Sunday, December 21, 2008

Big City = deathtrap

So, I got my BOV (cherokee, former conservation officer vehicle with none of the trimmings, but all of the nice upgraded hardware) and was driving it back home from KC. Now I typically avoid big city's like the plague because to me, that is exactly what they are. I know that in my line of work, I could make at least double what I make now if I were to live in a large city, but it is a trade-off that I am willing to make. Well, last Friday, it because very apparent that so far, I have made the correct decision. I was caught driving in KC (actually, I was just in the outskirts still) around 5:00 pm and it was a complete madhouse. Now probably it was just normal traffic, but regardless, it was barely manageable chaos with traffic coming in from all directions, people moving and merging and swerving and weaving around. In some areas, it took several minutes to just get a mile. As I was driving my newly acquired Bug Out Vehicle, I began wondering what it would actually be like if I was currently using it for its intended purpose. I could just picture the scene if FEMA came on and said that there was a bio agent just released in several US cities and KC was on the list. Well, I can tell you one thing, KC would be one of the last places that I would like to try to bug out from. I can also tell you something else; unless you got the news well in advance of everyone else, you would certainly either be bugging in, just another stranded motorist or worse, a statistic.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Top new headlines from around the world:

Ford, GM and Chrysler announced record profits after a combined initiative perfecting the fuel cell vehicle allowing up to 100 MPG in most mid-sized vehicles. Manufacturing costs with the new technology are so low as to allow base model vehicles to begin selling at under $6,000 while still maintaining a margin that the auto manufacturers refer to as "solid".

The US Senate and House of Representatives passed unanimously a resolution to repeal the income tax after the second straight year of a surplus after completely repaying the national debt and returning to the gold standard along with the rest of the world. All taxes will be collected via current sales tax. President-Elect Shia LaBeouf (Libertarian) said that he is proud to be coming in to office after his predecessor had done such a wonderful job and vows to change very little in policy. His administrations only real initiative stated so far was the complete dismantling of the IRS.

The United African Nations report that the last remaining AIDS victim has been successfully cured after a 6 month blitz across the continent with the UB2 serum. Vice-Chancellor Mugabian said that his nation is now turning a corner and simply needs time to address burgeoning economy and focus on how it can best fit into and help support, the rest of the world.

Iran and Israel announced a joint space exploration venture aimed at the complete mapping and future settlement of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. They are planning on launching the venture from their current joint settlement on Mars and utilizing some of the same technologies currently in use there. Leaders in both countries continue to be extremely enthusiastic over their progress and state that after colonizing Titan, they will be turning their attention to our own oceans and plan to establish a colony in the Mariana Trench.

China, breadbasket to the world, announces a record bumper crop due to virtually ideal conditions over the past year allowing for an increase in food storage to over 5 years worth of yearly exports. Minister of Agriculture Hoy stated that food prices would remain at an all time low and that China was committed to ensuring a uninterrupted flow of raw food products to around the world as well as our moon colonies.

Ok, so its not real news, but it sure as heck beats whats out there right now.

Monday, December 8, 2008

New Year yet again

Ok, it is now December, 2009 is right around the corner and I am sure that we all are already thinking about our new years resolutions and about the past ones that have failed to materialize and how we would have been so much better off if we would have stuck to the old ones etc.

Well, I had an old college professor that told me that any goal or plan or resolution that means anything should be SMART.

S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Realistic
T - Time frame

Ok, that last one doesn't really fit very well, but you get the idea. I know for myself that I start making plans about different aspects of my life and they end up being some junk that nobody would ever know if I hit it or not. I don't know if this is somehow unconsciously on purpose so I can somehow lie to myself and tell myself that I achieved even when I didn't or what. Regardless, the good thing is that here is another one beating on the door of my life and I have to deal with it. I could just ignore it and act like it is just another day, but I think that would somehow just not be proper. I could make up a bunch more crap goals about being thinner, younger, better looking, richer etc, but lets face it, some of those are just outta my control. So I have set down and pinned a few resolutions that I will be holding myself to this year, but I will also be sharing most if not all of these with this blog as I perform each and every one. I am keeping SMART very much alive here.

Resolution #1 - quadruple the size of my garden. Last year I had a 12' by 30' garden that yielded a bountiful harvest. This next year I resolve myself to plowing up 3 more equal size plots so I can not only grow diverse things, but increase the amount of land devoted to each crop.
Timeframe - June 1 2009.

Resolution #2 - Irrigation. Let's face it, without water, gardens are just another weed patch. I resolve this year during Spring to have 100 gallons of irrigation water storage for each plot of my garden. This will take the form of a water catchment off of my 24'x32' workshop and transporting the water from there to the 2-50 gallons plastic barrels located near each garden plot for this purpose.
Timeframe - May 31 2009

Resolution #3 - Wind Power. I resolve to purchase the necessary hardware to build and erect a 12 foot diameter wind generator located at least 30 feet high feeding no fewer that 8 deep cycle batteries.
Timeframe - October 31 2009

There are not very many resolutions here, but with my resolution being to complete each of these on or before the given deadline, the next time I have to come up with new years resolutions, I will be much better off than I am at this time, and I reckon that is the name of the game!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Transportation. Everyone needs it to some degree, but what do you do when something unexpected happens such as an ice storm, tornado damaged areas, deep snow, civil unrest etc? I have been thinking about that quite a bit lately and am getting ready to make a plunge into a new, expensive 4x4 vehicle. Now don't get me wrong, when I say new, I mean 12 years old, and when I say expensive, I mean more than the cash that I have in my pockets. I like to think in these terms as it usually (but not always) keeps me from getting into trouble. The vehicle in question is a 96 cherokee, plain as can be with no power anything except brakes and steering, still has the original factory steel crap wheels on it, but it is a fleet vehicle from a conservation department and you can tell that it was obviously very well maintained with an average of only 9500 miles per year. One of the best things about the vehicle is that it comes with the heavy duty stuff on it and the much lower gearing so that will save money in the long run since those things will not need to be addressed when preparing the vehicle for eventuality use.

My only quandry is the payment. I do not have enough cash to buy it outright, I called several banks and the are quoting me interest rates starting at 14% because of the age of the vehicle, so that leaves only my credit card...hmmm.

The card that I use for emergencies (I am trying to decide if this could classify) has a low fixed interest rate of 6.5% and a credit line so large it scares me sometimes, so I am seriously contemplating just using this and making the payments to these folks instead of my local bank. May not be a big deal to most people, but I have not had a car payment in about 8 years, so the thought of getting back into one makes me a bit queasy.

I am leaning toward doing it since I would hate that this is one area where my preparations are lacking and winter is approaching, and if something happens during this time, my transportation ability could be seriously affected and could hurt me more than a couple of thousand on my card.

Anyway, just figured that I would post this in case anyone else that might read this (if anyone is reading this) might be in the same predicament might gain some insight and additional thoughts along the way of their decision tree.