Entries for May, 2012

Cost of health care pisses me off

survivalistWhy do I have a copay when I pay for health coverage, but the welfare leeches get their healthcare for free?

My wife needs a surgery, so far we are out close to $2,000 just for copays and deductible.  What the hell is going on with this nation?  Medicare / Medicaid is taken out of my paycheck, but I can not use it?  Not only do I have to pay into the medicare/medicaid system, but I also have to pay for my families health care, plus deductibles.

The welfare parasites can sit on their ass at home, never have to look for a job, get free medical coverage, free dental, free vision,,,, all at the tax payers expense.

It pisses me off that I have to pay my insurance + a copay, while people on the medicare system do not have to pay anything, or have to pay very little.

I am not not saying that “everyone” on medicare does not deserve it.

I “am” saying there is a lot of abuse of the system.

Welfare is supposed to be a support system, and not a way of life. The problem is, too many people have made welfare a way of life.

My wife and I know a young lady that is around 18 or 19 years old.  A few months ago she squeezed out the families third generation of welfare recipients.  Someone explain to my how that is “supposed” to work out?  How does society tolerate generations of people to live on welfare?

Related ArticleCulture of Entitlement

Three generations of welfare recipients from the same family?  Really?  What the hell is wrong with our society?  If someone can get knocked up, get out of bed, go to the mail box to get that welfare check, or to the food stamp office to get that food stamp card refilled, go shopping,,, they can get their ass to work and contribute something to society.

How have we reached a point where the people that work are punished, and the people too lazy to work get a free ride?

Why am I punished with $2,000 worth of deductibles and copays, and the people too lazy to work get off owing nothing?

Man, this pisses me off.

It pisses me off that I work for a living and I have to pay more then my fair share.  While at the same time some welfare bum is sitting at home eating bon-bons, popping out kids every couple of years and playing on the internet.

At the very least people that draw public assistance should pick up trash on the side of the road.  Or better yet, volunteer to clean up around the court house, cut the grass at the police department,,,, do “something” to contribute back to society.

But no.  People that draw benefits from the state do not have to contribute anything.

Just claim you are bipolar at 18 years old and get a check for the rest of your life.  Do not worry about working, get your check and free health care from the government and suck off the public tit.

If I have to pay $2,000 in copays, why can’t some welfare bum have to cut my grass or wash my car?  At the very least, contribute something back to society.  If the working class is supporting the welfare class, the very least they can do is give something back.

What is your opinion on welfare?

The guy who lived in a van

Back in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s, I worked with a guy who lived in his van in the company parking lot. The company did not seem to mind, as someone was on the company property 24/7. Having the van in the parking lot might have deterred thieves, but who really knows?

I do not know if they guy lived a fugal lifestyle because he wanted to fly under the radar, or if he was a nomad type, or if he was a hermit.

Here is an example, The guy was so cheap, he would not buy razors to shave with. Instead of shaving, he would use tweezers and pluck the hairs. Just about every time I saw the guy, he was using the tips of his finger nails to pull the whiskers out. I thought to myself, “holy crap, does this guy get some kind of pleasure out of hurting himself”?

The company had a full bathroom facility, and had several showers. The guy lived in his van he kept parked in the parking lot, either used the microwave in the break room to heat up his food, or a propane stove in his van.

I think his total cost of living for a month was something like $300, and that was just for food.

The seats were removed from the back of the van. the only thing in the rear of the van was some boxes and a cot to sleep on. Sometimes the guy had the back of the van open when employees were walking through the parking lot. So from time to time we were able to get a glimpse of what was inside the fan.

When winter came around, the guy said he had a propane heater in his van.

A lot of the people at the company looked for someone like the FBI to come around any day looking for the hermit. But as far as I know, nobody was looking for him. Or rather, nobody ever came around looking for him.

Over the past 20+ years I have often wondered what its like to live a nomad lifestyle. No rent, no electric bill, no water bill, no cable TV bill,,, just come and go as you please.

Survivalism as an experience and not a theory

survivalistKnowledge + training = experience.

Knowledge + experience = skill

It is only through experience that we further our knowledge.

Knowledge and experience are stepping stones that build upon each other.

One problem that survivalist face, is the lack of hands on experience. You may “think” you know how to do something, but until you actually do it, you do not know if your theory works.

Some people learn the theories of survivalism, but never take the time to test those theories. How do you test your theories? With experience. How do you get experience? Buy doing something.

Through knowledge we develop a theory of how we can survive a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation. How do we know the theory is going to work? By testing the theory.

Related Article3 day camping trip on the Angelina River

Hunting after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI theory

Over the past 20 years I have heard the same story probably 1,000 or more times – “if SHTF, I am going to bug out to the wilderness and live off the land”. Then the person starts talking about hunting small game, how they have X number of 22 long rifle, and how they should be able to get X number of squirrels or rabbits with X number of rounds. After you hear the same story hundreds of times, it gets rather repetitive.

The first questions I have, how often does the person go hunting? How often do they load up their gear and head out to the wilderness for 3 or 4 days to test their plans? Has the person ever skinned a squirrel or rabbit, much less cooked and ate one?

Then there is the big question, where are you going to hunt at? Do you have access to land?  Do you have access to remote land, or private property so other people will not intrude?

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Locking the doors

survivalistOver the past few months I have gotten in the habit of locking the doors during the day.  The doors have always been locked at night.  But here lately I have been keeping the doors locked during the middle of the day.

Security is not a serious concern during the day.  My wife and I live in a low crime rate area.  There is rarely, if ever, a serious crime around here.

The doors are locked to set a boundary line between my wife and I, and the rest of the world.

Boundaries are an important part of life.  Even though millions of illegal immigrants do not care about boundaries, that does not mean the rest of us do not give a crap.

We face boundaries everyday.  Think about the boundaries we face on a daily basis.  There are boundaries on the road, at the job, in relationships, while shopping,,, everything we do is somehow limited by a boundary.

So why shouldn’t my front door be a well defined boundary line?

An unlocked door is like a yield sign.

A locked door is like a stop sign, as a locked door forces people on the outside to stop.

Yield signs only work when the other party respects the sign.  Awhile back my wife and I had an issue with our kids walking into our house without knocking. If my wife and I decide to bury the bone in the middle of the living room floor, we should not be interrupted by someone walking in the front door. This is our home, nobody has the right to walk into my home without our permission.

Locking the doors forces those on the outside to respect a boundary line.

For people who refuse to respect a yield sign, lock the door. That forces them to stop, knock and then ask permission to enter the home.

The locked doors provides a sense of security.  Locking the door says that this is my home, and you “will not” just walk in without my permission.

A locked door is like a fence line.  The door defines a boundary line between my safe and secure area, and the rest of the world.

Grilling on Memorial day weekend

Memorial Day CookoutMemorial day is the day we should take a little time out of our busy schedules to thank those that served this great nation. If it were not for those that are willing to lay down their lives, the rest of us would not have the freedoms we enjoy in our everyday lives.

What are you cooking for Memorial Day?

My wife and I started thursday evening when we put the ribs in a marinate. A slab of pork ribs were cut up into sections with 3 ribs each.

Saturday morning the pit was fired up with oak wood.

The pit was given about an hour to heat up, then the ribs were put on.

2 1/2 hours later the pork chops and chicken legs were put on.

About an hour before everything was supposed to come off the pit, the boudin, sausage and hot dogs for the kids were put on the grill.

Memorial day is more then just having some friends over and having a BBQ. This is the time when we should reflect on the sacrifices others have made for us.

Let us not forget our forefathers who volunteered to protect this nation.

Where would be be today if the volunteer militia had not taken up arms against the British during the revolutionary war?

Where would Texas be if no volunteers showed up at the Alamo?

Where would we be if Andrew Jackson and his volunteers decided not to fight for New Orleans?

Post your comments in this forum thread – Your memorial day cookout

Fundamental foods survivalist should stockpile

Chickens eating watermelonWhen survivalist start stockpiling food, we buy #10 cans and usually store food in mylar bags.  Lets say we had to focus on certain foods, what would those foods be?  Lets look at food that packs a nutritional punch, renewable, easy to grow, easy to harvest and can be stored without modern technology.

How do we decide which foods we should focus on?  Lets narrow our selections to how easy the food is to grow, how well it stores, and the nutrition content.

During a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation, we will being growing and storing our own food.  One thing we do not want to do is dedicate a lot of time and effort into food that contains little nutrition.

In this article I hope to focus on renewable foods.  Foods that we can grow in a home garden or at a Bug Out Location.  During a long term survival situation, people that hope to make it through will need a renewable food source.  It is not enough to stockpile food in mylar bags, or stockpile freeze dried food in #10 cans.  Sooner or later those mylar bags and those cans will be empty.

Honey

Humans have been eating honey for well over 1,000 years.  Some estimates put humans eating honey up to 8,000 years ago.

  • The bees do the work for you, all you have to do is harvest the honey
  • Honey is loaded with trace minerals
  • Honey does not spoil or go rancid
  • Honey inhibits the growth of bacteria, so it can be used in the treatment of wounds and injuries

One of the drawbacks to honey, the bees will sting the crap out of you if you bother the hive. You think your big and bad until a swarm of bees are done with your ass. When its said, done and over with, you will be in a fetal position crying for your mommy.

If you plan on adding honey to your to your preps, either stockpile the crap out of it, or learn how to safely harvest honey.

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Prison of your mind

survivalistWould you believe me if I told you were in prison right now?  For the most part of your life you have been in prison, a prison of your mind.

Where did this prison come from?  Our prison comes from our society and our culture.  Our prison are the things that we “think” we have to do.  We have to go to school, we have to go to college (and go into student debt), we have to buy a home or rent and stay in debt, we have to buy a car (more debt), we have to have children, we have to pay taxes, we have to celebrate predefined holidays – christmas, easter, valentines day,,,, and so on.

There are different levels of prisons, with some being worse then others.

The worst prison we put ourselves in, is the prison of debt

Debt is a parasite that slowly sucks the life out of its victim.  But for some reason we have been taught that we should go into debt.  Why does society think we should use credit cards, why should we buy a new car, why do we have to buy a fancy home, why do we have to live at the edge of our means?

If you listen to the experts on the economy, the more money people save, the worse the economy. Our economy is driven by people spending money. Spending money is what we should not be doing, we should be saving money.

We spend money, we run pout of money, we ask a bank for a loan, the bank then has control over our lives. Get behind on a car note, or house note, you can find yourself in dire straits.

Related articleLiving your life by your own standards

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Hard work does not always equal success

survivalistWhile writing the article why do we miss the past, I kept thinking about the time and effort people put into working at the welding shops in southeast Texas.  The more I thought about the working conditions, the lack of proper benefits and how the workers were exploited, the more irritated I became.

There was once a time when working in a welding shop equaled a good living.  There was once a time the hard work was recognized, appreciated and rewarded.  But those times are long gone.

Working Conditions

You think its hot outside in July and August?  Try crawling inside a piece of pipe that has been heated to 350 – 400 degrees so you can weld on it.  Certain types of metal, such as chrome, require the metal to be preheated before you can weld on it.  If the metal is not heated to a certain temperature before you weld on it, the weld can crack.

You think the dust in your house makes you sneeze?  How would you like to blow your nose, and the rag be black?  The dust from the grinding and gouging collects in your nose.  Just think what its doing to your lungs.

Some companies act like worker safety plays second place to production.  There were places I worked where we did not have fans to blow fresh air into sections of pipe we were working inside of.  There were times when my lungs felt like they were being choked from the welding fumes.  Times when the grinding dust made my lungs hurt for days.

There was one place I worked, the supervisor was an absolute asshole.  During the week I told the supervisor I needed to take off early saturday to go to my brothers wedding.  The asshole asked what time the weeding was.  Then he added up how much time I needed to get home, get a shower, get dressed, and then drive to the wedding.  I got off work about 2 hours before the weeding, and that was with a 45 minute drive home.  Needless to say I was one of the last people to show up.  That asshole supervisor could not even give me the day off, or even half a day off to spend some time with my family.

I dont know if it was the number of hours that the welding shops worked, or the low pay, or a combination of both that has me bitter?  Time with my family is worth more then I made in overtime pay.  There were times when I did not get a day off for 4 – 6 weeks, take a day off, repeat for 4 – 6 weeks, and that was working 12 hour shifts.

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Why do we miss the past

survivalistWhy do we miss the past so much? Why do we look back and say “those were good times”, even if the times were not “that” great?

Career Path

I grew up in a little town in southeast Texas called Bridge City. My parents moved to Bridge City sometime around 1976. After I graduated high school I got married and bought a home.

Fast forward 14 years, my wife and I divorced and I moved to the Conroe / Montgomery area for a few years.

In 2003 my new wife and I moved back the Bridge City area.

After I finished high school I went to work for a welding shop. Between 1986 – 1999 and 2003 – 2004 I collected around 15 years experience in the fabrication of ASME certified pressure vessels and heat exchangers.

During that 15 years I learned a lot (not all) of the welding shops in southeast Texas take joy in paying low wages and exploiting workers. The low pay was one reason why I had to leave the Bridge City area. To those fab shop owners that get some kind of sick kick out of exploiting their employees, screw you. There is a special place in hell for greedy bastards like you.

Even with 15 years experience working in various welding shops, the wage I was earning did not allow my wife and I to buy a home. The home prices were so inflated that the average middle income wage earner could not afford to buy.  In the end, the lack of decent wages, and bloated housing market drove my wife and I out of the Bridge City area.

Even though the job market was ok at best, and the housing market was too expensive, I miss living in Bridge City. Its a good area to live in, and has a low crime rate. I just wish employers were willing to pay skilled workers what they are worth.

Even though I resent being exploited, why I miss working in the welding shops? Why do I miss being exploited? Why do I miss backbreaking work? Why do I miss barely scrapping by on my bills?

Maybe its not that I miss those hardships in life, maybe I miss times that seemed simpler?

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A nation of waste and Gluttony

survivalistThe U.S. has turned into a nation of waste and Gluttony.

We probably throw away more food at buffet bars then some families see in a month.

We spend as much money on weddings as our homes cost. When did it become “ok” to have a wedding that cost, $20k, $30k, or even $50 thousand dollars?

We buy vehicles that cost almost as much as our homes.

Our children are spoiled with the latest and greatest of electronic toys.

Obesity is turning into an epidemic.

A record number people are receiving government assistance.

We give our jobs to china so we can exploit cheap labor.

We allow illegal immigrants into the nation so they can do backbreaking work few others want to do.

We turn to the government to fix our problems.

Our children have the newest brand name shoes built in overseas sweatshops.

When did it become ok to own a home larger then what you needed? Just because you can afford a mini-mansion does not mean you need one.

What happened to people knowing the difference between a want and a need?

There was once a time when people were frugal with their money. There was once a time when money had value, and people wanted to save their money.

Even if I had a million dollars, $50k on a wedding is wasteful.

This wedding is an example of what is wrong with society. We have grown fat, lazy and wasteful. Some people spend more money on a wedding, then others make in a decade.

In an era when around 1/3 of homeowners are underwater in their mortgages, when unemployment is having serious affects on our culture, when cities are falling into bankruptcy, people throw outlandish weddings.

I find it disgusting (to say the least), that people throw their wealth around like its nothing.

You have $25, $30k, $50k just laying around and need something to do with it, give it to a homeless shelter. Let that money go to some good use besides trying to impress someone.

There was once a time when people were modest with their money. Or at least they were taught to be modest.

Its like the people who spend $40k on an expensive 4X4 truck, but have no need for a truck. The truck and its price tag are nothing more then a status statement. They are saying nothing more then “look everyone, I am dumb enough to buy an expensive truck when I dont need one”.

How many people drive by the homeless person in our fancy car, talking on their cell phone, and somehow justify not giving someone in need a single dollar.

What preppers do on the weekend

Wire on end of chicken coop runWhat do preppers do with their spare time? Unless you are some kind of radical survivalist, we do not live in bunkers, nor do we hide in our homes in fear of a zombie invasion. For the most part, preppers (aka survivalist) are just like everyone else.  Survivalism / Prepping is a way of life.  While some people collect stamps, we check our food stocks.  While some people collect coins for fun and profit, we collect silver and gold as a hedge against inflation.

Friday, May 18 was a day to relax after the work week.  Friday evening is when my wife and I talk about what we need to do over the weekend.

Saturday, May 19 my wife and I like to get up early and get our shopping done.  Breakfast is either a fried egg sandwich with bacon or sausage on the side, or something quick in the microwave.  Regardless of what is fixed for breakfast, I like to have either strawberries or a banana on the side.   I feel that its important to start the day off with something like yogurt, or some kind of fruit along with my main breakfast.

To wash breakfast down, I usually have a low carb energy drink, such as a rock star or monster.

After breakfast, my wife and I head to town to take care of the shopping.  We like to get to get an early start before the stores get too crowded, and before the heat of the day sets in.

Part of the shopping list was put together a week beforehand.  Over the past week I took inventory.  What did I need to buy, what did I not need to buy?  For Saturday I decided to pick up a box of Remington Core-Lokt in 308 Winchester  150 grain.  My 30-30 stocks are just about where I want them to be.  As usual the local Wal-mart was sold out of American Eagle in 223.  the closer we get to hunting season, the more difficult it is to find ammunition.  I like to buy my hunting ammo during the summer so when hunting season arrives I am ready to go.

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Books for a survivalist library

Books for a long term SHTF survival situationOne of the common questions I see repeated over and over on the forum – What are the best books for a survivalist library? Since the topic of books is brought up so much, I would like to post an article books.

Some books should be a given, such as religious books and first aid books. Who in their right mind does not have a first aid book in their preps? Saying that you should have a first aid book in your preps, is like saying the sky is blue and the grass is green.

Asking if you have a military survival manual in your preps, is like asking if you took a shower and brushed your teeth this morning.

Lets move past the books that should be a given.

Example forum threads

A must have for your library
Starting My SHTF Library
Survival Library
Survivalist Library
Your Survival library

My personal opinion, the only wrong answer is not doing anything at all.

If you are doing “something”, then you are on the right path.

One piece of advice that I can offer, is to focus on books that are directly related to your long term SHTF survival plans.

If you live in the middle of a city, why would you buy a bunch of farming and gardening books? The key words there are “a bunch”. I can see someone in the city having some chickens, or a small backyard garden, but not on the scale that someone with 100 acres has.

The books we are going to talk about are in no way a complete collection.  In my opinion, it would be almost impossible to have a “complete” library.

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Why the United States is a third world country

survivalistThis article is not trying to debate “if” we are a third world country.  I am here to make the statement, “The United States “is” a third world country”. If you think the U.S. is a world leader, you are partially right and wrong. We are a world leader in technology and military weapons. What about other stuff, such as taking care of our children and our elderly?   What about internet access?  How does the US rank in simple stuff, like health care for all citizens regardless of income levels?

Infant Mortality Rate

The U.S. currently ranks 35th in the world for infant mortality rates. Think about that for a minute, 35th, and we are supposed to be a world leader? Heck, North Korea and Cuba both have a lower infant mortality rate then the U.S. Cuba, which has an an embargo against it for as long as I can remember has a lower infant mortality rate then the U.S.

The U.S. currently ranks #14 GDP (nominal) per capita.

Japan ranks #18 in GDP (nominal) per capita, but has a lower infant mortality rate then the U.S.

Iceland ranks #22 in GDP (nominal) per capita,, but has a lower infant mortality rate then the U.S.

Cuba ranks #88 in GDP (nominal) per capita where the U.S. ranks #14, but Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate.

Having a baby? Want to improve its chance of living? Then move to Cuba.

As much as I love this great nation, we have a long ways to improve in infant care. But then again, we can not place the blame on the doctors, we need to partially blame the parents. How much training in taking care of newborns do parents receive?

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Why do we do what we do

survivalistThe age old question, why do we act the way we do? If you have spent any time with other people, you have met someone that is stubborn or so hardheaded that they are difficult to deal with. If you say something, they are ready to tell you how wrong you are. Lets back up a little bit, “why” do people act like that? Why are people stubborn and resistant to change?

Why do we make the decisions that we do?

Why do we act the way we do?

Why does society act the way it does?

Why do we pay taxes like we do?

Why do we vote the way we do?

Why are some cultures in a constant state of conflict?

Why are some cultures in a constant state of peace?

Why are people resistant to change?

Why do we vote the same two failed political parties into office over and over?

Are cultures defined by money, sex, religion, greed,,, all of them, none of them, maybe some of them?

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Raised bed cucumbers squash and lettuce

Example of a raised bed garden with cucumbers, squash, lettuce, squash and zucchini. I would like to thank Awakeaware1016 over at the forum for post posting this video and thread.

My suggestions

The green onions, lettuce and cucumbers are ok to plant together – all of them have a high nitrogen requirement.

Looks like you will run out of room with the squash. Allow at least 2 – 3 feet on each side of the squash plants for growth. With the right soil and fertilizer, those squash plants are going to get pretty big.

Squash needs a well balanced fertilizer, such as 13-13-13.

The raised bed is nice. What I suggest, next year build a raised bed based on fertilizer requirements.

Lettuce, onions and cucumbers go in one bed – all of them can use high nitrogen fertilizer, such as 21-0-0 or something like 16-6-12.

Tomatoes, squash and zucchini would go in the second bed – all of them use a balanced fertilizer, such as a slow release mature and something like 13-13-13.

Just about anything with large leafs is going to need more nitrogen then say tomatoes.

Keep this in mind when you plant your garden, lets take 13-13-13 as an example.

first 13 – nitrogen, promotes stalk and leaf production, such as corn, greens and spinach

second 13 – phosphate, promotes root production, such as potatoes

third 13 – potash, promotes pod production, such as peas, beans, squash.

Cucumbers require nitrogen to prevent them from getting a pointy end.

Looks like your project is off to a good start and keep up the good work.

Post your comments in this forum thread – My victory garden and first YouTube video 2012