Entries for August, 2012

Indefinite Sustainability

My wife and I are working towards being self-sufficient.  The problem is, the word “self-sufficient” has been used over and over so many times that it starts to lose its effect.  I think another good term would be “indefinite sustainability”.  Meaning a lifestyle that can be maintained for a long time.

Within the next year my wife and I are looking at moving to a rural area.  We already live about 4 miles outside of Jasper Texas.  But we want to move a little further from town.

When I was a child, my great-grand parents on my mom and dads side of the family lived in rural areas.

On my moms side of the family, my great-grand parents lived in a small house on the banks of the Neches river just south of Dam B.  My great-grand father ran trotlines all the time and caught some huge catfish.  They made their weekly or monthly trips to town for beans, bacon, medicine, and other basic supplies.  The house they lived in was a very basic 4 room house – bed room, kitchen with a tv, fridge, stove and oven, bathroom, and enclosed wrap around porch.

On my dads side of the family, my great-grand parents lived on a homestead with around 30 acres in a rural area.  They had cows, a horse, garden, barn, chickens.  And one thing they seemed to have a lot of was peace and quiet.

Both places had several things in common.  They caught or raised some of their own food, and they lived off the beaten path.  I want to achieve both in the near future.

Over the past year or so I have been putting a lot of thought in my homesteading project.  The goal is to have a garden and livestock that complement each other.

Garden and chicken yard one in the same

Chicken yard and garden

On the backside of the fenced in area are a couple of acres for growing corn, watermelons, pumpkins,,,.

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Bottomless pit in the book of revelations

Revelation 9:1-2 “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.”

I have spent a good part of my adult life wondering what the “bottomless pit” was. How can something be absolutely “bottomless?” The world is not without end. If you dig a hole deep enough, you are going to reach the other side of the planet.

The answer I have come up with, the bottomless pit is not really “bottomless.” What is using to fill the hole never fills it.

Maybe we are looking at the pit in the wrong direction? Instead of thinking about the pit as a bottomless pit, lets think about what is being used to fill the pit.

Its like when someone is eating, someone else might make a reference as to where all of the food is going. To the observer it “looks” like the person doing the eating has a bottomless pit for a stomach.

Maybe the bottomless pit is a reference to something that can not be being filled?

The next question is, filled with what?

Maybe the bottomless pit is in reference to a death pit that will never be filled.

During the black Death of 1348 – 1350 pits were dug, filled with the dead, covered with soil, another pit was dug, filled, covered,,,, until the plague reached its filled and stopped killing.

What fills the pit is hunger.  Since the hunger will be never ending, the pit will never be filled.

In other words, could the bottomless pit be in reference to something that kills a good part of humanity?  Something that keeps killing and killing and killing.  something with a hunger for death that will never be satisfied.

What this something is, I do not know.

Christianity will be replaced by Islam

My heart hurts to say this, but Christianity is dying. The number of people attending church has been dropping over the past few decades. More young people then ever before are declaring themselves to be atheist. Organizations like the ACLU and atheist groups are waging an all out war on religion in the public sector.

Christianity is being driven underground, and in some cases to extinction, by anti-religion zealots.

This is where Islam comes in. Where Christians usually respect court orders, sharia law does not recognize man-made laws.

When asked about taxes, Christ said “render until Caesar what is Caesars.” In other words, respect the government and abide by the laws.

In contrast to Christ teachings, Islam would have never recognized Caesar as a leader, much less respected the laws that Caesar passed. The only law is sharia law, period.

Christ taught us to love one another.

Islam teaches its followers to kill anyone that disrespects Islam and/or Allah.

Qur’an (5:51) – O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.

Qur’an (3:85) – And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.

Quran (4:76) – Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah.

[Read the rest of this entry...]

What Defines a Survivalist

Earlier today (August 7, 2012) someone started posting rude comments on the Survivalist Boards facebook page.  The comments were along the lines if someone lives off the grid, or eats processed food,,,, general stuff like that.  I removed the comments and blocked the person.  Keep in mind, I rarely, and I mean rarely ever remove comments, much less block anyone.

There seems to be a mindset that survivalist should live in a bunker, or off in a remote mountain range somewhere.

Lets say someone lives in a bunker with complete solar power, grows all of their food, or lives in a cave off in the mountains somewhere, how is that person supposed to function in modern society?

I can not imagine having a birthday party in a bomb shelter.  All of the parents having to climb into the shelter, all the kids singing happy birthday,,, much less the OPSEC of inviting a group of people into the shelter.

Sure there was once a time when people lived on small farms. But even on small family farms, people still had to buy or trade for resources. How are people supposed to find salt, flour, sugar, leather, raw metal, plows, anvils, hammers, nails,,, on a family farm?

What is it like to be a survivalist?  I can not speak for everyone; all I can do is offer my opinion.

I consider myself a survivalist.  I do not live in a bunker, I do not live off the grid, I do not live in a cave in the woods or mountains.  What I try to accomplish is to live a normal life and prepare for a short term and long term disasters.

When I was in high school, a buddy of mine had a dad like that I considered to be a radical survivalist.

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Your ignorance is their strength

Have you ever wondered why the United States is in the shape it is?

Have you ever wondered why China gets most favored trade nation status year after year?

Have you ever wondered where the factories have gone?

Have you ever wondered why everything has “made in china” marked on it?

Have you ever wondered why our taxes are so high?

The answer to those questions, and many more is “your ignorance is their strength”.

The less you know, the better off the corporations and the government are.  What allows mega-corporations to send millions of jobs overseas?  The answer is simple, the people keep voting the same two political parties into office year after year and decade after decade.

The political atmosphere of the U.S. is like a tennis game.  You have two players (the two major parties) who play with the voters like a ball.  One political party will hit the ball to the opponents court through bad legislation.  Then the party that just received the ball will pass some unpopular laws and hit the voters back across the court.

Maybe its time for a new game?  Maybe its time to vote the two major parties out of office and replace them with someone from the Libertarian party.

The problem is, most people are not, or can not bring themselves to vote for a party besides the big two.

Lets say you go to restaurant A and get terrible service.

You get so pissed off at restaurant A, you decide to give restaurant B a try.

You go to restaurant B, and its the same thing as restaurant A.

Why would you go back to restaurant A?  Why not give restaurant C a try?

That is what voting is like.  People refuse to mark the box that would bring about real political change in this nation.

Your ignorance, and your inability to act, allows corruption to ring in every corner of the government.  It is that simple, if you want real change, then vote like it.

How much more fleecing can the nation take before it crumbles?  How many people do we have to have on welfare?  How many jobs have to go to china?  How many bridges have to collapse, how many children have to go hungry, what does unemployment have to get to, what does the price of food have to reach,,, before you are finally willing to take some kind of action on the matter?

Ask yourself, is this the kind of nation that you want to leave to your kids and grandkids?  Maybe that is why the birth rate has been decreasing in the past few years?

Federal workers earning $100,000 or more grew from 12% in 2006 to 22% in 2011.

77,000 federal employees earn more than the governors of their states.

Illegal immigrants cost the state of California more then 10.5 billion every year, and that is just for education.

Workers on Disability Exceed Population of 39 States.  Which means the population of the remaining 11 states are working to support the other 39 states.

Illinois Government Pensions Over $100,000 Up 27%.

Fox NewsWhy we are on the brink of the greatest Depression of all time

The economic collapse blog65 Signs That The Economic Collapse Is Already Happening

How much is enough? How bankrupt will the U.S. have to be before people say they have had enough?

Sustainable food sources after TEOTWAWKI

What are your plans for a sustainable food source after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI? In other words, what are your food sources going to be during a long term disaster? Lets define long term as a disaster lasting at least 6 months. This could be a new disease, long term civil unrest, nuclear war, financial collapse,,, something that disrupts modern society.

This article will attempt to divide gathering food during a long term disaster into 3 categories: foraging, growing or raising food, and a combination of the two.

Foraging

For this article, foraging is defined as hunting, fishing, trapping, picking berries, digging roots,,,. Anything having to do with the collection of wild growing plants and animals.

Every year a buddy of mine and I spend three days camping on the Angelina River close to Jasper Texas. During those three days we go fishing, look for food, scout for wildlife,,, just try to put our Bug Out to the Wilderness skills to the test.

In a real life, most people that bug out to the wilderness will probably end up starving to death. Or, will be driven back to society in the search for food. That is if the person does not contract some kind of waterborne disease and die of dysentery.

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Anders Breivik sentenced to 21 years in prison

Anders Behring Breivik has received 21 years in prison for his crimes. Anders admitted to killing 77 people, a lot of them being children.

Is Anders Breivik a lone gunman, or is he a sign of things to come?

As Islam continues to spread to western nations, clashes will surely become more common.

A Muslim woman in France refused to show ID. As she was being arrested tried to bite a police officer. During the incident, she said she “didn’t recognize French law”.

A Kurdish woman was killed in London because she had fallen in love with the wrong man.

Laura Wilson had a baby by Ishaq ‘Zac’ Hussein. She was put to death for bringing shame to the family.

Muslim family jailed for life after  honor killing three teen daughters who dated boys.

Anders Breivik is an example of how people are fed up with Muslims not following the laws of the nations they live in.  But then again, some Muslims believe Sharia law is above any law passed by man.

Its this clash of cultures that is going to lead to ever increasing violence.

Chicken project 6 month update

When the SHTF do you have a sustainable food source already setup? Or do you plan on bugging out to the wilderness with your family and foraging for food? Given the options, I would rather stay at home and have fresh eggs and oatmeal – eggs from my chickens and oatmeal from my food stockpile.

In mid-late 2011 my wife and I talked about getting chickens. I started looking at coop design, types and breeds, drawing designs for my own coop, working up a bill of material, cost,,, just general plans.

February 25 2012, our first chicks.

August 23 2012, got 10 eggs.

First 5 chicks were 3 Black Jersey Giants and 2 brown Speckled Sussex. 1 black Jersey giant and 1 Speckled Sussex died.

Next set of chicks were 2 Barred Rocks (aka Plymouth rock), 2 silver laced wyandottes and 2 australorps.

Next set were 4 Rhode Island Reds.

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Chickens for urban survival

Out of all of the problems facing urban survivalist, fresh food and fresh water are probably at the top of the list. Sure there are lots of other problems, such as looters and other pest. But without fresh food and safe drinking water, life is going to go downhill pretty quick.

Why would chickens be a good choice for urban survival? They are easy to raise, they lay eggs just about all year long, the eggs are a good source of fats and protein, and if you need to, you can eat the chicken. The protein and the fats address at least two nutritional requirements of your long term survival plans.

Here is an interesting youtube video that talks about some of the aspects in raising backyard chickens.

Chickens are flock animals. Meaning they will not do well by themselves. If you are planning on getting some backyard chickens, plan on getting at least 3 or 4 of them. If you get 2 chickens, and 1 dies, then that puts stress on the lone chicken.

[Read the rest of this entry...]

Personal responsibility and family values

Whatever happened to family values? It seems that I can not even watch TV with my kids without some kind of profanity or discussion on sex.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Did society cause TV to go downhill, or did TV cause society to go downhill?

My step-daughter told me about a lady she knows that has gotten herself into a heck of a situation.

Man and woman are married and have a child,
Man and woman split up,
Man gets girlfriend,
Girlfriend gets knocked up,
Man goes back to wife.

Ultra-sound showed the baby has a severe case of spina bifida.

I think the pregnancy is too far along for an abortion.

Girlfriend smokes and eats nothing but fast food, or so the rumors go.

Girlfriend works a minimum wage job.

Maybe I am wrong in feeling this way, but why should the child have to suffer because the parents are irresponsible? Did the moms unhealthy habits contribute to the spina bifida?

The father is married but knocks another woman up. What kind of example is that setting for the children? When the kids get grown, will they think its ok to get married then go around knocking other women up?

The girlfriend works at a minimum wage job, so the government is on the hook for birth and medical treatment.

I feel really bad for the child.

This story is repeated over and over and over all over the world. Mom and dad strung out on drugs, children born with fetal alcohol syndrome or other birth defects. What is society supposed to do? We can not cast those children to the side.

The answer is personal responsibility.

But how do you make people take responsibility for their actions?

The future of generation Y

My first wife and I had 4 children, which were born between 1987 and 1996. I often what kind of nation we are leaving our children.

The U.S. government is broke, and still continues to spend money like kids in a candy store. Jobs are still be deported to china, illegal immigrants can get a free education, and now with the policies obama put into place, the illegals do not have to worry about being deported.

In 20 – 30 years will anyone have national pride? What is a nation without citizens and borders?  What defines a citizen?  Is it someone that walks across the border, then raises their hand for free benefits?  What good does it do to be born here, when people can just walk across the river and get equal treatment?

Then there is the free trade issue. As our factories move overseas, what are your children and grandchildren supposed to do for jobs?  Those factories also mean national security.  It takes longer to build a factory then it does to retool.  Lets say we go to war with china and russia, where are our factories?

1 – go to college, get massive debt and hope you land a good job.

2 – go into retail.

3 – start your own business. If you had a rich uncle leave you a couple hundred thousand, maybe you can buy a franchise.

4 – learn a skill and got to work in a refinery, welding shop, land drilling rig or off shore drilling rig.

I will tell you something about working in welding shops, as I have 15 years experience. In relation to minimum wage, people 20 years older then me made more money in the 1960s and 1970s then I made in the 1980s and 1990s. Like everything else, the pay for skilled workers has stagnated.

I worked in the welding field for 15 years. There is a physical toll it takes on your health, lungs, vision, fingers, even people being killed.

[Read the rest of this entry...]

No more beer, sugary drinks or fatty foods

As part of my lifestyle change I am going to have to change the way I eat and drink.

One of my biggest downfalls in weight gain has been cheese burgers, soft drinks and beer.

In town taking care of business or doing some shopping, its too easy to stop at a fast food place and order a cheese burger, fries and a coke.  I literally lived off cheese burgers through jr. high and high school.

When I was in high school, I would go McDonalds in Bridge City Texas.  My usual order 20 piece nugget meal, and a quarter pounder with cheese.  Or, O would order the quarter pounder meal and add a 20 piece nugget.  But either way it was the same thing.  Quarter pound cheese burger, fries, coke and 20 chicken nuggets.

Here I am at 44 years old and still eating like a teenager.  I am not 16 years old anymore, no can I eat anything I want.

Well, I can eat anything I want if I want to keep gaining weight, develop heart disease and high blood pressure.

For my health, I have to stop eating junk food.

Beer is another carrier of calories.  Each beer has anywhere from 64 – 150 calories.  It seems that the best tasting beer is also loaded with the most calories.  Drink 3 or 4 beer at 150 calories and you are talking 450 – 600 calories.

I could probably eat a cheese burger and get less calories then drinking a few beer.

My goal for the next month, starting 2 days ago, is no more alcohol, no sugar and no fatty foods.

Hunting season is just around the corner, I have to get back in shape so I can walk to the deer stand.  The cool air of winter is a welcome relief from the blistering heat of the southeast Texas summer.  During hunting season I like to walk to the deer stand to enjoy the peace and quit and to enjoy the cool air.

But I will not be able to enjoy anything if I keep packing on the pounds.

Going to have to change my lifestyle

Lets just say that I dislike the word “diet”. Diet seems like a fad, rather then a real fix.

My weight is out of control. Ever since I took an office job I have been packing on the pounds. For the first 14 years after graduating high school I worked in various welding shops across southeast Texas. Being on my feet for 8 – 12 hours a day, and doing hard physical labor meant that I could eat just about anything I wanted.

I no longer work in welding shops. Nor I can I eat anything I want.

I guess I got spoiled to eating whatever I wanted and not gaining any weight.  That is just how it was until I was in my early 30s.

In my late 30s I feel that my health started to go downhill.  Weight started adding up, which was probably promoted through beer consumption.

There are two things I need to do – stop drinking and start eating healthy.

I feel better when I do not drink.  As soon as I drink something I feel my blood pressure going up, and I feel bloated the next day.

Eating healthy, I like healthy foods.  I will eat all kinds of fruit and I will eat spinach with just about anything.  And not canned spinach either, I like the fresh spinach.

Oranges give me mouth sours, even though I love oranges I can not eat them.

For the past few days I have I have swapped a breakfast sandwich for granola and a banana.  Changing my breakfast probably saved me 300 calories per day.  And the granola and  banana contain less fat then the cheese and egg.

Bedtime sank has been a kiwi and cherries.

Hunting season is just 2 and a half months away.  I need to get active so I can walk to the deer stand.

All of these problems are one of the things that people have to deal with as they grow older.  Why do we gain weight in middle age?  Why is our bodies designed to do that?  Why cant our eating match our metabolism?

The third and final thing I need to do is get active.

I used to be an active person.  When I was living in Bridge City I used to bike 6 – 9 miles and then run another 3 – 4 miles.

Lost my job, had problems finding another job, got divorced, went through a terrible divorce that lasted something like 2 and a half years.

I feel that the divorce pulled me into a long lasting depression.

Excess food supply

Over the past 2 days I have given away 2 dozen eggs.  Some people might be saying “so what”?  To give food away means that my wife and I have an excess food supply.

Think about that for a minute.  My wife and I bought our first chicks February 25, 2012.  In all we ended up with 13 chickens.  The chickens started laying when they were around 5 months old.  At close to 6 months old we are getting 6 – 7 eggs a day.

Home grown yard eggsWe are dealing with a couple of topics here, the time required to get your food production up and running, and being able to grow more food then you need.

I see a lot of survivalist saying that if SHTF they are going to get some chickens, goats, maybe a couple of cows,,, the usual stuff.  I see those types of planes as being unrealistic.  You think you are going to be the only person looking for farming supplies and livestock after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI?

Lets say you have a buddy that knows a friend whos second cousin has a few chickens they are willing to trade for 1,000 rounds of 223 Remington.  After some bartering the two of you finally agree on 500 rounds of 223 Remington and 500 rounds of 7.62×39 for 2 laying hens.

You get your hens home, now what?  Where are you going to keep them at?  Do you have an enclosed yard to keep your chickens in, do you have a coop?  Or do you plan on keeping the hens in your garage? Hopefully you will be lucky enough to find some hens that are already laying.  If not, you are going to have to wait several months for the chicks to grow and start laying.

Its not just livestock, what does your seed stockpile look like?  Do you have tools to work the field?  Do you have access to a tractor, tiller, hoes, rakes and manpower needed to get a field ready to plant?

After you get your squash, cucumbers, zucchini, turnips, snap beans,,,,etc planted, you are looking at 60 – 90 days before you are going to harvest anything.

[Read the rest of this entry...]

The growing Iran problem

Sooner or later something will have to give with Iran.  If something does happen, it better happen sooner then later.

What happens when a rogue nation positions itself where an attack would be counter-productive.

Sanctions are not going to work. But things are going to reach a head where “something” has to be done. Israel does not have the ability to sustain an extended war with iran.

Now that the Muslim brotherhood has taken power in Egypt, any attack on Iran by Israel might cause Egypt to attack Israel.

If we can not secure our borders to stop illegal immigrants from walking into the nation, how are we supposed to stop a nuclear device?

The US government has been very irresponsible with securing our borders.  Millions of illegal immigrants have walked across the border.  What is to stop a terrorist organization from driving a nuke from mexico and into one of the border states.

Then there is internal security. How many of our dams are secure? How about our bridges? How about our power plants and refineries?

One might argue that it would be stupid for Iran to use a nuclear weapon. But since when do people with radical religious views use logic?

I understand your point. But we are talking about a nation that hangs homosexuals.

There are radicals out there that believe the world is to be ruled by sharia law. We can not reason with people like that.

Worse case situation, Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons, Israel attacks Iran, Iran nukes Israel.

Jews and Muslims have been fighting each other for thousands of years. The introduction of nuclear weapons escalates that conflict to a whole new level.

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