Entries for April, 2012

Enslaving ourselves through debt

survivalistBanks have gotten a bad rap here lately. Well, its not just lately, banks have had a bad reputation for thousands of years, but that is just the way it is.

The question is, what has empowered banks to have so much power?

The answer is, our greed and our laziness.

Greed

Humans are greedy people. If you want evidence to backup that statement, look at Enron. Look at the companies that exploit cheap overseas labor. Look at companies that would rather close a factory and move it to china then to pay a livable wage in the USA.

No other species on the face of the planet kills for fun, or for physical possessions. Humans not only kill for possessions, we destroy families, towns, lives, for money.

Think about that for a minute, how sickening is it that we kill for a piece of paper with ink on it? We have made money our GOD and we worship that GOD in everything we do. Whether its paying our electric bills, buying a car, paying a car note, paying a house note, we are paying homage to our GOD, which is money.

Laziness

Instead of saving up the money to buy that new TV, and paying cash, we get a credit card. That credit card gives us a sense of power, a sense that we can buy what we want when we want. While this is true, credit cards provide people with an easy line of credit, we hand over our freedom to the banks.

When you owe someone money, you are en-debited to that person. Ever hear of debtors prison? Some of us may remember debtors prison from history lessons while in school.

Years ago, if you owed someone money, the creditor could have the person arrested and put in prison until the family paid the debt.

If you can not afford to save up the money to buy something, why should you borrow money to buy it?

The key to breaking the hold banks have on people, is to become financially self-reliant. This means you depend on yourself to buy that new TV, and not dependent on a loan from the bank.

Want that new car? Then make a deposit in your savings account every month for the same amount as the car note.

If you can not afford to pay yourself a car note, how are you supposed to be able to pay a bank for a car loan? And that is where the weakness lays. Our weakness with money has empowered banks to take control of our lives.

Saving for a college education

Maybe parents have had the wrong idea about saving for a childs college education? Intead of saving money for college, maybe parents should be saving so the child can buy a home?

Which would you rather have, a paid for home, or a college education? In the long run a college education is supposed to pay for itself. But that is not always the way things work out.

Over the span of a working career, lets say 45 years, would saving money on interest for a home loan offset the value of a college education?

There are lots of ways to make money without a college education, just ask a welder or someone who works on a drilling rig.

Instead of the parents saving money, then the children giving that money to a college, how about the children investing the money into a home?

There are three types of freedoms that we enjoy

Transportation – a car lets you come and go as you please

Property – owning your home means you do not have to answer to a landlord.

Money (cash) – means you do not have to answer to a bank when you want to buy something. Cash in hand is more powerful then begging someone at the bank for a loan.

Chickens Fishing and Cooking

As a survivalist, prepping / survivalism should NOT be a hobby, it is a way of life. What good does it do if you stockpile food, stockpile survival gear, but never practice or test your preps. If you incorporate survivalism into your lifestyle, you will always be testing, planning and looking for ways to improve.

While looking across my backyard this weekend, I realized that part of my preps were not only in the backyard, but how they were part of my life. The three preps I saw were the chicken coop, boat and bar-b-que pit.

Think about that for a minute, the chicken coop and the boat are a source of food. The pit provides a way to cook and smoke meat.

Some people raise chickens for fun, some raise them to know where their eggs and meat came from.  Survivalist keep chickens so our families can have a source of food and protein during a long term SHTF survival situation.  That is how we look at things.  Survivalism is not a hobby, its not something we do on the weekends, its a way of life.

Video about cooking some mac and cheese that had been stored in a mylar bag for 1 year.

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The US can not continue on its current path

survivalistThe US can not continue on its current path of excessive spending,
Tax payers are not the cash cow for fortune 500 companies,
The FBI is not the private security firm for hollywood or the recording industry of America,
Public funds should not be used to bail out banks,
Public funds should not be used to bail out wall street,
Public funds should not be used to bail out any company,
Government employees should be held accountable for their actions,
CEOs of fortune 500 companies should be held account for their actions with prison time,
The US is not the worlds police force,
Welfare recipients should have to give something back to the community,
The US should not have to answer to the world trade organization,
Illegal immigrates should be prosecuted just like other criminals,
Elected officials should be held accountable for laws that harm the public health,
Elected officials should not make a career from public money,
Companies should not be allowed to write their own laws,
The public should not be forced to purchase a product,
The government should have a budget, just like everyone else.

The downfall of the US is going to be a combination of entitlements, combined with leaches that will suck that last drop of tax payer money from the government. These “leaches” are not people, but corporations. So its the people that are in control of the corporations that are sucking the US dry.

Why are wall street and the banks entitled to special treatment? Why is public money used as a substitute for sound financial dealings?

Person or small business makes poor decisions, they have to file for bankruptcy. Nobody bails out John Doe who works at the local welding shop.

Bank or wall street makes bad decisions, the government writes them a check.

How are people supposed to be held accountable for their action if the government turns a blind eye?

you know what would be nice, if I could convince the government to force everyone in the US to buy my product. Just think about the profits I could bring in. Well, that is what the insurance companies and obama has done. we are no longer free people, we are a cash cow waiting for big business to tap into.

Sooner or later, something will have to give.

Chicken project two month update

Chickens in the chicken coopThe first set of dear little chickens turned two months old on April 25th, and what a trip it has been. Part of my long term SHTF survival plans include getting chickens and building a chicken coop. the goal was to have a secure chicken coop and egg production up and running by the middle of 2012. So far things have been running according to plan.

Over the past two months there have been several changes to the plans.

The first plan was to only have 4 or 5 chickens, but those plans quickly changed. My wife and I bought 5 chicks, of those five, two died.

One week after buying the first set of chicks, my wife and I bought 6 more.

About 3 or 4 days after buying the 6 chicks, we bought 4 more.

This left us with a total of 13 chicks. 13 is about 2 – 3 times what my wife and I had originally planed on having. During the initial planning phases dimensions of the chicken coop had been calculated so that each chicken had plenty of room. Now that we had 13 chicks instead of just 3, things had to change. The first thing that had to change was the square footage per bird.

The first coop was a simple 4 foot by 6 foot box – with 3 feet of hardware cloth, and 1 foot of laying boxes.

The second coop is 8 feet long and 6 feet wide. This equals out to around 3.23 square feet per chicken in the coop and another 3.23 square feet under the coop.

Lessons learned

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Stockpiling 22 Long Rifle

Stockpiling ammo for SHTFWhat other ammo can you buy 500 rounds of for less then $20? Just a few years ago a brick of 550 rounds cost in the $10 – $11 price range. I wish I would have bought several cases 5 years ago, it would have saved me a lot of money.

No other type of ammunition is more practical to stockpile then the good ole 22 long rifle. One reason why the 22 long rifle is so popular today, is that during the great depression, 22 long rifle is all people could afford to buy.

Its cheap
It stores well
Low report
Low recoil
Anyone in the family can shoot it
Rifles do not cost a fortune
Works in rifles and pistols
Effective on small game
Does not cause excessive damage to the animals
Report does not scare livestock

What more could you want?

Are you stockpiling 22 long rifle?

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Reviewing your preps

Chickens inside the chicken coopPrepping (aka survivalism) is a path with no end. Its a journey that sometimes has a beginning, but will have no end. Being a survivalist is a way of life, its not a hobby or something that we do in our “free time”.

For some survivalist, the start of their journey is when the light turns on in their head. Someone may decide that they need more food stocked up for hurricanes, or for earthquakes. Part of stockpiling our preps is doing reviews, taking inventory, modifying our plans,,, its a never ending challenge. Part of that challenge is looking at what we have done, where we have been, and where we need to go.

Back in June 2011 my wife and I decided to expand our stockpile of #10 cans of freeze dried foods. One of the issues that I ran into, there was a shortage of freeze dried foods in #10 cans, and there seemed to be a limited selection of freeze dried eggs.

After buying a #10 can of Mountain House scrambled eggs with ham, and a #10 can of Mountain House scrambled eggs with bacon, I started wondering if there was a better option. There “has” to be a better option then spending a small fortune on freeze dried foods in #10 cans.

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What are marketable life skills

Lets talk marketable life skills.

To make money you either need to produce a product, or provide a service.

Who are you going to produce the product for?
Who are you going to sell the product to?
Is there market (or demand) for the products or services in your niche?
Who are you going to provide the service to?
What is the “real” value of the product or service you produce or provide?

Examples

  • Doctor – provides a a service
  • Lawyer – Provides a service
  • Welder – Provides a service and manufactures a product
  • Mechanic – Provides a service and manufactures a product
  • CPA – Provides a service
  • Teacher – Provides a service
  • Police officer – Provides a service

What is the value placed on the service or product?

When I finished high school I went the “learn a trade” route. I learned how to build ASME certified pressure vessels and heat exchangers. Some of the skills I learned was metal working, stick welding, mig welding, fitting,,,. Those skills have a physical value. When the product is finished, its sold to the customer. Working in the welding field, I built stuff that sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The refineries that bought the parts made stuff with the parts I built. You can take that pressure vessel or heat exchanger and put a physical value on it.

One thing about the trade sector, once you get a decade of experience behind you, you can find work just about anywhere.

A couple of weeks ago while gassing up the SUV, my wife spotted a lady my wife knows. After talking for a few minutes the lady said she worked for a local welding shop. She then went on to tell my wife and I how much trouble the company was having finding people with experience. When I told the lady I had 15 years experience, she offered me a job right there on the spot.

Having real life marketable skills that you can put a physical value on makes your chances of finding employment a little easier.

Coming from the trade sector to a computer sector, I see a lot of people who “think” the skills (or knowledge) they learn in college is valuable.

When I decided to go to college, I wanted to go into law, my first choice was becoming a legal assistant. After I got into the legal assistant program and found what the pay scale was, I did not know whether to laugh or cry.

I was supposed to get a 4 year degree to make less then I was making in a welding shop? Lets see, 4 years of college, closer to 6 – 8 years since I was going at night, and tons of debt, just to make less money then I was already making? No thank you.

I changed my major and went into computers.

Someone with a junk degree, what are they going to produce that someone or a company is willing buy? And what is the “real” value of what the person produces?

The “real” value of what the person produces is there the education system has failed the public. Students leave high school, get a junk degree, and think life is going to be grand. Tbhe problem is, nobody has ever sat the student down and exaplined how life really works.

Chicken Coop Project Part 4

Chicken Coop PerchA few weeks ago someone posted a comment on one of my chicken coop videos saying the chickens may fight to get to the highest perch.  After thinking about it for a little while I decided to redo the sloped chicken perch and make all of the perches the same height.

With making the perches flat, instead of slopped, this would also provide more room for the chickens.

Friday April 13 braces were installed around the bottom of the coop.  After the braces were in place, 36 inch tall by 1/2 inch square hardware cloth was secured around the bottom of the coop.  3/4 inch hot dipped galvanized staples were used to secure the hardware cloth.  The staples were spaced about every 6- 10 inches, and on alternating rows on the hardware cloth.  If all of the staples are on the same row of wire, there seems to be a lot of slack in the hardware cloth.  Alternating the staples seems to help with the slack.

Related Articles

Chicken Coop Project Part 1
Chicken Coop Project Part 2
Chicken Coop Project Part 3

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what if obama is reelected

The economy is still bouncing around. Some people say we are in a recovery, while others say we are heading into a second recession.

What is the worst thing that can happen?

I think the absolute worst thing that can happen is for obama to be reelected.

The second worst thing that can happen, is for mitt to be elected.

The US is on a road of self-destruction. Unless there is a total change of leadership, there is no getting off the path.

Even if a lot of new people are elected into congress, there will bee too many old dogs left in place to stop any real change from happening.

Excessive spending

Back in the 1980s, we outspent the russians on military spending. It was impossible for the russians to keep up, so they gave up.

The problem is, the level of spending never stopped. We have so many social benefits programs now, its crazy.

Where do we cut the spending at? Should money for roads be cut, how about free school lunches, food stamps, low income public housing, foreign aid.

Where are the obama spending cuts? Or are we just going to continue spending until the US goes bankrupt.

So where do we cut the spending?

In 2008 the federal government bailed out the banks and wall street. From what it looks like, anytime a bank gets in trouble, the government is going to bail them out. But what about the everyday person that needs help? We do not get bailed out. Its just the opposite, we lose everything we have.

For things to change, there has to be a reduction in spending. The problem is, people that are drawing social benefits think they are entitled to something. I know for a fact there are people out there that know how to play the system. One baby gets grown and out the door, its time to squeeze out another one, just to keep the welfare checks and food stamps coming.

If there was a reduction in food stamps, or other welfare programs, there would be massive panic, outrage and protest in the streets.

Without food stamps, how do we expect people to eat? Can we really expect the freeloaders to get a job? Yea right, I seriously doubt it.

There are some people on food stamps that just need a helping hand, and that is fine.

Then there are the people who work the system, draw benefits from the government and have no intention of getting a job.

Foreign Aid

Then there is the foreign aid. Why are we sending money overseas when we have homeless and hungry people on our streets.

Foreign aid has been around for decades and its probably not going anywhere anytime soon.

Has obama stopped foreign aid?

Free trade

Free trade is a cancer that is eating away at our nation, and has been eating away for over close to 2 decades.

Obama is not going to do anything about free trade. Even if we elect a bunch of new people into congress they can not do anything about trade.

Trade is up to the president, and obama is not going to do anything about it.

In the past 4 years obama has made things worse for this nation

Mandated insurance
obama signed HR 347, which established no free speech zones
obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (Senate Bill 1867)

If anything, obama has striped more rights away from people then any other president.

We need to ask ourselves, do we need 4 more years of this?

Post your comments in this forum thread – what will happen if obama is re-elected?

Stockpiling basic building materials

Chicken coop building materialsDuring my recent chicken coop project I realized how poorly I had stocked my basic building materials.  When the first set of 2x4s were being put together, all I had was 8 penny nails.  8 penny might be fine for use in nail guns, but when you are using a hammer, 10 penny are much better.  When the first walls were stood up, the nails were too short to hold the boards together.  It was rather embarrassing when the wall fell apart as my wife and I were getting ready to put them together.

When the chicken coop project kicked off I quickly realized that I did not have the screws or nails that I needed.
the skil saw blade was dull,
my good tape measure was at the camp, so I had to use my wifes semi-pink tape measure,
my good framing square the tri-squre are at the camp, so I had to use an old rusted steel framing square.

The skil saw and the drill are fairly new so they worked well.

Another thing I realized is how messy and disorganized things can get. My shed is in a mess, the shelf system I am using is in disarray, the things I did not need were in the way and the things I needed were difficult to get to.

Due to my experience with building the chicken coop, I decided to clean the shed out (and keep it clean), and to also stock up on simple stuff like screws and nails.

Screws I ended up with:

1 5/8 inch – for securing plywood to 2x4s
2 inch – for securing stuff like 1x4s to 2x4s
2 1/2 inch – for securing 2x4s together
1 5/8 inch roofing screw with rubber washer
2 1/2 inch roofing screw with rubber washer

Nails I ended up with:

8 penny
10 penny
12 penny
16 penny

I also ended up with some 3/4 inch galvanized staples for securing the hardware cloth to the chicken coop frame.

Getting things organized

If I had tried to build my chicken coop during a long term SHTF survival situation, things would not have turned out too well.  It seemed like my wife and I went to the store several times to buy basic building materials.  Where do you think you can find screws and nails when the stores are closed?

What I need to do, I need to get the shed organized, install another shelving system, and stock up on simple things.  I thought about buying one of those big boxes of 10 penny nails, and maybe a large box of 8 penny nails.  And screws, I need some more wood screws.  Since I live in hurricane country, I probably need some shingling nails as well.

Unless you have a huge barn to store lumber in, its going to be a little difficult to stockpile plywood, 2x12s, 2x6s,,, and so on.  But we can stockpile nails, screws, maybe a handsaw, couple of hammers,,, you get the general idea.

Chicken Coop Project Part 3

Chicken coopUnlike a lot of people that spent Easter weekend going to church and hunting easter eggs, I spent my weekend working on a chicken coop.

Friday morning my wife and I loaded up in the truck, grabbed some lunch at McDonalds, then we went to Parkers lumber in Jasper Texas to get supplies for the chicken coop.

This is what we bought at Parkers:

36 inch x 1/2 inch squares hardware cloth, 10 foot roll
Paint tray
1 box 1 1/2 inch roofing screws with rubber washer
Extra bits for the drill
Skil saw blade
Exterior latex redwood stain paint
14 – treated 2x4s 8 feet long

Chicken coop project part 1

Chicken coop project part 2

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How much water is enough

Reprinted with permission

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How much water is enough?

by Tom Sciacca

If you like food as much as I do, it’s hard to imagine that our body can actually go weeks without food. It wouldn’t be fun, of course, but it can be done. But without water, our bodies can get into serious trouble quickly – just a matter of days before dehydration can set in. So why is it that many people keep lots of extra food stored in their houses, but neglect to store any water?

This subject came to mind recently when my cousin told me about having to endure a power outage with no drinkable water. Since power outages often impact water treatment facilities, tap water can be unsafe for drinking. The situation was made worse by the fact that her child had vomiting and diarrhea, which meant that there was an even greater need for drinking water, as well as water for cleaning, sanitation and hand washing.

For instance, a mixture of water and chlorine bleach would have greatly assisted in sanitizing around her child, helping to ensure that others didn’t also get sick. And obviously, you wouldn’t want to clean up after such a mess without being able to thoroughly wash your hands. (As a dad, I know that’s NOT fun!) Finally, water for food preparation is a supply you’ll need over and above what you plan to drink.

Now if you look at the conventional wisdom out on the internet, you’ll find guidelines such as the following:

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More chicken coop ideas

Raising chickens for SHTFIn the previous article we built the first 1/2 – 1/3 of the chicken coop.  Now its time to look at building the rest of the coop.

During the final stages of the coop construction, there are 3 things I want to focus on:

Security
Lights
Exhaust fan for the coop – this is a “maybe”

Lets see if we can break this down:

1 solar panel for the hotwire
1 solar panel for the 12 volt battery for lights and exhaust fan

My orginal plans were to run the light, fan and hotwire off one solar unit and a single 12 volt battery. But since the hotwire system has a 6 volt battery,I am going to have to go with 2 solar units. 1 solar for the 6 volt battery and hot wire, 1 solar unit with 12 volt battery for lights and fan.

Security

After I build the rest of the chicken coop and enclose the run, I am thinking about putting a solar power / battery powered hotwire around the edge of the run. Tractor supply has some hotwire systems for various lengths of wire and various sizes of livestock. From what I understand this is supposed to be all-in-one units with solar cell and voltage regulator.

The problem I am running into is the hotwire tractor supply carries is Zareba, and it looks like their systems are 6 volt, and not 12 volt.

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