Blog Archives

09/27/12

It looks like I have gone on a bit of a spending spree, but I feel it is necessary. I have not been as focused as I have needed to be recently so I feel like I have some catching up to do. I haven’t been getting the OT I need, but since my wife is anything but “gazelle intense” (for instance, she is willing to keep paying ATT $100 per month so she can dvr “The Voice” and “Xfactor”), and I haven’t been taking any money from her paycheck to pay bills, I am going to use any extra to become more resilient so I can break free from my dependence on the system. I have started listing the things I am intent upon buying with the hours of OT required to do so. As long as I stick to the schedule things should be ok. Jack at TSP has said (and of course it makes sense) that QE3 (ha) will probably put off the inevitable economic hardship for 18-24 months, so that is the time frame I am giving myself to become as resilient as possible. Sustainable living is the goal. I believe that what is going to happen in the economic meltdown is that the govt will began taxing the crap out of us, making it harder and harder to survive on what we make. They may make credit easier to obtain, at least for a while, so that people are even more enslaved by their debt. I have to be prepared for the heavy taxation and resist the urge to continue the status quo by using credit. That means being able to provide some things that we normally spend money on – like food – so we will have money for the things we can’t provide for ourselves, like medicine.

I am reading the series 299 days and it has really made me more committed to getting in better health. I had my blood work done on Tuesday, and my numbers are great. My total cholesterol is 177 (could be better but), my LDL is 85 and my HDL is 85, triglycerides are at 37, and my A1C was <6 (5.6?). I splurged on raw milk because I figure it has a lot of nutrients that are missing in our diet so if my youngest and I get them once in a while it is better than nothing. Plus, while we are getting them from the raw milk we are getting a break the skim milk at the same time.

09/27/12 ACTION

– Bought 4 bags raised bed garden mix $64.00 (ouch)

– Bought 300 rounds 9mm bulk for $71.18 (again ouch, but needed for target practice). Need to break in my Steyr and get comfortable using it.

– Bought some raw milk $10. (the price has gone up $2/gallon because the local gov’t is making it harder for them to be in business)

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09/26/12

It’s been a while since last I wrote. One thing I am going to start doing is including the price of the things I purchase, this will be especially useful to the blog – or more specifically the people that may use my blog for its intended purpose.

My 15 year old has gotten a learners permit (or whatever they call it these days) and we are doing a lot more driving in order to get as much experience as possible. This is actually a type of prepping/sustainable living. Another driver is another resource. It means we are more mobile, if someone hurts themselves there is another person now capable of driving them to the hospital. If there are multiple stores that need to be visited, we can now split them up and that frees up more time. You get the idea. Of course to maximize this we need another car. Right now I could drive the truck leaving my car free, but both of those vehicles are pretty long in the tooth.

I can’t remember how long it’s been, but I did buy 5 more bonsai trees at $7 each! I am thinking I can transplant them and then try selling them at a garage sale. If successful, that could be another source of revenue.

09/26/12 ACTION

– Bought a pick axe for $25 – 9/17/12 Now I can break up that layer of limestone that sits about 15” below the surface when I want to plant.

– Bought a 15gal drum to store gas from HomebrewersOutpost.com $26.98 – 9/20/12

– Bought 8 pack AAA eneloop batteries $16.35 – 9/20/12

– Bought tray of Romaine lettuce (8 heads I think?), head of garlic and bunch of onion bulbs to try in fall garden $7.86 – 9/26/12

BACKLOG UPDATES

Ok, I am going to submit several posts that will be titled with a date so I can get this blog caught up with where I actually am in my life, and the day to day events and actions that have gotten me there. My purpose (as always) is to show that taking small but consistent steps will eventually give me the resilience I am after, even if it takes a while. My hope is that others who desire to become resilient but feel overwhelmed by the financial and time restraints will take the same small steps and set themselves free as well.

08/29/12 ACTION

– Since the last update, I have replaced my S&W 9mm with a Steyr 9mm for $379 that I really like. I haven’t shot it yet, but it fits my hand like a glove. Also bought a small ammo case for $10.

– Yesterday I bought a 16 pack of rechargeable Sanyo Eneloop AA batteries, bringing my total to 24. I no longer have to spend money on replacement batteries, so they will reduce my cash outflow, and they can be charged using an inverter in an extended power loss scenario.

– I have ramped up my job search. I’ve reached out to a few more people, gotten my resume in really good shape and have 2 versions of it, I have one ok 30 second resume, I have done a lot of research on my personality type and am more knowledgeable about my strengths, talents and preferences.

– Bought permethrin to try and control mosquito explosion in back yard (I consider this a prep because the last thing I need to deal with is west nile virus, plus working on my garden will be more bearable if I’m not getting covered in bites).

SHOULD I BE WORRIED (Part 2)

Argentina just outlawed the buying and selling of gold by it’s citizens.  “So what?” you may ask.  There are many who believe that our economy is unsustainable (the numbers certainly lead to that conclusion), something about you can’t spend far more than you earn forever, and that at some point the whole thing will implode.  Many who believe that feel that the economic collapse will look very similar to Argentina’s collapse back in 2000-2001, and that Argentina has provided a good blueprint for what may follow if our economy does go over the cliff.

Obama said the U.S. and Argentina share a range of common interests and concerns, including about the global economy.  Obama has been reported as saying “Argentina suffered a devastating default on its debt in 2001 but has experienced nearly a decade of strong economic growth since then.”  Hmmm, let’s see…

Keep in mind that I use Ferfal (as opposed to the media) as my point of reference on what life in Argentina is really like.

–          In 2008, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner nationalized nearly $30 billion (US) in private pension holdings by transferring them to the social security system.

–          Within the last 12 months she (her administration) has imposed severe restrictions on buying and selling US dollars.  People were doing this because the dollar holds it’s value better than Argentina’s currency (yikes!).  They still are, but there is now a black market which you must do it in.  (insert ferfal link)

–          This year there have been several tax hikes, federal restrictions on wage increases, and nationalized (seized) the oil company YPF which Spanish company Repsol had a 51% stake

–          Their congress has passed an anti-terrorism law that has been criticized for using very vague and imprecise terminology (hmmm…that doesn’t sound familiar at all).

And now they are no longer able to buy and sell gold.  This didn’t happen in an instant, it built over time, much like boiling a frog.  One should also note that a federal financial disclosure in 2009 showed that the President and her late husband’s personal assets increased by 700% since 2003.  Meanwhile the common folk aren’t even allowed to try and preserve their “wealth” by putting it in US dollars or precious metals, assuming they could even afford to in the first place.

The rich get richer, especially during economic crisis.

QUOTE

“LIBERTY MEANS RESPONSIBILITY, THAT IS WHY MOST MEN DREAD IT” – GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

Wow, has it really been that long? Well, there are a couple of random thoughts I wanted to throw out there while they are fresh on my mind. First, liberty and the American Way are everything I have stated, but I have one more tenant to add: America was originally conceived to have people depending on each other – depending on their neighbors rather than the government or some other organization. Understand that I put the church in the category of neighbor, as opposed to organization.

The second thing is I had another opportunity over the holiday weekend to get my wife to see the value of prepping and resilience. She was out of sugar on Friday night and had already spent an hour at the grocery store. We were going to attend a cookout over the holiday weekend and she was going to bring brownies and carrot cake. The entire weekend was booked solid. As she started slipping toward clinical depression I stepped in and said, “I have sugar.” She replied “you do, really? Where”? I told her I had some in our food preps, and she asked “How much? Is it enough to make the brownies and cake?” I said “I don’t know, but it is a typical bag of sugar you buy at the store. 5 pounds I think.” She became elated and told me how wonderful that is. Jim Dandy to the rescue, just call me Johnny on the spot. So on top of getting to be hero for the day, she doesn’t see having redundancies in place as pointless as she did; and on top of that, she is going to replace the sugar for me the next time she goes to the store, so I now have her participating in prepping, she just doesn’t know it!

ACTION TAKEN TOWARD BECOMING RESILIENT

  • Put primer on some more of the house, getting ready to paint it. I think preventative maintenance should be considered a form of resilience. It leads to reduce expenses down the road.
  • Cookout with friends we haven’t seen since Christmas. Building a strong social network is vital to resilience in a SHTF situation. Note, I said ‘vital’, not ‘important’. That will be a topic I cover in a future post.