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...