Very friendly to deal with. If you need a knife, check out what he has first.
Very friendly to deal with. If you need a knife, check out what he has first.
Folks, the name of the blog originated from a "family memo" I started earlier this year. I liked both the name and the diary-style, so I kept both. I thought you might enjoy reading the original "essay" that started the whole ball of wax...
RIDING THE STORM OUT
Fuel prices are going up - radically. I watched gasoline prices jump from $3.29 to $3.39 effectively overnight. Diesel is hovering at $3.99 a gallon. Our government is pushing us to ethanol-based fuel blends, so fewere farmers are planting food crops. Food is becoming more expensive, due to rising input costs (fertilizer, fuel for tractors & transport, etc), and reduced supply.
Internationally, our dollar's value is dropping against foreign currencies, making it more expensive to buy things from overseas. The good part - foreigners are starting to see the USA as a good place to spend their money. The bad thing - we don't make anything for them to buy!
Energy prices continue to go up as the costs of making the energy go up. Ammo prices are rising as our Mid-East "adventure" drags on.
As we move to Wxxxxx to consolidate our surroundings, we have to face the issues of everything going up when it is even available. By relocating, we are closer to relatives who have skills - primarily medical and mechanical - and resources (land, buildings, tools, vehicles) which can be marshalled to maintain the community.
The title is a misnomer - the storm is changing the landscape. It won't blow over and let things go back to "the way they were." Fuel is over $3.60 for gas and is pushing $4.50 for diesel. We need to be gathering waste oils...
5-22 - $3.69-$3.74/gal
6-16 - $3.86/gal, down from $3.93
dog-pen to move dogs off our place
put rabbits in old dog yard
put large brooder in with rabbits
buy plenty of chicks
build solid coop
?build goat shed?
use 4 panels to build coop and other 8 for goat pen/barn
play shepherd daily until browse-pasture is done
As food prices rise, it seems to follow that people will grow desperate to feed their families. They may become desperate enough to steal food from otheres. To prevent this, the community needs to secure its foodstuffs from 2-legged thieves as well as from encroaching varmits of the more natural variety.
natural deterrents (predator odors, etc)
This further implies adequate stocks of weapons and ammo.
ammo for everything
good sights for everything
In addition to perimeter alarms, aggressive patrolling may become necessary. All patrolling members need weapon, ammo, combat kit, radio, and ammo. Standardized weapons would be good.
As fuel costs go up, this also pushes up the cost of electricity. In addition, the rising cost of copper may encourage thieves to vandalize infrastructure. Power avaiibility could go "third world," leaving us with unreliable, spotty access to transmission-line power. On-site generation is the obvious answer.
wind - marginal for our area
solar - only generates on sunny days
micro-gennie - needs fuel
micro-hydro - no source of naturally running water onsite
Given this, we need to reduce as much as possible the amount of power we use. Appliances designed to run on 12vdc are the first choice, followed by highly energy-efficient AC models. Other approaches:
We continue to prepare, improve, convert, and watch. The price of gasoline has meandered about unitl - as of yesterday - it settled to $3.69/gal in most places. Articles are beginning to crop up which mention "demand destruction" in the USA for petroleum products. R. pointed out a major reduction in styrofoam egg cartons - most are now cardboard/pulp.
Georgia finally made a move on its breakaway regions - South Ossetia and another. Russia quickly responded - as expected - by invading S-O with "peacekeepers." Fighting was reported to be heavy. British Petroleum has two major pipelines running through Georgia - one was already shut down due to "terrorist attack" upstream (in Turkey) and the other was shut down as a result of the invasion. These pipelines are reported to be major sources of oil to Europe. Appears Russia may be capable of controlling oil flow to Europe.
This, of course, has reawakened fears of nuclear exchange. Other than several bottles of KI, we are pretty weak on the NBC side of the house, not counting -company- assets stored at dad's. With that in mind, I located and purchased a set of 4 dosimeters and charger. I have a bid in on a second charger, as well, in case someone (like me) is caught away from home. Will be looking into other survey meters as a complement, also.
Our commo gear slowly continues to be improved. I bought a pair of GE handheld CB's a while back. Testing on the pipeline gave me slim hopes for them as bought - they were good for maybe 1000m LOS. The bloody GMRS units do better than that! I bought a pair of adapters to allow them to use coax-mounted antennas. Hopefully, I'll grab a pair of antennas this weekend so we can test them. I also found plans on making an antenna from standard coax. This would, I think, be far better for portable use than the 3' whips! If that works out well, the whips would go - as designed - onto vehicles.
I also located plans for making GMRS antennas. This is not legal on FRS units, though. Not a problem, as the higher channels work better than FRS. Remains to be seen if I can decipher and apply the directions. I plan to add the Motorola GMRS base unit to our kit, to replace the 12v FRS unit currently in use. Figure in an external antenna for that, as well as the CB base. Need to get the TV tower from Cxxxxx for all this! Comm-shack might get mounted to the "piano wall" in kitchen to be close to the antenna tower. Wow - once I get antennas this weekend, I *could* put one on the the TV pole and set up the Royce! Wonder how well that would work...
(update: xXx says it will work, but be less than optimal.)
Due to indecision and waffling on dad's part, we still have no area for goats on his place yet. R. is now working to refurbish the old chicken yard at Paw's house. She says the wire appears to be in overall good shape, with cedar posts still standing securely. Primary needs are to clean all of fence row, refasten wire to posts, and add T-posts inbetween. I don't know if she's evaluated the back fence yet. There is a lot of debris in that place! Chunks of vehicles, glass jars, various metal scrap...we need a roll-off box, I think!
Nobody has done crap about -aunt's dog- yet. This has been "gonna happen" for 8 months now. Means rabbits have no place to go yet.
Picked up 6 young chickens from Cxxxxx in exchange for R. tending their chickens. Once we figure out where she wants to put them, we'll build a coop and more chickens down.
Be interesting to see which banks fail today after close of business...
Yes, I'm talking those ultra-thin mylar sheets that are packed down into a cigarette-sized bundle in their package but that mere mortals can't fold smaller than a paperback book!
I have one in my kit, partially based on so many kit-lists having them. I've never tried to sleep under one.I have, however, used it as a signal panel. We were on a large pipeline right-of-way (at least four large-diameter lines) testing out radios over roughly a two-mile distance. Team One was dropped off on top of a hill and Team Two proceeded to the next road crossing. From two miles away, Team Two could see us when we moved around and let ourselves be outlined against the sky. Once we relocated forward, that problem vanished.
Since I had my patrol-pack with us, I decided to try out the blanket! We unfurled the flimsy mylar and held it up by its corners. With a light breeze at our backs, it billowed out like a sail. The radio immediately popped to life. "I don't know what you just did, but I can sure see it!"
Oh wait...the article failed to mention how they shot at our guys as part of how their "quick reaction force and road convoy ... help[ed] American officials at the site."
How do I know this happened? Well, I have a son-in-law WHO WAS THERE! He just called to let his wife (my DD, who spent the night with us) know he was ok, in the event she'd heard it on the news and was worried about him.
Geez, two of my folks under fire in two weeks - first walked into a "gang-banger" event in South Louisiana after curfew (he is Air Guard, was there in uniform as humanitarian support) and one ganger pulled a gun. Now, my SIL responds on a rescue mission and is taken under fire by friendlies!! My bunch is rapidly gaining experience in being shot at and returning fire.
Ike brought us a lot more wind and some more rain. We ended up losing power for some 18 hrs Saturday/Sunday. Sleeping with no air circulation is an unwelcome proposition, especially when you can hear all that wind hitting the house from the east...and you have one single east-facing window! That will change, as will the lack of 12v fans.
I thought our place was pretty remote and generally untravelled. I thought unusual traffic would be easily noticed.
Looks like I was wrong.
My dad has a rather large hobby - he collects antique trucks. The big-rig kind. They are all gas-burners, by and large, and most are not exactly in running condition. He has a few diesel-users, though - particularly the wrecker/boom-truck and the main show-hauler. He doesn't keep much fuel in them, preferring to fuel up just before starting out on an "expedition," but there's usually a bit of fuel left to make it to the station.
Well, turns out in the last couple of weeks, someone showed up and helped themselves to some diesel - about 40 gal's or so, basically what was left in the tank. So, dad discovered this sad fact this past Sunday when he started trying to move his trucks around.
He had originally not been too keen on my idea of having some Great Pyrs or other LGD-types "on the hill" with our livestock, as there are already too many dogs loose (3 - with 3 more just being brought home *sigh*). Perhaps it might be time to revisit that idea with him.
I also think perhaps more limited access to his place and better security monitoring might be in order. Of course, training people to actually look to see what the dog is barking at might be too tall an order...
Water came back on around midnight. My son and I were up looking at Star Wars goodies on ebay and heard the antique ice-maker in the freezer dump a load of ice. We just stared at each other for long seconds before huge grins erupted. It was all we could do to not cheer!
Overall, we've had very little storm damage in our immediate area. Mostly we have dead limbs down and little limb-tips scattered all over our yard. Once you start working outward, oak trees have been uprooted and pine and sweet-gum trees have been snapped off. I haven't heard about anyone suffering any structural damage in the family, for which we know we are very blessed.
Rebecca and I have been discussing things and we are working on a list of "lessons learned" that I plan to share, so stay tuned.
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