Archive for October, 2008

Skills

October 31, 2008

Today’s post is about skills.  I have two posts in the works.  One will be on knives and the other on getting out.

Just got back from the range.  I tried out some subsonic Remington .22 rounds.  Quiet, but they still make too much noise to shoot stuff in my suburban neighborhood.  I was hoping for a pfft rather than a crack.    Also shot the 7.62 * 39 Saiga.  That is fun.  What an easy gun to shoot.  Also, fired off a few .357 rounds from my S&W model 60.  Getting better.  Practice makes you better.  My goal for a rifle is to be able to shoot a paper plate from 100 yards with iron sights.  For my handguns it’s to shoot a small plate from five yards.  Of course I try to shoot from all different ranges, positions and angles.  I don’t want to try using a scope until I have the iron sights nailed down.

Onto today’s post on skills-

Napoleon Dynamite: No, but who would? I don’t even have any good skills.
Pedro: What do you mean?
Napoleon Dynamite: You know, like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills… Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.
Pedro: Aren’t you pretty good at drawing, like animals and warriors and stuff?

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

What skills do you have? This is my list of skills that I think are important to have. Of course it’s not all inclusive. There are many things that I can’t do that I wish I could.  Let me know what I’m missing.

Start a fire. If you don’t know how to start a fire, the main thing to keep in mind is that it is like painting, you need to get all your prep work done first. Before you touch the flame to the kindling you need to have everything ready. Start with tinder, then kindling then larger logs. You want to have all your gathering done before you start the fire.  You fire kit should contain matches, a steel and lighters.

Sharpen a knife. I like diamond stones. I’m going to have a separate post just for knives once I get the camera back from the wife. There’s a Halloween party where she works so she wanted to take pictures of all of her clients in the costumes.

Understand a variety of firearms. How to make safe, load, unload, field strip and clean. Learn how to use a pistol, a revolver, a lever action rifle, a center fire rifle and a shotgun. If you understand the basics for each one of these you will be in pretty good shape. You won’t be an expert, but if you come upon one you will at least (hopefully) be able to make it safe.

Cook a meal just using what you have in your pantry. I love to cook. You need to be able to mix a can or two of this or that and a bag of noodles and make a good dinner. Understand about cross contamination and how to avoid it. Know how to store food safely. Know what various herbs and spices taste like and how to use them.

Set up a camp and cook over a campfire.  Know to look overhead for widowmakers.  Don’t set up too close to some river or stream that may rise up.

Use a Coleman stove and lantern. Know how to fill them, pump them, light them and change a mantle.

Gardening skills. Know how to compost, understand NPK and micronutrients. I used to work with a very well paid lawyer (like $450 an hour, yup, that’s right). She went to all private schools that were very expensive for her education. She was interested in gardening. One day I was explaining to her about bees. She had no idea that bees pollinate and that without bees we wouldn’t have any fruit. Imagine that, not knowing that bees pollinate? Learn what USDA zone you are in. If you don’t garden buy a book and some seeds and start.

Be able to fix simple things around your home like a toilet that runs, fix a clogged toilet or clogged sink, a bad light switch or prime and finish the walls of your home. Know how to use simple hand tools.  Be able to replace a cord from an appliance or a switch from a lamp.

Understand the basics of how your car works. I don’t mean just turning the key and having it start. You should understand the basics about fuel, air and spark. Know where the battery is and how to jump start a car safely. If you have a standard transmission you should know how to pop the clutch to start it. You should know how to change a tire safely, how to check the fluid levels – brake, transmission, coolant, oil, washer, how to put air in your tires.

First aid skills. Understand how to spot an infection, redness, hot to the touch, maybe drippy fluids and how to treat an infection. Know how to perform CPR, how to take someone’s temperature, how to stop bleeding (direct pressure and raise the wound), how to prevent shock in someone. Know the difference between a virus and bacteria. Know what kind of bandages, dressings and ointments to use. Know the difference between different degrees of burns and how to treat them. How to get something out of someone’s eye, remove a tick or sew someone up. Know the basics of anatomy and physiology. Where your arteries and veins are and the basic bones of the human body.

That is all for now.  Knives and getting out coming up.

Politics

October 30, 2008

I promise this won’t be an ongoing political blog, but the big party is next week. This is a tough one to write because politics right now is like a throbbing abscess. No matter what you say ½ the people are going to be mad at you. Some pretty nasty things are being said by everyone.  I sincerely apologize in advance.

I won’t be voting for Obama. I won’t be voting for McCain.

I don’t like Obama because of his position on FISA. Obama is for granting immunity to the telecommunications companies that threw open their switches and servers for the government’s snoopers. Although anyone is free to hang out with whoever they want, I didn’t like Obama’s explanation that he wasn’t in church on those Sundays. Come on, be honest. I wish Clinton just said, ‘yeah, you know what I did it and boy did it feel good.’ I wouldn’t have held it against him. I think Obama is also light on experience. He says that he’ll surround himself with good people, but I’ve heard that before and look where we are now. He, also judging by my latest American Rifleman, is an enemy of the Second Amendment.

I won’t be voting for McCain either though. He’s an angry man that acts on emotion and makes brash decisions. He was calling off the campaign then he started it up again. He was going to the debate, then he wasn’t, then he was. McRage is more like it. McCain is squishy on protecting our borders too. I don’t think Palin is qualified either. McCain can’t control himself.  Would you do this on a nationally televised job interview? 

So who am I going to vote for? It doesn’t really matter. In the state that I live in it’s already a done deal. My vote is irrelevant. That doesn’t mean that I am not interested. I don’t think I could be more interested if I saw Washington, DC burning. We need a viable third party. The binary system is killing us. Two sides of the same lousy coin.

Voting is probably one of the most important things that we can do. If you don’t vote, don’t you dare complain. Vote or shut up.

Read this before you vote: http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

USConst

USConst

A Mayberry (http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://www.mayberry-keepitsimplestupid.blogspot.com/) style rant has been building in me, but I know 50% of you are going to be mad at me for one or more off the following.

The $700,000,000,000.00 bailout should have been used to hire 750,000 at $70,000 per year and the remaining $175,000,000,000.00 used for infrastructure.  Think that would help the economy?

We need to bring our troops home. Okay, maybe not from Iraq, Afghanistan or West Monomalexico, but do we really need troops in 135 out of 192 countries around the world? We can’t afford it. Every one of the service people on each one of the bases might as well be living on a Chinese Mastercard. We need to shrink the Empire. This is aggression and corporate welfare, not defense. If the US military is being used to protect markets then the corporations should be billed for the service.

We need to cut government back. It’s just getting too invasive. Why does every police department need a $200,000 black RV command center or a SWAT squad dressed like ninjas? Terrorists aren’t going to attack some sheep festival in Maine. Look around you. If there were gobs of angry people out there that wanted to harm you and yours, how many targets do you see every day? Look around, a few committed people that wanted to hurt us could. Worry more about driving or falling off a ladder at home or any sense of retirement after our economy gets done evolving.

I don’t like the government spying on us. We need to elect people that will hold the government, banks, corporations and the telecommunication companies accountable. They’re supposed to get a warrant. The Fourth Amendment tells them so and at least one company, Qwest, said no to the Bush Administration. It’s gotten so bad that I’ve started using proxy servers and think twice about posting on some blogs.

I don’t like the Department of Homeland Security. It has a creepy name. It’s also the largest expansion of government in decades.

I don’t like cameras springing up on every street corner.

I don’t like government poking its nose in every small bit of business. Legalize everything, license it, organize the distribution and tax it. Everything. Drugs, prostitution, gambling. Why should the gangs have a corner on drugs, the pimps on the ladies and the Indians on the dice? Tax it, tax it, tax it. Criminalization doesn’t stop anything as long as demand exists supply will be there to meet it. You can get drugs in prison. Free the cops to get the really bad people that may hurt others.

Stop messing with sane people that want to own guns. I don’t worry about Mrs. Jones having a gun on the train. I wish more people carried. Okay, I agree with SCOTUS on this one, that reasonable regulation is well….reasonable. I have no problem with pretty much anything any of us now own. Restrictions on magazines or folding stocks is bogus. Should we be able to buy RPGs, I’m not so sure. Convince me. More people should carry and practice.

People complain about socialism. Do you still think that we have free markets? Do you? The markets are rigged. Trickle down hasn’t worked for me. I don’t like government bailing out the banks. I don’t like government buying “toxic” paper from Wall Street players or commercial paper from the Fortune 500. It really pisses me off. I’ve been paying interest, late fees, overdraft fees and ATM fees to these SOBs for my whole life and now they come to MY government asking for some coke and sympathy. No effing way. Live by the sword die by the sword. What’s been going on since August has been a looting of the People’s Treasury. They’re taking Trillions from your kids’, kids’, kids and giving it to the same people that gave birth to these Frankenstein financial instruments in the first place. Just a year ago I remember reading about Millions and Millions and Millions being given out in bonuses to the guys that created this mess. This is worse than socialism. At least socialism lifts the weakest. This is Trickle Up Economics of the worst kind. The middleclass is being exterminated, and very effectively at that, with barely a peep so far. 90%+ of We The People were against the bailout and Congress passed it anyways. I couldn’t be more disgusted.

I don’t have a lot of hope that our futures will be like our pasts. I’m really thinking that the American way of life is going to change, contrary to Cheney saying that, “it is not up for negotiation.” Hey, sometimes stuff happens and you have no choice.

Remember freedom of speech can only exist if you have thick skin. Freedom of speech protects the worst, most abhorrent things that people speak, not the things we all agree on. If it makes you mad you ought to support it being said. Your freedom is dependent upon how much of your neighbor’s crap that you are willing to put up with. Don’t call the cops on your neighbor until you speak with them.

You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.”

Stay informed. Don’t believe the Media. Look at papers and websites from overseas too. There are too many liars and charlatans in the Media marketplace. Don’t trust them. I mean the guys you listen to too, not just the folks the other guys listen to. Don’t trust them either. Learn to spot bias not by being told who is biased but by reading enough so that you can tell when one person is favoring another.

When you go into vote day on the first Tuesday of November, do the right thing. Think about the past few years. Is your family better off, or worse off? Do you like the direction of the country? Are you more free or less free? Are our futures brighter or dimmer?

Vote for freedom, liberty, limited government intrusion. Hold them accountable and make them pay. We need to take our government back. It may already be too late. I hope that the guy who gets the most votes wins. I hope the guy who wins get sworn in. Unfortunately, I still expect something to happen between now and inauguration day.

Tomorrow back to regular stuff.

What’s missing….

October 29, 2008

It’s easy to think about what we should prepare for. As I wrote in a previous post we need to prepare for those things most likely to occur and those things that are easy to prepare for. To that end I’d like to recommend a list of stuff of some people don’t think of. Mind you I don’t expect to be running through the streets slinging an AK over my shoulder like Mosul or Lebanon. I just don’t see that happening in the US, at least not in the near future. Holed up in my house shooting at the Zombie Golden Horde through gunslits in my walls, not likely.

Do you have:

Water purification or filter. You need this. This has to be number one on your list. You also need redundancy here. Have a minimum of 2-3 filters of the same type and five replacement filters. I would not want to trust just one filter no matter what.  Without water you are a worm on the hot summer pavement.

Toilet paper. How much do you use every week? Do you have enough for six months. You need this stuff.

Batteries. One of the first things to disappear and easy to trade. Get alkaline, rechargeables and lithium. Brand names don’t matter. They’re all made in the same factories and labeled later. Avoid heavy duty. Get alkaline.

Ammunition. Personally I think it’s better to have fewer guns and a better understanding of the ones do you have with ample, more than enough in your wildest dreams, ammunition. Or reloading supplies.

Firearms. No need to mention, but don’t go all gun nutty on me at the expense of not having a way to get or clean potable water and enough food. You can’t eat a gun. Also, make sure you have enough Hoppe’s No. 9, oil and patches. Maybe some replacement parts.

HBA. Health and beauty aids. You need this stuff. I mean toothpaste, tooth brushes, lots of soap, hand sanitizer, shampoo, razor blades, feminine products, and so on. Baby wipes are great. Go look at your medicine cabinet and under your bathroom sink. You need more of this stuff. If it really goes to Hell in a hand basket staying clean and tidy means that you have a better chance to stay healthy. Nothing will make you sicker quicker than having dirty hands. Sheets, pillowcases, towels and blankets, blankets, blankets.

Kitchen knives. I know we all like knives, but make sure you have a bunch of good ones that hold a good edge and are easy to sharpen. You should be able to get good kitchen knives for $5-$20 each. I think $20 is a lot for one knife. Avoid wooden handles and look for a full tang. NEVER leave you kitchen knives to sit in a wet sink over night. Clean your knives as soon as possible and dry them off.

Sharpening stones, irons, diamond stones. A dull knife is a danger to the user. You gotta keep your knives sharp. I sharpen mine just about every time I use them.

Paper towels, napkins, paper plates, plastic cutlery. It may be tough to run a dishwasher or heat water to wash dishes. Disposable is good. Tin foil, plastic wrap, wax paper, bags, bags, bags, zip lock, foldable, kitchen bags, big trash bags. Dishwashing detergent, SOS pads, sponges. Look around your house. This is what you’ll need.

Solar battery chargers. I like these. You can get good ones for $20-$30. Get a few extra for trading just in case.

Lots of food. I liked canned. Some people like storing grain. I like to store what I eat every day. I don’t grind grain so I hope I don’t have to start now. Oils. Store vegetable and olive oils. You need fats. Another great think to store is seeds for sprouting. Here in the cold north I can’t grow greens in the winter, but I can sprout seeds in a cold dark closet and make a mini salad. Sprouts are great, offer a lot of protein, roughage and micronutrients. Vinegar is great stuff to store – white, red wine and cider.

First aid supplies. You need to have a super kit. You need antibiotics and pain relievers in it, sutures, scalpels, razors, all kinds of gauze and bandaids and so on. Aspirin, Ibuprofen. You can go through this stuff quickly so make sure you have much more then you ever anticipate needing.

Spices. I like black pepper so I store a lot of it. Also, store other herbs and spices. Lots of salt. Get a few one pound containers just for trading. Ketchup, mustard, mayo, bbq sauce, teriyaki, etc. All of this stuff makes food more palatable.

Bleach. This stuff is great for cleaning and purifying. You can mix it with water and sterilize surfaces.

Books. Have all kinds of books for entertainment but also how to books: how to can, how to set a broken limb, how to fix a toothache, nature guides for edible plants, trees and wildlife in your neck of the woods.

Maps. You can’t have too many maps for you area and where you could possibly have to travel to. Get as detailed as possible including USGS topo maps. Learn how to read em too.

Passport. Just get it. Get it now. You never know. Millions of people never thought they would have to flee where they live. Go ask the Georgians, the Rwandans, the Cambodians and so on. If it happens there it can happen here. Wildflower is right on here. Prepare.

Get copies of all your “stuff” on a memory stick/jump drive. Scan all of your credit cards, driver’s license, debit card, birth certificate, vaccination certificates, marriage license, divorce decree, health insurance cards, insurance policies, the deed to your house, titles to your cars, anything in your wallet or file cabinet that may be important. Scan them onto a memory stick and keep that stick handy.

Ammunition. I know I mentioned ammunition above, but it’s a big one. Great investment. Better then the stock market.

Lanterns, candles, flashlights. You need light. Nothing will make you. Depressed faster than sitting around in the dark. Get a variety of them. Get the grind up kind, the shake kind, LEDs last a long time, get regular bulbed lights. Coleman lanterns, oil lamps and candles. You can’t have enough ways to shed light on your life.

A way to stay warm. What are you gonna do if the oil truck don’t come around, electricity goes out or the natural gas lines stop? You need a way to stay warm. The temperature of a house starts to drop right away. Being cold hour upon hour and day upon day will beat you down. Have you ever had cold feet for 12 hours? It grinds you down. Woodstove, inserts, propane heaters, etc.

Miscellaneous hardware supplies. Kits to fix your toilet, nails, screws, wire of assorted sizes, rope of assorted sizes, glues, epoxies, extra roof shingles, roofing cement. Is there anything in your house that you fix every month or every six months? Get more of it. I like to have some plywood and other assorted lumber just in case. Do you have a tarp large enough to cover your roof if it springs a leak?

Ask yourself what you get that’s imported from overseas. Sneakers, shoes, rubber boots, hunting boots and other footwear. Most of our clothing is now imported. Get long underwear, a few more pairs of jeans, bras and panties, rain gear, winter jackets, hats n’ gloves. Any special foods you like that are imported? Get em now. If it can happen in Iceland it can happen here.

Vitamins. If your nutrition goes to Hell at least you can supplement it with vitamins. I also like to have fish oil capsules.

A way to cook. If you have an electric stove get a small propane stove or white gas or both. If you have a gas stove get an electric hot plate, propane or white gas or all of the above. A hot meal does wonders for morale. If things really go south, cooking a hot meal for your neighbors will make you king of the neighborhood.

Stuff to bug out with if you need to. Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads and other camping gear.

Cutting boards.

Light bulbs.

Extension cords.

Vegetable and herb seeds. Soil amendments. Lime is great it sweetens your soil and is good for a latrine should you have to dig one.

Canning supplies. Do you like pickles? Food dehydrator.

Fire extinguishers and CO detectors, smoke alarms (battery powered). When I travel I bring a smoke alarm with me. You have a much greater chance of dying in a house fire then shooting it out with someone. Prepare appropriately. No more guns for you until you get detectors all over your house.

Fuel. A variety of fuels. If you store gas use a stabilizer. Store some propane tanks large and small (for trading). Store cans of white gas, which has gotten really expensive. Kerosene?

Heavy duty cooking gear. I love cast iron. Are you prepared to cook over a fire? Get a Dutch Oven and some cast iron skillets.

Cash. You gotta keep some cash in your place in case there is a bank holiday or the power goes out.

Ways to carry stuff. Buckets, barrels, wheel barrels, wagons, bags, packs, suitcases. I love the heavy canvas bags with handles on them. When I was growing tomatoes commercially I used to say that a farmer’s best friend was a five gallon bucket.

Hand tools. Saws, axes, screwdrivers, mauls, hand drills, shovels, rakes, spades.

Masks.  Get some masks to wear in the event of a flu pandemic, bird flu or some other crisis.  Remember the pictures of the people running down from the towers on 9/11 with soot all over their faces?  I like the N100’s.  Be careful if you buy surplus gas masks.  They need to fit correctly and the canisters need to still be good.

Forgot: wine, beer, liquor or whatever else soothes your mind and eases your body.

Look around your house. What you see is what you need. What you use every day is what you need to store. I know that guns and dehydrated foods are sexy, but store the stuff that you use. So you may have ten years worth of dried beef stroganoff stored, but can you shave your face, wash your dishes or wipe your butt?

Take it easy.

The range

October 28, 2008

Just got back from the range. Kind of a bummer. I like going first thing in the morning on rainy, cold, dark days. I generally don’t like people. Not that I’m a loner. I just don’t like to interact with a bunch of people I don’t know. That’s why rainy mornings are good at the range. If I go on a nice Saturday there are a ton of people. Everyone is nosing about everyone else’s business, which I don’t like . I like to mind my own business fire off a few rounds and be done with it. When I go if other people are there everyone is interested in what everyone else is shooting and how everyone else is doing. Sometimes they want to trade firearms so they can try mine and I can try theirs. Then if you need to reset your targets you need to wait until everyone on the line is done, make your guns safe, leave them on the table and then all go down to the targets like a herd of cows and reset them all at once then everyone comes back to the line like a herd of cows. God forbid your target blows over or something because then you gotta wait for everyone else to finish and be ready to go back down. In other words it’s more fun by yourself. I get to do what I want, how I want, when I want.

The other thing I don’t get is bench shooters. These guys can shoot a paintball hanging by string at 100 yards. They’ll take five minutes to fire off one .22 round. They always shoot sitting down and straight at the target. I don’t get it.

I like to shoot from different positions. I say to myself how often will I be shooting from a sitting position with a bench in front of me? Not very often. Because of that I shoot standing and kneeling positions. I like to move around too. Depending on whether I’m using a rifle or a handgun I’ll get up close to the target, maybe 5-7 feet for a handgun and 25 feet for a rifle. Bam, bam, bam. Then I’ll move back a bit. Bam, bam, bam. Then maybe I’ll move to different angles. Bam, bam, bam. Then I’ll move diagonally backwards. Bam, bam, bam. Then I’ll fire a round and step diagonally back to the left, fire a round and step diagonally back to the left. I’ll try to shoot while moving forwards.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s important to move around when you shoot. You need to be able to acquire a target, shoot and move out of the way, acquire a target, shoot and move, acquire a target, shoot and move. Move closer. Move farther back. Move straight. Move diagonally. IMHO, shooting practice should not be from a static position.

That’s another reason I don’t like going when others are there. It cuts down on my fun and it proves to them that I am nuts.

If you only shoot from one position you are making a mistake.

OBTW, the bummer is that there were like 20 cops at the range this morning. Cops are nosey by nature so it wasn’t a good trip to the range for me.

Early post

October 28, 2008

I love politics, but I can’t wait for the election to come and go (without any problems I hope).  I hope we find out who the next president is on 11/5.  I hope who ever the next president is gets sworn in as scheduled on 1/20/09 without any problems.

It’s a rainy, cold, dark morning so I’m headed to the range for some prime bang, bang time.

More to follow.

I expected…

October 27, 2008

The Market to go down more today. The last Monday in October has not been a kind time to our financial markets. I wouldn’t have been surprised to have seen it go down 1,000 points today.  The pressure is still there though.

I still expect the general economy to tank like most people don’t expect. Kind of like a storm blowing on the horizon, most folks have their backs turned towards it, most folks don’t care, most folks wouldn’t know it even if it blew right through their car.

Most folks don’t pay attention to their surroundings. One of the most important rules of survival is to be aware of your surroundings. A survival rule almost as important is to accept the world as its presents itself to you and not to see the world as you want it to be. In other words, if you think you may be lost, admit that you are lost then figure out what to do. Stumbling around in the dark saying to yourself, “Yeah, I know where I am; our trail is right up ahead” even when you know in the pit of your stomach that your trail isn’t right up ahead is a sure way to deny reality and stumble further into the town of Lost.

But I digress, the economy is beyond saving. Something has to give. It may not be tomorrow, or the day after or next month or next year, but the depression, crash, breakdown or whatever can’t be stopped. All the actions of the Bush Administration will continue to have little to no effect, but continue to weigh down all of our futures like a heavy snow on power lines. Each additional bailout is just more slush piled upon the power lines for our economy. Today I heard one of the Administrations spokes animals float the idea of taxpayer funds being used to bailout private business, like the corner grocery and hardware store I guess. I’m against that too. Business should either be able to compete on its own, or fail in the marketplace. I need to add a caveat, I am in favor of citizen funds being used to help fund NEW business or NEW technology. I think it’s a good idea to invest in the future, to get something started, but once in motion business either needs to be able to propel itself or allowed to fail.

I don’t want to predict where there market fall may end. The speed of the collapse so far has surprised even me, and I’m a pessimist. Originally, I thought it would stop around 7,000-7,500. Now I’m not so sure.

The layoffs start in earnest Q109. Next time you are driving around look around and imagine 1/3 of furniture stores, cell phone stores, eye glass stores, auto dealers, mattress stores closed. All of the “mall-based” retailers are under pressure heretofore unknown. How many Abercrombies, Banana Republics, Gaps, Brookstones, Pacific Sunwears Apple stores, jewelry stores are going to close? I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that upwards of 1/3 of these retailers will also be closed within a few years.

A-out.

Prepared for what?

October 26, 2008

How do we prepare? What do we prepare for?

I think the probability of a shoot em out, shoot em up, kind of SHTF scenario unlikely to occur. That doesn’t mean that it won’t. It just means that I don’t see the need to have three AR platforms or a .50 BMG. For most of us the firearms that we already have will be adequate.

Firearms are fun. Hell, I love them and spending an hour or two at the range is a great way to spend some time. But really, what do we need – a 22 rifle, a shotgun, a center fire rifle and maybe one or two handguns. I leave the house with a handgun just about every day. When I think of all the events that would have to occur to make it SOP for me to leave the house with a rifle every day, that I don’t see happening. Am I worried about hordes of zombies running loose on the streets? Not really. Do I anticipate having to shoot someone from 200 or 300 yards? Probably not. I mean what kind of self-defense do you have to extract from 250 yards away. Shooting someone at 200 yards sounds more like murder then self defense. Could I be wrong? I am more frequently than I like to admit.

Keeping all of the above in mind then the question is how to prepare. I like to think of various events that may occur and assign probabilities to each. Based upon the risk of occurrence, the danger from the event, the difficulty/expense in preparing and the risk of being unprepared, one can come up with a system to prepare. For ease of explanation let’s look at a simple matrix.

Likelihood of event occurring

Highly unlikely

Unlikely

Possible

Likely

Highly likely

Easy to prepare

More difficult

Neutral

Difficult to prepare

Very difficult

So we have to be prepared for the things that are easy to prepare for if they may occur. On the other hand we have to prepare for events that are likely to occur even if they are difficult to prepare for. If something is unlikely to occur and is difficult to prepare for then don’t waste your time. What’s in between is left to the discretion of each of us and each of our relative resources.

Suffice to say I place a lot more importance on food and water than I do firearms.

More particulars to follow.

First Post

October 25, 2008

Welcome to Abraham’s Blog. This is my first post. It will take me a while to figure out the “dashboard.”  Have patience.  Learn to be a better you and learn to have patience.

I plan on writing about freedom, liberty, economics, business, the Constitution, current events, survival and preparation for the hard times that are coming. Unlike most people who have affiliations with a political party, I call them the way I see them. Sorry if you don’t like the truth. Sorry if the truth or the facts conflict with your preconceived notions of how the world operates.

This morning I’d like to talk about the economy. Things are going down and going down fast. It’s already a done deal that things are going to collapse and that in a few years our country will be a much different place then it was just a few years ago. We may not recognize the United States of our future as resembling anything close to the republic that we grew up in.

I personally expect the market to go down a bit more. Maybe it will be 500 points maybe it will be two or three thousand points. It’s immaterial at this point because the match has already been touched to the tinder and all that’s left is for the clapping flames of tinder to catch the larger logs of our economy as the whole thing is consumed in a funeral pyre of enormous flames and the wisps of our economic futures float freely up to the economic Valhalla of lost empires.

What really pisses me off is when I hear the talking heads on CNBC speak about how the crisis in the financial markets will spread to the “real economy.” Ergo Wall Street isn’t the real economy and where we all live is. Got that? Before we move on absorb that.

What does that say about the financial markets, Wall Street, the DOW, NASDAQ, investments, hedges, stocks, bonds, futures and derivatives aren’t part of the real economy? That really should be a kick to the balls if you have any money in the markets. Hey you with 401k’s and 403b’s wake up; that 2, 3, 4 or 5% of your salary that you defer every pay period is being siphoned off to something that isn’t “real.” That’s the big shots definition, not mine. We stopped contributing to our retirement plans earlier this year. I mean it was crazy to take $100 out of our paychecks and then get a statement that we lost $1,000. You are better off buying food and ammo. Those two items offer a greater return YTD then the market has offered.

Deflation or inflation who is to know what will happen. I say both. Deflation followed by inflation. At some point the Trillions floated by the Bush Administration in the past two months will come back as inflationary pressures. I just don’t see any way around. Thanks to Bush there is more money chasing what seems to be fewer goods. Isn’t that the definition of inflation? We just haven’t seen the worst of it yet.

Things are bound to get much worse before they get better. Don’t get me wrong the market will go up, the market will go down, but the trend for the economy for the next 5-10 years is down.

That’s enough for my first post. Keep preparing. More to follow.