Protect your stuff


This is a $20 solution to saving you a whole lot of grief.  If there is only one thing you should accomplish in the next week this should be it.

First, scan your important documents like: birth certificates, marriage license, divorce decrees, adoption papers, wills, power of attorneys, health care proxies, deeds, titles to cars, insurance policies, DD214’s, and at least the first page of the bank statement from each of your bank or investment accounts.

Next, empty everything out of your wallet – credit cards, debit card, driver’s license, VA card, gun license, professional license, health insurance cards – and scan them.

Then purchase a large jumpdrive.  I think that I got a 16MB one for about 20 bucks.  Back all of your documents and pictures from your PC or Apple to the jumpdrive.  Make sure you also copy over everything you scanned.

Finally, buy a waterproof match container from WalMart.  I paid 99 cents for this one.


Stick the jumpdrive into the waterproof match container, seal it and find someplace safe to put it.  You may want to store it someplace different than your home, maybe at your office, locker, in your car or with your BOB.


Be disciplined about it and do a backup of your data at least once or twice a year going forwards.  Protect your stuff.


This is crown vetch growing in a nice summer field.  This is what I will dream about during the cold, dark days of our New England winter.

P1010001I think it may be called crown vetch because each little group of flowers looks like a purple crown.  Vetch is a legume, which means, like peas and beans, it puts nitrogen into the soil.  That’s right legumes convert nitrogen from the ear and leave it around their roots.   Legumes improve your soil.  Also, because most legumes have good roots they help to keep soild friable.  If you plant legumes in your garden at the end of the season don’t pull the plants up by their roots.  Cut them at soil level so that the part of the root where the nitrogen is fixed remains in the soil.  Livestock can also graze crown vetch.  I know those pretty purple flowers look tasty to me and I only have one stomach.  Ahhh, the smell of summer.


One Response to “Protect your stuff”

  1. Jamie Says:

    Great point here on keeping a jump drive full of personal data. I’ve just started doing this. For security, though, I strongly recommend encrypting the data, otherwise you’ve created a convenient identity theft kit for whoever finds/steals it.

    I set my drive up with, an extension of the PortableApps system that, aside from installing a bunch of useful apps right onto the jump drive, can also configure it to create an encrypted partition on the drive with TrueCrypt. There are thumb drives that come out of the box with a comparable system (called U3?), but they cost a little more, and this is free.

    The PortableApps system comes with a suite of tools that run right off your thumb drive, intended for enabling you to bring your environment along to any computer, e.g. public computers. For instance, there’s a FireFox browser set up to store your bookmarks and cookies and preferences right on the thumb drive, rather than on the host machine’s hard disk. I had to install and then go get a suite of apps from PortableApps in order to have a reasonably full suite. One of the apps is a sync/backup app called Toucan, which you can use to manage sync’ing your data over to the device.

    A related option: you could put this data on your MP3 player or some mobile phones, just to have one less thing.

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