Showing posts from August, 2008

More on Loose Change

Several months ago I did an article about saving your change. You remember the one. Don't spend your pennies or nickels. Keep a lookout for silver dimes and quarters. Yeah, that one. One thing that I neglected to mention was how to easily identify silver coins. Once you've got all of your coins separated there's a quick and easy way to find the silver coins without checking each individual date. Newer coins have brown edges because the middle is made up of copper. Silver coins are all silver on the edges. Just take a bunch of them and look at the edges like so.

The silver ones will stand out like a sore thumb. Sorry for the crappy pic but it's pretty obvious which coins are silver and it's very easy to see how dramatic the brown is on the newer coins. Every once in a while you'll get a dirty silver coin that looks like it's brown or a brand new one that looks silver. Just check the dates on the coins that seem suspect.

Ever since silver went thr…

SHTF Recreation

Recreation is an important part of your preps that everyone should think about. It's easy to get caught up in the serious stuff like food storage and arsenal maintenance. At some point you're going to get a chance for a break and you'll want to take that opportunity to relieve some stress. These days a break from reality is right at our fingertips. We can turn on a TV and get away from everything for a few hours. We can turn on our playstations, Xboxes, Nintendos or whatever and fire up a game that can easily occupy us for hours. The internet is an infinite source of entertainment and information. One of the most obvious indicators that you are in a real SHTF scenario will be when the lights go out and you don't have constant, easy access to all of those anymore. So what do you do when the easy entertainment sources aren't always available? There are plenty of options out there.

Books are a great start. If the lights go out and nothing else is going on the…

Another SHTF movie rundown

Sunshine: This isn't so much a SHTF movie but a "how Earth reacts to a global SHTF scenario". It's years in the future and the sun is dying. Somehow the human race lasted up to that point and they have a plan to kickstart it. A few years earlier they had sent a mega nuke to try to make it happen but the mission failed. The second mission was their last chance since they used the last of their resources this time around. The entire movie takes place on a space ship headed for the sun and they have to deal with several problems along the way. I thought it was good and you might like it.

Diary of the Dead: It wasn't as good as some of his other movies but it was still good nonetheless. I'd recommend this to anyone who's into the zombie genre. Once you realize the point that George A Romero is trying to get across then it becomes much easier to appreciate his movies. He's a guy that understands the human nature aspect and does his best to make t…

So I started smoking again

I quit about 5 years ago. I was doing pretty good. There was always that nagging itch in the back of my mind, though. I never really stopped wanting one. A few weeks ago I just said fuck it and bummed one off of a buddy. A few days later I bummed a couple more at a party. The next day I bought a pack. I've been rehooked again ever since. So what does this have to do with survival?

Smokers want cigarettes. If you're a smoker then you'll want to be able to smoke if the supply lines get cut. If you're not a smoker then you might have to deal with those edgy assholes that haven't had a smoke in a few days. Let's face it. Tobacco will be one hell of a trade item during a crisis. If you're the guy with the fix then people will rely on you for something. One cool thing about tobacco is that it's one of those things that people won't necessarily kill for. If you trade off a few boxes of ammo to some guy then there's the possibility that he…

Hot Tip: Silver and gold prices are WAY down

Spot silver is down to $12.70 an ounce this weekend and gold is sitting at $786. If you've got a reputable dealer nearby and you've got some extra cash sitting in the SHTF fund then now is as good a time as any to go snatch some up. It aint gonna get much cheaper. While the government keeps reassuring us and telling us how things keep looking up we continue to see home values slide even more, the unemployment rate rise every month and foreclosures and huge bank losses continue. Once something else happens that sends the price of oil skyrocketing again we'll see the price of precious metals skyrocket right along with it. Get it while it's cheap.

My first attempt at gardening

Now that I've tried my hand at gardening it's time to make some observations. I did a mix of square foot gardening and conventional gardening. I built four 4x4 planters for my square foot garden and I tilled up another section of my yard to grow some tomatoes. I also grew a few things in pots to see how they would turn out. I grew some of my plants from seed and I bought a few plants that were already started. Some of them did very well and some of them didn't. Maybe some of you with lots of experience can weigh in and correct some of my mistakes.

I planted a wide variety of plants in my square foot garden. In my planters I made sure to fill them all up with "Mel's Mix" as defined in his book. The first thing that I noticed is the only benefit that I got from dividing the boxes into square foot sections was that my dog stayed out of the three boxes that I divided up and he dug up 3/4 of the one that I didn't bother with. I don't need little wh…

Thoughts on a "BOL"

Lately I've been thinking more and more seriously about finding a little piece of heaven to call my own and building a little getaway. If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time then you'll know that I'm not in the "get ready to bug out while you can" camp. I can, however, imagine some scenarios where getting out of dodge wouldn't be such a bad idea. I keep a bug out bag packed and ready to go, a lot of my preps are stored in such a way that I can grab them and go and I know several different routes out of town that are both on and off the beaten path. The main problem right now is that I have nowhere to go. I'd end up in a national park somewhere fighting the masses to find a place to pitch a tent until things blew over or I could figure out how to make things work on a more long term basis. Needless to say I consider bugging out to be a last resort plan that I must implement in a life or death situation. If I do have to bug out the…

Blog Spotlight: The Archdruid Report

Thanks to Bison for mentioning The Archdruid Report a few months ago. I've been reading it ever since. The link is in my "links to live by" section on the left hand side of my blog. To put it lightly the guy knows his stuff. He lays out exactly what's going on now, what he sees happening in the future (which I, for the most part, agree with) and he backs it all up with historical evidence. While I don't agree with everything that he writes, he's so close that I can read what he's written and say that there's no one else that comes closer to explaining my vision of the future. He's just a lot more articulate than I am and he spends a lot more time on his posts so I'll leave it up to him. His posts are a bit long but he only posts once a week and he keeps you interested. If you're just as interested in the how and why as you are the when and where then this is the blog that you should keep tabs on. He's not exactly a doom and gl…

Roasting Green Coffee Beans

This is something that I've wanted to do for a while now. I'm a big coffee drinker. I can appreciate the good stuff but I'm not so hot on the cost of it. You won't see my car parked in front of Starbucks. The idea of roasting my own beans came up not so much because I want to be able to drink fresh, delicious coffee whenever I feel like it (although that's a great benefit) but because green coffee beans store better and last longer. If stored properly the shelf life is practically unlimited. Once you roast the beans the flavors will start to deteriorate even after a few weeks. Ground, store bought coffee will get stale just as quickly once you break that seal. The price of green coffee beans is ultimately what was discouraging me. A local store has their own industrial sized roaster so after making friends with the guy that does the roasting I'm getting green coffee beans for just over his cost.

My first attempt went very well. I roasted about half…