Thursday, January 28, 2010

Went to the Local Asian Market

It's been a while since I've been to an ethnic market. Indian markets charge ridiculous prices for their "special aged rice". Besides the big, overpriced bags of rice there's just nothing interesting that they have to offer unless you're after some authentic Indian cuisine. It's impossible to identify anything in a latino market unless you speak Spanish. The prices are good as long as you know what you're buying, though. I don't. Asian markets, on the other hand, are worth checking out.

If it comes in a bag then you can find it in a big bag. If it comes in a bottle then you can find it in a big bottle. If it comes in a can...well...you get the picture. You won't find a better selection of cheap rice anywhere. Herbs are sold in bulk for next to nothing. Most of what they sell is dried or otherwise preserved. You can count on everything being cheap and the employees tend to be very helpful. If you have an asian market nearby then I'd encourage you to go check it out. From a prepper's point of view they're a gold mine.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Finally caught Apocalypse Man

I haven't been watching much TV at all lately. In fact, I didn't even know about Armageddon Week on the History Channel. It really made me think about how long it's been since I turned on a TV for something besides PS3 or a movie considering that the History Channel is one of two or three stations that I actually watch. I haven't really been keeping up with the other blogs, either, so I missed it if everyone else has been talking about it. Anyway, last night I found myself bored with nothing to do so I decided to see what was on. Apocalypse Man immediately grabbed my attention.

Right away I started picking out everything that most traditional survivalists would complain about as "bad advice" or "dumb ideas". After all, he began the show by telling people to find the nearest city in the event of a major disaster. Depending on the scenario that could be good advice, though. I've lived in the country. I've lived in small towns. I've lived in the city. If there's a bad disaster where a lot of people are dead, law and order has broken down, no help is getting to you anytime soon and you're fending for yourself then I still stand by my opinion. The city is a better place to be unless you have a well stocked retreat and you know your neighbors well. Let's face it. If you don't have a retreat then you're going to be living out of a tent or some other improvised shelter in the woods if you decide to bug out. Even if you do have one but you don't live there full time you'll have to get you, your family and all of your supplies there in the middle of the imminent mass evacuation. Then when you get there you'll have to deal with the locals. I hope that they know and trust you (and you them). It's easier to hide in the city. It's easier to find supplies. You'll have a lot more resources available. It just makes more sense for the average person. Stay home. Convince a few neighbors to stick around. Then just lay low for a few months while everyone else leaves or kills each other.

I liked the library idea a lot. Not many people would think of it. A survival library at home is great but you're bound to find yourself wishing that you had some books on certain subjects after everything breaks down. I'm not so sure about the hospitals, though. They'll be the first places that are stripped of all resources. They'll also be one of those places that people just keep thinking to go check out. I could see groups of people still showing up months after a devastating disaster long after there's nothing left that's worth looting. The restaurant idea was a good one. Crawling around in elevator shafts and climbing down the cables seems like a pretty dumb idea to me but someone who's in really good shape could probably pull it off. Swinging around on a climbing rope attached to an improvised crowbar/grappling hook is a pretty silly idea, too. If you find yourself in a desperate situation where you absolutely have to try a stunt like that please make sure that you're using actual climbing rope (not the crap that hardware stores sell) and make sure that you know your knots. That little segment reminded me that I need to brush up on my knot tying skills. It's been awhile since I've had to mess with them for anything major. The radio tips was just another reminder that I still haven't gotten off my ass and learned how to run one properly. I really need to get around to getting my ham license and some basic equipment. Finding a diesel automobile is another good tip. If you try his field expedient fuel method it probably wouldn't last longer than a tank or two unless the vehicle was setup to run on biodiesel. It's better than not having a vehicle, though.

It was a cool show. You definitely don't see much like it in that context very often. Shows like that seem to be getting more and more popular, though. Some of the advice wasn't that great. Some of it was good. Most of the stuff that I wouldn't recommend anyone try was crazy enough that they wouldn't try it, anyway, unless they knew how to do it. Obviously, there are much better options for surviving armageddon. Unfortunately, those options either require you to be extremely rich or live your life as if the end of the world is definitely going to happen. I'm not that pessimistic. Most people aren't. If it happens then I'll regret not being better prepared. I'll be better off than most, though. If nothing else this kind of show can get people thinking about preparedness, how to improve their chances and how to avoid being stuck in that type of situation. It might even give some people who think they know everything an idea or two. Check it out if you haven't already seen it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I've been a little busy

There's a ton of stuff going on in the news. The Copenhagen summit was a flop. The world is freezing. A Republican might actually win the Senate race in MA (I'm crossing my fingers but I'm not holding my breath). Haiti was decimated by an earthquake. Obamacare is in danger. Every time I turn around there's something that's got my attention. I just haven't had time to comment on anything here.

As for me, I didn't keep last year's new year's resolution. I dunno if it'll happen this year, either. I just can't bring myself to commit to the "junk land and travel trailer" plan. I'm leaning more towards the "buy a plot of land that I'll actually use and build a small but nice weekend cabin on it" plan. Unfortunately, a decent plot of land costs serious money and I refuse to go into debt to fund a retreat. The wife isn't too keen on the idea of dropping everything and moving to the boonies, either. My first kid is due in a month or so which has also set things back. I'm still prepping, though. I'm just doing it as quietly and inconspicuously as I can. I'll just keep playing the grey man.

As for this year's resolution, I haven't really thought about it. I haven't had a cigarette or the desire for one in months. Every time I catch myself gaining weight I always manage to drop it again. I already have plans to pay down debt which is working out pretty well. I've decided to skip the resolution this year. They're pointless. I'm already doing most of the things that I need to be doing and any resolution that I make will just get in the way of accomplishing other goals.

If you haven't had a chance to visit Our Happy Homestead I urge you to check them out. They always seem to be adding more products. I noticed that they recently added the Back to Basics Grain Mill to their lineup. From what I've read this is the best mill for the money if you're looking to spend less than $100. I've been meaning to get one but the local sources that I know of have been sold out every time I try to pick one up. I have had the chance to demo one, though, and I can honestly say that there's a big difference between these and the cheap cast iron mills.