Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

GOT EXTENSION CORDS?

I know that more recently, I have been keeping a lid (or at least trying to) on my political/world views. I have to break the silence. This is going to be a rant, suggestive and blatant, and while I will keep the adult words to a minimum, I know there will be some that get through. Definitely not the colorful euphemisms that I have coursing through my skull when I read the headlines of the day. (I save those for when in conversation with people of similar ‘training’.)
I didn’t post on the Fourth, after reading Wirecutters post, I saw no need to distract from his words. Hell, he fired it up far better than I would have. I do have to say that his post got my brain tickin’ and tockin’. My observations have been going into overdrive and I made some calls around the country to some people I have haven’t seen or heard from since I left the music/theater industry. I needed eyes on site to refute or reinforce my thoughts.
It ain’t good people.

Now before I go on with this little rant/what-have-you, I want to fill in some info on what I have been doing. I have been busy on the sawmill set up, I did find blades within budget, at least enough to get me started and if this thing works the way I hope plan, I will invest heavier on blades. (two is one, one is none) I ended up making the rail frame out of 3X3 posts from some heavy skids that we have at work. Good stuff too. White oak and Cherry wood with a scattering of Ash in there. I was only able to get the first 14 feet of the rail built, but that will allow me to cut up the locust I have on site to finish the build and work out any bugs in the system before I go really digging into cutting trees to make timbers for the house. If the blades I purchased can handle the locust, this thing is ON(sorry, no pics, the phone and Linuxbox are having a spat and won’t talk to each other right now. Working on that as well. Thanks Apple for such open source honesty and integrity in your products 😛 ) AH!, but that leads to cost so far. So far, I am about 30% completed on the build. I still have to purchase some square tubing and that will likely be my biggest purchase. So far though, I am still under $100. Wheels for the rig were free from an uncles scrap pile. Bearings were under $10 for the drive/driven wheels (not sure what term to use for the wheels that hold the blade) The 11HP Yamaha side-shaft engine I have had on hand (original cost? Free once carb was rebuilt.) The blades were the highest at $54 (including shipping) one other item was the 3/4”X10TPIX36” threaded rods that I will use for the height adjustment and those were purchased several years back when I was stocking up on stock. I seem to recall that the cost then was half of what I have seen lately (about $5 each vs: $10 each now.)
Of course the skids were free as well. These are not little skids either, but 7’X8′ with 4 3”x3” beams running the width of it. The rest is 1”x8” poplar boards that tend to crack up badly on removal. Even so, I was able to save a few of them for other projects if needed. (I did mention I hate spending money if I can find a way to avoid it right? Not a cheap ass; Frugal. )(Ok, maybe I am a cheap ass. LOL)

Ok, On with the rant/suggestions.
For educational/enlightenment purposes, I want to link a few other posts. Wirecutters was one. Please read it if you have not yet. I can wait. (the rest will need read as well. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read them, it will help a lot in understanding why my thoughts have drifted to this rant.) I will quote some passages from others (and link them) as needed to expand on some of what I am writing about. Yes Virginia, this is gonna be a long post.

Denninger about an income issue using information that the government willingly releases. Basically it means that people are working harder for less money now in comparison to 30+ years ago. Of course this is really not news to the working stiffs out here: I know that I am bringing home quite a bit less than I was 7 years ago, and I have to make it stretch 3 times as far while the prices of everything continue to grow.
Not news. But it is one part of the puzzle that my gear grinding brain had to chew on this past weekend.
Another report was about the new “policy” of allowing a specific product to be exempt from a (fiscally bad) export ban. I read the articles linked by CA and what I picked up, though it was not outright mentioned, was that there was some crony-ism taking place amongst appointed burro-craps and specific companies. I can only imagine that there is some individual in the listed agency that has a really fat bank account right now.
That isn’t what bothered me about it though. What bothered me is that this is another drain on a finite resource that our country could desperately use to ease up on our own issues. Yet the regulations are so friggin’ convoluted and diseased, that it takes a specialist lawyer to sort that crap out, to keep people out of trouble. These same regulations make it so that the companies not mentioned are SOL until they can hire one of those trained monkeys with a sheepskin designation to find the loop-holes. This is NOT a free market in any way shape or form.
But again. NOT NEWS.
One thing I found interesting about that article was how the WH as caught a tad flat footed by the whole thing. Why would they NOT know what was going on in the system they ‘control’? Heh, because they DON’T control it, the appointed burro-craps do, along with the bankers, and the handlers in the shadows. Why should the WH be concerned with this? Quite simply because the whole thing is a slap in the face to the Saudi’s and OPEC in general and could be just one more tipping point that would lead the Saudi’s to take China and Russia up on their offer of a different currency standard than the “petro-dollar”. I am quite certain that the Saudi’s have every desire to maintain their wealth and standard of living. I KNOW they are as addicted to breathing as I am and if they can’t maintain that status, game over for them at the hands of their ‘subjects’. IF the Petro-dollar tilts, Game over for us.
And all of this is just another shuffling of the pieces around the game board. Note, a huge number of those pieces are labeled “Energy”, followed closely by Food and Water. TPTwB are in the same boat as we are, but on a much exaggerated scale.
On that last sentence, I want to reflect back to the Saudi conundrum. They basically pay their subjects to not kill them off. BRIBERY is what it really boils down to.
Seems that we have a similar situation here in the FUSA as well. Luckily, Remus illustrates it much better on his site. LINK NEEDED.
I have not one disagreement with his post. Where I run into issue is in a quote he took from a commenter at Zerohedge.

Stopping tyranny – I expect that 1/3rd of the real federal government is dedicated to analyzing this very possibility. The smart move is to let us exterminate each other, not hope the military can withstand the mother of all insurrections. Thus, if the elite ever truly feel threatened, either by the masses or the consumption of the masses, they’re simply going to turn the lights out and wait it out. A year later, 80% of us are gone and the military can easily mop up what is left. This is why they’re so adamant about having Orwellian surveillance.
Mr. Saxby, comment 4928080 at zerohedge.com

NO, they won’t ‘just turn out the lights and wait’. They can’t. There are far too many aspects of what would evolve out of such a situation, that doing so would place them in a far more precarious position than they are in already.
Here is where I start to extrapolate a potential future. One that won’t involve outright Civil War. Secession far more likely, with a hollowed out Federal government giving such it’s “blessings” because it would have no power to stop such.
Sadly, I don’t see such happening for at least another 2 years, and I am thinking closer to 10. By that time, I can see the population of this country showing major shifts in minority reports and the whole entitlement hoopla collapsing in on itself to the detriment of all within a 100 mile radius of any major metropolitan hub. I can’t help but see potential parallels between my vision and what Matthew Bracken wrote about in “Foreign Enemies and Traitors”
I could only hope that he is NOT a prophet, just very observant and reflective.

I know that most of us are preppers in some sort or another. Some are more meticulous about it, some have better access to the lowly FRN’s that continue to make our economy go round, and some are just bull headed tenacious die-hards that keep moving forward even when there seems no possible way to do so, or worse, like it all seems to be for nothing. (admit it, We have ALL felt that at one time or another.) I shouldn’t have to mention what to prep, most peoples lists are going to have variation built right in, just due to personal preferences. But I do want to stress (likely late as hell in the game, but better said than not.) personal education. Not just buying a book on a subject. Not just reading that book then storing it with the rest of the preps. Nope, I am talking getting your knuckles bruised and bloody learning a new skillset. I push this all the time, (leadership by example I think is what they called it in the Corps, I kinda slept through that part, frequently) and I can only hope that others have followed through in some form or another. I won’t tell you what to learn as everyone is different. One thing I have learned of personal note, is that I am NOT A FARMER. Not even a little. I can help in the gardens, but everything, literally everything, I plant, dies a horrible death after taking off and teasing me. I may not be able to grow food, but I can hunt, and I can work on all of those things that farmers need to maintain to keep crops a growing. Mutual aid (called a Free Market as well) ensures that I will have food, and they will have tools. I have many other skillsets as well and many of them are fairly new (last 10 years) thanks to my waking up to reality. I am not a rich man and much of my learning was in response to that lack of cash. One such skill I have that can’t be taught (at least I don’t see how) is seeing the gems in the junk. Others can attest to the fact that I can take trash and turn it into useful items. This is something that I know will be needed in our fast approaching “new normal” I’ve learned to make things that cost much more if outright purchased. I have made some of them while learning/honing those skills needed. Each is an extension of the last, and so far, the more I learn, the more I learn I know almost nothing about the whole. This is just a drop in the bucket of what the whole world has available.
My suggestion is to get that training, get the hands on, learn a variety of skills, related or not, and become proficient at them. Take the time NOW. Now here is another suggestion on the same note. I have to use myself as example here; please don’t take it as a brag. In 2008 or 2009 I purchased a 3-1 lathe/mill from a gentleman making the move to a larger unit. I had almost no idea how to use such machine. I made the investment in a machine to educate myself. My library of information grew, my skillsets grew, I made chips of metal, I broke bits, I learned what worked, what didn’t, figured out what the heck was meant by feedrates and why they are pretty essential to quality work, and I even expanded on that to metal casting/foundry work, and blacksmithing (to some extent) and even dabbled in some other disciplines related but not closely, like sheetmetal forming, which lead to brewing and distilling. (I make a killer dry Mead by the way, thanks in no small part to my Dad and his bees.) One tool I have leaned on through all of this is the Internets. While we have it, I exploit it like a $2 whore, and without shame. I have hard drives with gigabytes of info saved to them (fast approaching terabyte level) and I would suggest doing the same. Some of this info I felt it prudent to have saved into dead tree form, either through book purchases or taking a thumb drive to the printers. Even now, my library grows larger. This is part of how I prep, as well as trying to build my gulch. I prep because I feel that time is growing shorter and shorter and,,,,,,
Because this Country is very nearly in Third World Status now. And when it hits that low, that training may not be available. God knows the cash to pay for that training will be either non-existent or so hyper-inflated as to be toilet paper. (most of my cash goes into purchasing tools and books. Most of my (personal) time goes into honing skills and acquiring new ones. I am actually quite boring to be around most days. LOL)
For the record, I have been in a couple of “third world’ countries. I see images in my mind, that are eerily resemblant of things I am seeing here, now. Another thing, people have this image of fly-covered toddlers as thirdworld, and in some cases, this is so, but not always. Things will be tough, but life will go on, people will be born, die of natural causes, get married, divorced, go shopping, and basically act as ‘ normal’ people do. This is the case even in war torn countries. LIFE GOES ON. But that life is much harder, and even more so for those not prepared to accept that what was, is no longer.
A litmus test myself and another use to assess ‘third world status” is the extension cord. Sounds funny, but trust me, it is not. Everywhere that was labeled thirdworld that I visited, the extension cord was the ‘utility company’ in the cities. Walking down mainstreet in Olongapo and look up and you see rainbow colores extension cords draped willy-nilly between buildings. Go into a bar and have a drink and watch the lights flicker as the cooler cycles. Go out to Debarrio and enjoy a beer in a burned out buildings’ foundation and look for the three extension cords ran around the bushes to the next bar. One for lights, one for the cooler and one for the Juke. (ps: all of this was seen BY ME, in the Philippine Islands while on shore leave both to and from Kuwait back in ’91. Subic Bay may be closed as well as Clark Air base, but Olongapo is still there, albeit much poorer now.)
Keep that in mind as one skill you want in your personal preps: Electricity skills. If you don’t, you will likely be at the mercy of the guy with the skills and several hundred feet of extension cord. Especially if things continue as they are in our highly regulated and TPTwB compliant “free market” utility grid.(you do have backup power of some sort, right?)

One thing I saw this weekend, that only added to the addled thoughts grinding their way through my cranium, was a pair of gentleman arguing over a road-killed deer. Nothing coming to blows, but definitely a heated, raised voice argument. I didn’t catch details as I was driving by, but I could hear them over the rest of the traffic. It was obvious that, at least one of them intended to take the deer home, I am assuming for the meat or some other part, like the fur or something. This may seem callous of me, but I was heartened by this. Neither person struck me as destitute, or ‘entitled’, which (again making assumptions, I need to break that habit.) leads me to believe this is ‘supplemental’ to what they already have, not an act of desperation.
What disturbed me about it was that this could be a much more common sight in our future. It wasn’t all that long ago, that one could watch a roadkill slowly turn to mush on the asphalt, or get dragged off to become a stinkin’ mess in a week, to be covered in lime by the roadcrews. NOW, roadkill that ‘sticks around’ is in the form of a former pet, not wild game. The game tends to disappear almost as soon as it stops sliding.(well, not the possums. Give it time though.)
Is that third world enough to convince you that things are really getting closer to that level?

Note, I haven’t brought up the whole UAC coming THROUGH Mexico from central American countries. Nor did I mention all the supposed diseases they are tracking in with them (supposed, but extremely likely). I think of the book “Camp of the Saints”: ya might want to go read it.
I also remember one line that gave me chills back in 2008 : “We are on the verge of FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGING America!” If we continue on this track, I expect to see the boy standing in front of a “Mission Accomplished” sign (right in front fo the UN building, not on some stinky Carrier or anything military for that matter) For his benefit, He didn’t lie, did he?

Got extension cords?

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13 responses

  1. SnakeIN

    Loved the roadkill part about the possums. Living out in the boonies as you do, I have actually seen possums gathered up, and not just for the hide. Yuck. But…have you ever noticed how fast “yuck” becomes “yum” when you are really, really hungry? I hope to God I and mine never get that hungry. Great post and the associated articles really come together to make a scary whole. Good luck with the saw. I think of all the things I have seen and read about your projects, this one has more potential to make you an income and faster than all the others.

    July 9, 2014 at 3:21 am

  2. Spud

    Yes, yes ,yes and triple yes to all of the above ! I’ve been at it awhile heh.
    Still thinking you and I would never be “bored” in each others company.
    Gotta make it up that way one day…but God it’s so efn cold way up there lol.
    My thumbs are about as green as yours it seems, but Pineapples do well for me here .
    Hazards of this wet/hot place….BUGS and lots of em ! Slowly learning how to grow here though. Jeez we have two full growing seasons ! But no real winter ta kill off the bug vermin ! I may have to compromise and move a bit further north where ya get winter kill for all them lil bastards….

    July 9, 2014 at 4:44 pm

  3. dio, This my best garden ever when I began about 6 years ago I had a black thumb but this year I am working on the soil and taking advantage of both the sun and shade areas of my yard. Then letting the plants take care of themselves. It’s a very different mindset/outlook to gardening that has helped me a lot.

    I’m slowly adding hand tools to my shop and at least doing a few simple projects like raised garden beds and a three section pallet compost pile that has some room to expand to a humanure compost area.

    Mom and I are doing some youtube classes for soap making and next Monday we will do the first batch of soap here at Casa de Chaos. Every month Mom and I are trying to add 1 or 2 new skills, making household stuff like soap, lotions and home remedies. I want to learn how to use a sewing machine and see if I can do some knitting or weaving.

    I’m an internet junkie for classes and books. Two things that have made it easier is using the Roku to watch youtubes on the TV and the Kindle. It’s amazing the free education that is offered via the internet.

    July 9, 2014 at 6:53 pm

  4. D

    Dio, as many a times that I have heard other people tell me that they also have a black thumbs, the underlying reason is because they all tried to grow something in unsuitable soil.

    Without the proper soil, nothing will grow properly. The first thing you need to do is to have your soil tested. Your local county extension office will provide this test for you for a small fee, around $10 to $15 dollars. You need to know what decencies and or surplus elements that are needed to grow your crops and vegetables.

    July 11, 2014 at 10:03 am

    • Spud

      It ain’t the soil for me. As I stated the war with insects is the killer here, especially nematodes !

      July 11, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    • I think you underestimate yourself. You are learning a new way of life right now with a better half to help you along. There will be time for all the learning later once you have reached equilibrium.

      July 17, 2014 at 8:32 am

  5. Great post. I agree completely on learning new things. Sadly, I have not been learning aas much as I should be.

    July 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    • Don’t worry, Pick. You will soon be able to learn full-time. We all will.

      July 14, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      • Hey ‘Rat. I am sure that you are onto something with that. The upcoming post has some thoughts for you to ponder.

        July 17, 2014 at 8:33 am

  6. Dio, There is a Foxfire book for growing a Mountain garden in Appalachia. I think it costs either $2.99 or $3.49 at Amazon. If you don’t have a kindle you might be able to get “kindle for PC” .

    July 16, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    • Thanks Jamie, I have the kindle app on the Iphone, but they haven’t made an app for Linux boxes yet.
      In all actuality, my problem is just what D said, insufficient soil. Yet another project that will take up my time when I get around to it. Right now, I have enough rods in the fire to take care of, and I have alternatives until such time as then.

      July 17, 2014 at 8:31 am

      • We miss you. Much has changed.

        July 17, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      • Send me an email. Curious to hear about things.

        July 21, 2014 at 8:50 am

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