The BBC Talks About Preppers

Apparently it’s unheard of in the UK to fathom the breakdown of social services. Yes folks, we’re not even 100 years away from world war 1 or 2 and the UK has forgotten the boyscout motto: “Be Prepared”.

The BBC’s article seems good and decent until you start reading it. Some of the things which really piss me off is they call the two month food loop an “investment”. It’s not. A proper food loop (something I can safely say I don’t have) has a rotating stock of cans so you’re eating what you bought two months ago. The food shouldn’t ever be more than two months old on the canning loop. As the food ages, you rotate it forward and eventually at the two month mark, you eat it. Two months in a can is about long enough for you to make sure the canning was done properly anyway. Me and my wife actually plan on canning from our garden come this fall, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the supermarket.

Another point – “The pros and cons of owning a gun”. Frankly I can’t think of any, and knowing people who went to New Orleans and enjoyed the finest firefight the city had to offer – I think we can safely put the “owning a gun” thing to rest. It’s never an issue of owning a gun, or a car, or anything else. It’s always an issue of how safe it is as it ages and how much fuel you have for it. Running out of ammo is going to be the prime concern here.

Finally, woodstoves in Europe are almost a given. They seem to think it’s unheard of here in America. While not as mainstream, it’s not like they don’t exist. In fact just about everyone on my street has a wood stove, coal stove, fireplace or insert. We have oil service and that means being prepared to not being able to run the burner. But, we also live in the woods. Wood grows on trees here and a woodstove makes perfect sense. I’m not sure why the BBC knocks it.

New Years Revolutions

The past twelve months have been amazing, or crap. If you’re not into E/N posts, you can stop reading.

Obama – My buddy at work has a poster of Bush Jr and the caption is “Miss me yet?” With a one year plan spending more than Bush’s eight years in office which covered two wars, a natural disaster and the launch of a massive overwatch program, the short answer is that we’re fucked. According to Zillow I’ve already made $100k just living here, I think that shows the plan to raise inflation to the (over)price of goods is working. Just remember that bread also enjoys a 60% markup now, it’s tough to get a 99 cent loaf that doesn’t taste like cardboard anywhere now.

Buying a house – Minus the whole fun of negotiating, less on price and more on terms, it was wild. Also a ton of work on cleanup. My folks were superb on this, even if it is only hauling in wood for the fireplace. Call it nesting or whatever but I could never have kids in a rental. While it’s way more space than we need, I figured it was the time to jump if there ever was and gambled big. Check back in 20 years and I’ll tell you about the payoff. So far we’ve fixed the mains where they came in, painted almost every wall, redid the air conditioning and fixed the flue and chimney cap. Todo is insulate the place better and I’m currently gay for ceiling fans. Maybe a woodstove come this summer when/if my wife starts working again. Wiring AC outlets is really fun – I hate breaker boxes with a passion now.

Guns – Having made a bit of scratch moving around assault weapons legally, I was considering making it a moonlight job. However, I hate the gunbroker system of selling and it’s a pain waiting for all the mail to move around. Plus I was a little more comfortable with this when I didn’t have a permanent address and I’m kicking myself for not holding on to one of them. That and baking an AR15 receivers bluing on is something you only do when you’re renting the oven.

Babies – Children of course bring out a fantastic duality in you. While accomplishing my goal with price it’s both joyous and frustrating at the same time. At least with the cats it’s legal to lock them in the bathroom when you’re pissed at them, but the cats are also purposeful creatures at this point. A baby has no purpose other than growing. In that way it does so at it’s own pace and it cannot be negotiated with. All the while, it’s both good fun to see him come along and terribly frustrating not to have the free time I used too. My wife doesn’t believe babies can achieve a state of being inconsolable at this is quite a disagreement, but my folks believe in it. I turned out OK anyway. It’s sort of strange to be taking advice and realizing it’s you who gave them the wisdom, only to turn around and see it from the other side.

Update: I took out the NOLA piece, too controversial.

New Orleans: Pirate Capitol

I was told a story from someone who was there that after Hurricane Katrina, your three best friends were a bottle of bleach, a hammer and your rifle. The bleach cleaned up the water, the hammer would rebuild the buildings, and the rifle was because stray animals and looters were a dime a dozen. Of course the suburban areas and the touristy places were kept secure as usual, but these weren’t the places which generally had problems. My buddy happened to get there just after the national guard left. In typical Iraq and Somalia fashion, the army leaves and all hell breaks loose because the police are either absent or unprepared for taking it over. He happened to be just outside of the French Quarter (in a “recovery area” that didn’t see tourists). When he came back, he had build five homes, a school and a church, which was all they could do without calling in the hazmat guys to clean up the next area.

During the build, he described days as friendly but lonely. However, nights he said were the wild west. People who had either avoided the round up or weren’t interested in being productive members of society would come by and steal supplies. He says they shot at 10 people, they’re not sure how many they connected with.

So what, exactly, brought the rant on?

Louisiana is billing itself as under a “cyber katrina” and wants a $0.15 surcharge for internet access to create “safe harbors”. Why is this stupid? The internet is like New Orleans during the recovery. You are responsible for keeping yourself and your family safe. And like post Katrina Louisiana, there’s no cops. And like post Katrina Louisiana politics, there’s really nothing the state government can do. Once again, you’re paying taxes for a false sense of security.

Do yourself a favor. For ever hour you’re on the internet, put $0.15 in a jar. When you have $600 saved up, buy an AR15.