Sunday, December 4, 2022

What We Are Paying Attention to In the New Year

There are several things happening behind the scenes (and, of course, blasted all over conspiracy boards) that behoove us to pay attention to what is going on... 

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

10 November Preps

In no particular order...

  1. Vote (Election Day is November 8th)
  2. Set your clocks back an hour on November 6th if your area does this (some places like Arizona no longer observes daylight savings time)
  3. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors, change your furnace filters, and make sure your fire extinguishers are fully charged too.
  4. Buy your holiday meal items soon.  With continually rising prices, shortages, and potential supply chain disruptions, last minute shoppers may not find their favorite holiday food items.
  5. Start holiday gift shopping this month so you don't, again, run out of gift options if you wait until the last minute.
  6. Participate in a Veteran's Day event on November 11.  There are still some (a dwindling few?) patriotic things Americans can do and supporting our veterans is one of those things.
  7. Here are some end-of-the-year financial tasks you can start working on.
  8. Of course there are always seasonal tasks that need to be done like these things for your home and these things for your vehicle.
  9. And if you live in a place where winter storms are a concern, check out these prep tips.
  10. Stash cash safely and securely in your home.  If AMTs go down, you need to quickly evacuate, or an other type of disaster happens, it is always a good idea to have enough cash on hand to see you through for a while.

Monday, September 5, 2022

20 Things To Do Before the Collapse of Civilization

Some would posit that we are already in the throes of societal and economic collapse, others say we have a bit of time left to turn things around.  I would say it is not "if" but "when".  And the when will probably be coming sooner rather than later.  Consider doing these twenty things while our society is slowly circling the drain...

  1. Get healthy and fit.  Take care of addictions, reverse chronic diseases, get lasik surgery if it will relieve you of the need for glasses, etc.  Medical care now is a shit show, it will be worse--and less accessible--after collapse.
  2. Diversify your income sources.  Having a half dozen sources of income is better than putting all of your financial eggs in one (job) basket.
  3. Live in a place where you can survive and thrive for years.  I wouldn't recommend living near the coast anywhere at this point.  Ditto places susceptible to frequent flooding and recurring wildfires.
  4. Diversify your money.  Cash, electronic bank funds, crypto, gold and silver--all can be useful in disastrous circumstances, most can be seized by the government on a whim...diversify wisely.
  5. Learn how to barter.  Start practicing now.
  6. Confirm multiple sources of water.  Tap water, stored bottled water, the creek down the road with multiple purification systems in place...there's a good chance you won't be able to rely on water coming out of your tap during and after a collapse.
  7. Confirm multiple sources of electricity.  Again, most people rely on their electrical outlets to provide electricity on demand and again, this may not always be reliable.  Consider setting up your own solar or water-powered back-up system and learn how the Amish live without electricity.
  8. Learn how to defend yourself.  Martial arts, shooting skills, wielding a knife or baseball bat...self defense skills require lots of learning and lots of practice.
  9. Learn how to grow your own food to the best of your ability.  Even a small window garden is better than nothing.
  10. Learn how to forage for food in your local area
  11. Stockpile at least a year's worth of food.  When extreme shortages happen, you will at least have a little cushion before things like starvation sets in.
  12. Be the grey man and keep opsec top of mind while doing all of these tasks.  You don't want people to know you are exponentially more prepared than everyone else in the neighborhood or you will become a target.
  13. Stop with the doomscrolling.  There's more than enough doom and gloom on the internet (examples here, here, and here) to keep your attention 24-hours a day but by doing this, you take time, attention, and effort away from legitimate prepping activities like those on this list.
  14. Determine what your top five threats are and prepare accordingly.  Don't waste your time prepping for a tsunami if you live nowhere near the coast.  Do prep for tornadoes if you live in tornado alley and environs.  Do prep for marauding hoards no matter where you live as this could happen just about anywhere. 
  15. Keep a wide circle of friends and relatives you can depend on in a disaster.  For third-world countries where there is basically no safety net, this is how many people survive on a daily basis.
  16. Be a minimalist when it comes to useless junk, be a maximalist when it comes to survival tools (garden tools, building tools, hunting and fishing tools, weapons, etc).  
  17. Keep all of your documents in order (driver's license, passport, legal documents, etc).  These may or may not be useful after a collapse but better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them.
  18. Practice now all of the skills you may need after a collapse.  Things like medical skills, defensive skills, food prep skills, dumpster diving, etc. are not things you want to struggle with after a collapse.  By starting now to develop a wide range of survival skills you will have the knowledge after a collapse, as well as connections in these communities, if you need help and you will also be able to learn what tools and supplies you should procure now since they may be difficult if not impossible to get after a collapse.
  19. Practice being uncomfortable while you still have the opportunity to do this with a modicum of comfort.  Go backpacking for a couple weeks and practice living off the land without the creature comforts of home.  Practice walking or biking to work now before fuel shortages and blackouts make this a requirement.
  20. Teach others all of the survival skills you know.  In an ongoing, emergent situation, you may need to rely on others to help you in part (should you be injured or sick), or in full.  You want to have competent help when you need it so make sure your family, friends, and neighbors are as useful as possible.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Bring Out the Ban Hammer

I've been reading and watching videos about people being de-platformed and even being banned from certain social media networks/web hosting platforms/etc. and I figured it's par for the course in this ultra sensitive, ultra moderated time in which we live.  Fortunately most go on to other ways to still get their message out.

Imagine my surprise, however, when I logged into this blog--which I have been hosting on this platform for more than a dozen years--and saw that suddenly several posts were deleted (reverted to draft and can't be published) along with the entire links list page de-listed with no explanation other then these 'violated Blogger's terms of service'.  Some of the posts were years old and hadn't--for years--violated any terms of service but suddenly that was no longer the case?  Hmmm

Most of the targeted posts were about boom-sticks (something guaranteed in the second amendment), and, oddly, a few were about a former president whose list of dead associates were starting to rival his number of living associates.  Hmmm

So we will see how long this blog continues on this hosting platform and if worse comes to worst, it will be moved to its own webhost.  

tldr; banning and media manipulation is becoming positively omnipresent so pay attention to the narrative that is being pushed then don't believe it.  Seek out the truth (it's still available online, you just need to search for it), then get outside and do some real living without your cell phone, internet, social media, and mainstream media telling you what to think.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Several Lessons Learned from the Warrior Poet Society Video

I came across this video yesterday over at the Warrior Poet Society You Tube channel and it is an excellent overview of a situation that could have easily turned tragic in so many ways.  Here are several take-aways from the video:

  • Add Narcan to your medical preps even if you think you will never have need to use it.
  • Never assume that because you live in a very rural place or you live in a very nice neighborhood that "nothing bad will ever happen here".
  • When you leave kids at home by themselves, whether in the country or in the city, insist that they stay locked inside the house until you return.  In this situation, John was a good distance away but within yelling distance of his son so one would think the kid would be safe in such a situation but this could have turned tragic nevertheless.
  • The part where John's young son was outside talking to the crackhead was terrifying.  Kids are generally kind to everyone and feel "grown up" when an adult asks them for help.  Unfortunately adults asking kids to "help them find their lost puppy" and similar requests have led to many children being kidnapped and even killed.
  • This is a good reminder to have an emergency plan with your kids for how they handle strangers.  First, there should be a locked door between the kid and the stranger, kids should have options for places to hide within their homes, and they should know to call a parent or 911 in such an emergent situation.  Depending on the age and responsibility level of a kid at home alone, you may or may not allow them to have access to firearms to protect themselves.  Instead of yelling for his dad, John's son may have done better to run towards where his dad was (putting distance between the kid and an adult stranger is always a good idea).
  • It wasn't clear in the video where the crackhead was staying (he was camping 'out in the woods' somewhere) but daily perimeter checks/walking the property line may have alerted John that someone was staying on his property.  You want to run squatters off your property immediately and not let them get comfortable there.
  • I don't know where John lives but it seems very rural.  Unless the crackhead was living in a home nearby and got kicked out of the house, the idea that an addict would hike several miles out in the woods to camp seems highly improbable (addicts like to stay near people so they can beg for money, steal stuff to sell for drug money, and they never like to be far from their drug dealers).
  • What are the odds that a random crackhead would show up in a very rural area at the house of a lauded special ops soldier?  Could be a coincidence but my Spidey senses would have been buzzing.
  • It seems like John has good perimeter surveillance (cameras, etc) but lacks layers of perimeter security.  
  • John has a dog (one of the best breeds for security IMHO) but not a solid way to utilize the dog for security.  If he lives on acres of unfenced rural property, just letting the dog roam is a good way to get it shot by a neighbor.  Having a fence around the home and yard keeps the dog in a secure area yet allows the dog to patrol the entire area around the house, creating a good layer of perimeter security).
  • John said he didn't want to carry a concealed pistol all the time.  I think that if you are going to carry, carry, if you're not, then don't.  Deciding to sometimes carry a pistol on occasion to protect yourself is like deciding to sometimes wear a seatbelt in your car and hope you will be wearing it on the day you get in a car crash.  At least he had a shotgun with him but I find open-carried pistols easier to deal with than hauling a shotgun everywhere.
  • John decided to scoop up the ODing crackhead and race him to the hospital.  On the one hand, John was armed and knows how to protect himself, on the other hand, it sounds like he left his family at home when he took the guy to the hospital...how does he know the crackhead's friends aren't nearby and waiting to roll in when the wife and kids are home alone?
  • Overall, it's good this story had a happy ending.  I can totally see why both John and his wife are still shook up over this incident (the security guy having a major security breach is both unexpected and scary), and this is yet another opportunity to use someone else's experience to allow you to create your own plan for what you would do if a similar situation happened at your home.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

40 Back to School Tips

School will be starting soon for kids all over the country.  In our area, school starts at the beginning of August, in most other areas, school starts at the beginning of September.  Here are some tips to start your kids off on the right foot this school year:

  1. Register your kids for school (some schools require this each year, others don't require parents to do anything if their kids will attend the same school as last year).
  2. Sign your kids up for free or reduced-price school lunches if the qualify (also check to see if your school district plans to provide free lunches to all students as many schools are doing this year).
  3. If you plan to make your kids' lunches each day (a healthy alternative), buy them appropriate zero-waste supplies for this including an insulated lunch container, a reusable water bottle, a reusable sandwich/snack container, etc.
  4. Sign into the parent portal of your school district's website (this will give you access to your student's grades, allow you to contact their teachers, receive messages from the district, etc).
  5. Take your kids to any events or orientations their school hosts before school starts (these events usually let kids meet their teachers, see their new classrooms, etc).
  6. Also sign your kids up for after school sports and activities (busy kids are kids who don't have time to get in trouble when they have too much free time and not enough supervision.  Also participation in sports is great for their health, fitness, and psychological development.
  7. Decide how your kids will get to school each day.  Will you drive them?  Will they ride the bus?  Check the school's website for bus schedules.  Will they walk or ride a bike?  Walk or ride with them to school to "practice" before school starts.
  8. Determine if your kids will have a babysitter, go to daycare, or participate in school-sponsored before and after care programs and set these up in advance.  Also set up emergency care providers in case their primary caregiver is not available.
  9. Buy school supplies on sale as they come available (many sales are happening now at Walmart/Target/etc).  Be sure to buy extra supplies so you can give them new supplies when school starts and after winter break for their second semester.
  10. Buy clothes and shoes for your kids first at thrift stores, then at discount stores like Ross, TJ Maxx, Walmart, and Target, then finish up at the mall.  This is a great way to save money over buying everything for full price at the mall.
  11. Get your kids backpacks that are high quality so they will last all school year.  Backpacks should make it easier to carry all of their books and supplies but not be so big that they are over-filled and over-heavy.
  12. Duct tape an "emergency packet" in the bottom of your kid's backpack which isn't to be open unless it's an actual emergency.  Include a $20 bill, maybe a spare house key, and a printed list of emergency contact info. 
  13. Review your child's backpack to make sure they have all of the school supplies they need (many schools provide a checklist for this), have a place to put their assignments and homework, have the books and tech items they need, have some extra snacks like a granola bar, and most importantly, don't include things that are banned (toy guns, pocket knives, and for many schools, anything containing peanuts).
  14. Make sure your kid's vaccines are up-to-date (many health districts offer these for free) and that they get in for sports physicals before school starts (it can take weeks to get an appointment in some areas).
  15. Get your kids age-appropriate and needs-appropriate technology (cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc).  Buying used/open box is a good way to save money on these items and some school districts will even provide some of these items for free.  Also be sure to adequately supervise their use of these devices.
  16. Be sure that your kids have "non tech" time everyday when they can decompress from tech and social media by playing outside, doing art of music projects, playing board games, reading a book, etc.
  17. Before school starts, get your kids up to speed by having them read, do some math, answer quiz questions, etc. so they will get back into the swing of learning before school starts.
  18. A week or so before school starts, have your kids go to sleep at the time they will need to do so when school starts and wake up at the time they will need to get up when school starts so they won't be half asleep during the first week of school.
  19. Come up with a secret family password that both kids and parents know.  This way, if someone tells your kids you sent them to pick them up at school, your kid can ask for the password to know you really sent them.
  20. Have your kids memorize their basic information (name, address, phone number, parent's names and phone numbers, etc) even if they have this info on their cell phone.
  21. If your family is experiencing any problems that can impact your child, see what options your school has to help you.  Many schools have homeless student programs, food programs that supply kids in need with food to take home to cover them on weekends, IEP/special ed programs, extra safety for kids when their parents are in the midst of a contentious divorce, etc.
  22. Find out what your kid's school's emergency plan is for inclement weather, active shooters, etc.
  23. Talk with your kid--and the school if needed--to address their concerns about bullying, social media pressure, psych problems, active shooters, etc.
  24. If your child has a medical problem, meet with their teacher, school administrator, school nurse, etc. to explain the problem and tell them how your child will address their issue (ie: kids who require medication may need to have the nurse dispense it to them, kids with severe allergies should make the school aware of this, kids who require emergent care like an asthma inhaler or EpiPen, etc should carry these life-saving items with them and not need to go find them at the nurse's office in the middle of an emergency).
  25. Make a place in your home for your kids to get their homework and school projects done and set up a regular routine for this.
  26. Teach your kids how to organize their day, use a calendar and checklist to make sure all of their work gets done, and plan their social activities as well.
  27. Have a calendar in your home to write down activities, no school dates, early release dates, field trips, etc.  Also have a place for your kids to put their homework for you to check, permission slips to be signed, and other info their teacher provides them.
  28. Stay in regular contact with your kid's teachers so problems can be addressed as quickly as possible rather than, for example, learning your child is failing a class when the class is almost finished.
  29. Put together a Child Safety Kit for each of your children at the beginning of each school year.
  30. Keep your kid's (and your) important documents in a safe in your home as well as backed up digitally.  This included birth certificates, social security cards, passports, adoption records, vaccination records, etc.
  31. Teach your kids basic prepper skills.  This includes op sec (don't tell anyone about the family's preps or gun collection), don't talk to the police without a parent other than identifying yourself, the "run, hide, fight" response to a dangerous situation, what to do if they find a gun, what to do if their friends are in a dangerous home situation, and hundreds of other skills.
  32. Devise a morning routine, evening routine, homework routine, chores/allowance routine, sports/music practice routine, weekend family activity routine, etc.
  33. Do the things that lead to student success--serve a healthy breakfast, talk to your kids daily to find out how they are doing, ask about school/friends/activities/teachers/etc.
  34. Talk about things that may be uncomfortable but necessary--mental health issues, age-appropriate sex ed, "stranger danger", avoiding sexual assault, dangers of drugs/alcohol/drinking and driving, how to respond to bullying and violence, etc.
  35. Teach your kids manners, morals, and values which will make them productive, resilient, responsible human beings.
  36. Encourage your child to seek assistance with school issues: ask the teacher for extra help if they don't understand a topic, join a study group, find a tutor if necessary, learn to take better notes, participate in class, how and with whom to seek help if they have a problem with their teacher, etc.
  37. If you are sending your kid off for their first year of college, consider these, these, and these tips.
  38. Check out things your student may be entitled to like a free national park pass, student freebies and deals, and birthday freebies.
  39. Don't depend on the school to teach your kid everything they need to know.  Ensure your kid develops good reading skills, use math with them regularly (like when baking something or building something together), teach them to safely use a gun, how to swim and ride a bike, how to grow their own food even if it is one tomato plant, etc.
  40. Finally, determine the best education situation for your child.  This might mean the attending the neighborhood school, going to a magnet school, attending private school, or even home schooling.