies, Computer Games, Card Games, Board Games, Reading material, Gambling, Theatre, etc...
Clothing: Shoes, Shirts, Skirts, Blue Jeans, Suits, etc...
Household and Bath (HABA): Toilet Paper, Toothpaste, Shampoo, Laundry Dertergent
Pet care: Flea Collar, Kitty Litter, Food, etc...
Utilities: Phone (land Line), Cell Phone, Cable, Internet, Electricty, Sewer, Water, Garbage, Natural Gas, etc...


Including booze and cigs.

Be sure to record what you paid for each item.

Do it. This is important.

List everything under categories like those above.

This is easiest done if you put it into a spreadsheet like MS Excel. Don't have a spreadsheet program? Get Open Office free for the download at

When you have everything listed you will see a picture of your monthly expenditures. Now start organizing the list until you have the essentials in one group, must haves in another and nice to have in a third, etc.. .

Once you have all this info organized it is easy to see where your money goes each month. Now start cutting out unnecessary expenditures until you have enough money to start a SHTF preparation plan. $25, $50, $100 or more per month to devote to this. Depending on where you are in life, Survival Noob or Preparedness Guru (and all the in between points) your plan could be extensive or minimal.

Disaster planning consumes money. Lot’s of it. So start out with the basics. A month’s food/water supply per family member. You are now prepared for a short term food/water disruption. Plan to purchase canned long term storage non-hybrid garden seeds. No less than 4 cans/years worth. Learn how to harvest and store your own garden seeds.

The lists will also show you what you need to stock up on to maintain familiar items in your prep plan. it will also show you the holes. As you begin to make your purchases, date and rotate what you store. Keep an inventory in a spreadsheet and print it out once a month so you have a hard copy if the power goes out.

Now that you have your food, how are you going to keep it? I am not talking about storage, I am talking about roving gangs of starving people who will murder you and your family just to have a peek in your cupboards. Don't think it will happen? Take a look at what's happening in the world! Society is slowly collapsing all around us and it may not return for a long, long time, if ever.

Home defense will require firearms and you will need to be mentally prepared to take a human life. Failure to do so may bring the roving gangs back to your door and that will probably be the end of you and your family. The merely wounded will return to "their" comrades and soon they will be knocking down your door or burning you out.

This alone is a good reason to relocate to a more remote area, near a small town with hospital, pharmacy, Dr.s and Dentists, as well as other professional services.

Hiding your head in the sand will not make the ugly truth go away! If you want an example of how bad it can get, take a look at what is happening in Rhodesia, excuse me, I mean Zimbabwe. This travesty can happen in any nation where the populace is disarmed and the Government is out of control.

Inflation: 100,000%
Unemployment: 80%
Life expectancy: 37 years
Malnutrition: 45% of the population

Half the remaining population is now under the age of 18, according to Save the Children estimates. Many have become refugees in neighboring nations.

How would you cope with these problems? The U.S. is not immune from these troubles (nor is any other nation). They are starting to crop up even now, albeit at lower levels.

If you haven't already, get started prepping now! The ball is rolling, the clock ticking and the hand basket is here. Jump in, we're going to go for a helluva ride!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


The time for making and implementing plans may have come and gone. Some may not agree with this, but I think we are currently in a SHTF situation. A real bad slide toward the inevitable crash. Skyrocketing food and fuel prices are putting a real hurt on low income and lower middleclass familys.

Our do nothing Congress is letting the grain supply that would feed our nation be sold to the foreign markets, effectively leaving our shelves bare. Both partys have sold their soul to the highest bidder, and no legislation gets passed that doesn't benefit some large Corporation somewhere.

The fatally flawed ethanol fuel plan should be put on permanent hold until the food production can go up enough to offset ethanols' drain on the world food supply. Those who concieved this fiasco should hang their head in shame at their lack of foresight.

Or is everything going as planned?

I believe it started on 911 and like the proverbial Frog in the pan of water, the heat is being turned up so slowly that most will not notice it until it is too late to act. The media circus paraded in front of us daily masks the slight of hand legislation in the background. Our rights are being stripped away before our eyes, and the general public never seems to notice.

They are too busy watching the game or NASCAR on their big screen tv, or out shopping for what they do not need and have no place to store. Spending their way into economic collapse, buying goods they do not need, but are programmed into buying irregardless.

Feeding the beast that controls us.

Climate change is starting to affect the growing of food crops in different places in the world. The Rice harvest has been hit by drought, particularly in China and Australia, forcing producers to retain their crops to satisfy local markets.

Shortages of rice is occuring in nations where it is a staple part of their diet, not a side dish. People hoarding rice are being arrested. Already China, India, Egypt, Vietnam and Cambodia have imposed tariffs or export bans.

UG99 wheat stem rust (a fungus) is having an effect on wheat harvests in Africa. It has spread slowly across east Africa, but in January this year spores blew across to Yemen, and north into Sudan. It heads to the bread baskets of Asia, and what then? Billions of people at risk of starvation in that area of the globe alone.

Out of control gasoline and diesel prices are driving food costs even higher. Many predict $5.00 a gallon for gas by next summer. This has more impact in the US than in Europe as the US does not have the public transportation infrastructure. Bedroom communities and decent paying jobs are seperated by hourly commutes, draining the tanks, the bank accounts and energy of the people.

It may be many years, if ever for the US to get a solution to this in place. Billions of dollars that could have been used for this improvement instead going to line Haliburton's pockets under the guise of the Iraq war.

The only thing certain to come from this is misery for the poor, and hardship for those who are unprepared. Are you destined to huddle in the Government camps, waiting for your daily ration, for which you toil endlessly under the control of the Beast?

Prepare now, while your money still has value.

Has TSHTF? Yes, I believe it has.

Is it TEOTWAWKI? No, Not yet.