Monthly Archives: August 2013

Never Forget

Ruby Ridge

Ruby Ridge marked the birth of the modern militia movement and opened many eyes to abuse of federal power and the growing “shoot-first-talk-later” police state that we now all take for granted 21 years later. Remember the crimes, respect the dead, and be on the look out for the inevitable rhyme.

It’s coming.

Collapsitarian Gear Geek Part IV

Earlier today, I showed off my new generator. Even if you never have to use it, a generator is a vital piece of survival gear for a home owner. No one should be without.

One other thing no one should be without is real money. I’m talking gold and silver. If you’re not sure what to buy, just do like I did and start with non-numismatic coins that are mostly silver and will be convenient for use in a post-collapse economy. After the dollar loses that last little remaining scrap of its value, the only practical unit of exchange (short of barter) will be real money. I prefer pre-1965 dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars. These values will be the closest to the actual cost of the things you’ll need to buy after a collapse.

For a rough estimate of what I’m talking about, imagine this: a 90% silver (pre-’65) dime will have the purchasing power of its silver content. For the sake of argument, let’s say that’s five dollars. Everything you now use a paper $5 Federal Reserve Note (“FRN”) to purchase – a satisfying lunch, a dozen farm-fresh organic chicken eggs, or a gallon of gas – you will need a silver dime to buy in the future. A 90% silver (pre-’65) quarter will have the purchasing power equivalent to a $10 FRN, and a 90% silver (pre-’65) half dollar will be roughly equal to a $20 FRN.

OK, so coins aren’t really gear. How about this then?

oil lamp
Oil lamps are just about the best collapsitarian light source available. You can use a wide range of fuels from citronella oil to lighter fuel. They throw a surprising amount of light, are stingy with oil, and are safer than candles. Oh, and they are very affordable as well. Get one for every room!

two leds and charger
For a walking around light, I can’t recommend the newest generation of LED flashlights highly enough. If you still use an ’80’s vintage Mag Light or worse, one of those plastic fantastic disposable candy colored jobs like they sell three for $5 in the checkout aisle at the hardware store, you are doing it wrong. What you see here is a Defiant 550 lumen LED flashlight on the left (<$20 at Home Depot) and an 860 lumen Nitecore EA4 on the right (<$60 on Either one is excellent enough to be the last flashlight you'll ever need. The best part is that both use "regular" batteries (the Defiant takes C cells, the Nitecore uses 4 AA's). Get a solar battery charger like the C Crane model pictured between the flashlights above and a couple of sets of rechargeable batteries and you’ll never need to fumble around in the dark ever again.

Enough gear yet? No?

Here’s a random assortment of tools you might overlook while equipping your prepper’s toolbox. A pry bar is absolutely essential – not just for demo – but for getting through a locked door or window. Bolt cutters will make quick work of padlocks and cable locks. And the siphon kit is a healthier way of getting gas out of a gas tank.

But wait, there’s more!

strap wrench
I picked this strap wrench up the other day not really having a specific need for it. But I can’t think of a better way to get a LOT of torque onto a frozen oil filter or some other large piece of hardware that refuses to come apart.

Finally there’s this:

The land line telephone. You already know how I feel about cellphones (unhealthy, unreliable, and totally useless in a real emergency) so you won’t be surprised when I recommend keeping at least one land line telephone in your home. Calling 911 should never be your first course of action but you probably will need to call them eventually. Why not do it on a proven piece of 20th century technology that never needs charging and radiates zero electromagnetic energy?

Last but not least, I am starting to see evidence that the current year-and-a-half long national ammunition shortage is coming to an end…or at least, easing somewhat. 22LR is still unobtanium and all the most popular calibers (9mm, .45ACP, 5.56, .308) remain as rare as pink unicorns, but if you are lucky enough to own an SKS or AK-47 type rifle, you will be glad to know that your caliber is suddenly very cheap and very plentiful. Stock up before it disappears again!

Collapsitarian Gear Geek Pt III

It’s been over a year since I’ve blogged about gear. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped collecting gear, but I have slowed down considerably. My new goal is to master the gear I already own rather than continue piling up all kinds of neat toys that I may or may not ever need.

Summer is winding down and the conscientious collapsitarian’s awareness is shifting from growing and storing food to hunkering down and surviving the coming winter. I’ll be the first to admit I was dead wrong with my prediction about last winter. It ended up being rather mild and what snow we got fell in small amounts and tended to melt quickly. Does my gut think we’re in for another winter like that? I don’t know, my gut hasn’t decided yet. In the meantime, it’s hurricane season. If you live within a few hundred miles of the ocean and still don’t have a generator, you’re taking a big risk. “Superstorm” Sandy was the biggest storm on the East Coast last year and it wasn’t even a proper hurricane. New Jersey is still cleaning up from the mess. Of course, the North American Derecho of 2012 caused me the most inconvenience (our power was out for a week) and I swore I’d never be without a generator again.

Here’s what I got: a Generac 5500 portable propane generator. It runs off of 20 or 30 pound cylinders like you’d use on a gas grill. It is portable so I can keep it inside when it’s not in use, and it produces 5500 watts – or about the bare minimum you’d need to power most major household appliances (one or two at a time).

Being one of those guys who can’t leave something bone-stock, I immediately customized my Generac with a 12 foot low pressure hose with a built-in regulator. This allows me to skip those small bottles and run directly off my 250 gallon above ground propane tank. For about $30, I just took my generator from a multi-hour power source to a multi-day power source. Considering the tank is never more than 70% full and I also run my pool heater and a fireplace insert off it, I figure I might be able to run my generator for nearly a week if I’m careful. When the tank runs dry, I’ll switch back to my stash of 20 gallon bottles.

You’re probably wondering how the power is distributed.

I was fortunate enough to buy a house last fall that was already wired for a generator. This not only saved me a ton of money on hiring an electrician but also makes using a generator much safer.

outside hookups
The former owner was kind enough to run a 30 amp circuit from the dedicated generator sub-panel in the basement to the outside of the house. The gas line from the tank is visible to the left of the connection box.

generator cable
All I needed to run my generator was a quality power cable.

If I had to pay to have all the infrastructure installed to support my generator, I would’ve paid two to three times more than I did. As it was, I spent nearly a grand. Which isn’t bad when you consider I was fully prepared last year to drop $10k on a permanently installed natural gas standby generator. But as I’m sure you’ll agree; spending that kind of money is silly when you’re a farmer who still doesn’t own a truck!

Talk Like A Terrorist All The Time!

Here’s one of the better Funny Or Die videos I’ve seen, and it’s timely too. The current imperial regime is scrambling to beat the leaks by revealing – one detail at a time – their repeatedly-and-strenuously-denied program of total surveillance.

I wonder how all my statist teat-sucking friends, acquaintances, and – yes, “comrades” – will feel when the anti-constitutional stuff they’ve been telling me for months is “legal” turns out to be far worse (and far more illegal) than anybody imagined. Yes dear readers, they are sucking it ALL up and keeping it in gigantic “data centers” (you know, so they can find the “terrorists”). Every email, every phone call, every Google search, every online purchase, virtually everything you do that involves electrons. I’ve told you, the talking horse told you, the Judge told you, the whistle-blowers told you, and General James Freaking Clapper told you. Yet Murka prefers to live in denial.

All I can say to that is “Allahu Akhbar!”

“Murka” Is The Problem

When I say “Murka” or “Murkan” on this blog, I am making a very specific reference to the sweaty, flabby overfed underbelly of this here good ol’ US of A.

Murkans are big, dumb, ugly people who guzzle corn syrup while slapping “Support Our Troops” magnets on their big, dumb, ugly SUVs as they salute their big, dumb, ugly leaders who suggest that the best way to respond to a terrorist attack is to go shopping. If you are reading this blog, there’s a better than 50-50 chance that you are not a Murkan. You see, Murkans don’t read much of anything at all…they’re too busy watching TV.

Murka is the big, dumb, ugly place where Murkans live out their big, dumb, ugly lives. Murka has done a lot of bad things in the past that Murkans don’t like to think about. Not thinking about those bad things is the same as not doing anything to prevent them from being repeated.

68 years ago today, Murka murdered about 40,000 innocent civilians with a new kind of bomb (ironically) called “Fat Man”.

You see, by early August 1945, Murka had WWII in the bag, Tokyo had been burned to the ground, and a Japanese surrender was due at any minute. Earlier this week 68 years ago, Murka had already murdered about 80,000 innocent people with it’s first big, dumb, ugly bomb. The hidden history Murkans don’t learn in school is that Hiroshima and Nagasaki had nothing to do with killing Japanese or hastening the end of WWII. Rather it was all about intimidating those godless communist Russkies into stopping in their tracks out of fear. Fear of Murka’s big, dumb, ugly nukular bombs. Of course, the secret was that, by August 10th 1945, we were all out of bombs. But Truman’s bluff paid off and we started out the Cold War in a pretty good strategic position (until some traitors helped the Soviets build their own bomb four years later.) So, it could be argued that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were pointless exercises in big, dumb, ugly cold-blooded murder.

Fast forward to today. If you aren’t ashamed of Murka and Murkans, you simply aren’t watching enough news. This country is messing up everywhere and doing it in royal fashion. The debacle started in the mid-60’s with that big, dumb, ugly douchebag LBJ and has steadily accelerated ever since. I’ve suffered (mostly in private) my own kind of humiliation over my country for the past decade. Invading Iraq was the dumbest, most Murkan, thing I’ve ever seen my country do. Attempting to conquer the unconquerable shithole of Afghanistan has been a close second. The big, dumb, ugly piles of body bags that have come home from those two big, dumb, ugly wars make me weep tears of bitterness. And the way we let our elected and unelected officials walk all over us and abuse our liberty makes my blood boil. When I look around and see nothing but millions of Murkans who couldn’t care less, I’m tempted to give up and stop caring too.

So why all the Murka-hating rage? And what happened to that flag-waving patriotic spirit? It all went out the window the day I found out I had been labeled a “terrorist” by my own government. I’ve blogged about it before, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. But, yeah, I’m basically your garden-variety insurgent, a “dangerous” political dissident, and a “terrorist”. You probably are too.

Is there anything left to be proud of? I can’t think of any (if you can, I’m all ears!) The two greatest things this country ever did – drafting the finest Constitution in history and traveling to the Moon – have both been rendered meaningless by Murkan governmental abuse, stupidity, and corruption. We now have no manned space program whatsoever and we now care not one whit for the supreme law of the land.

game over man
As Private Hudson (Bill Paxton) famously said in “Aliens”: “Game over man!” All that’s left for us now is to watch the whole ridiculous charade of Murkan “democracy” collapse into its own footprint and hope we don’t get hit by flying debris.

Before I leave you to mull over these dismal thoughts, I’d like you to watch this. And then read this. May they disillusion you from any continued classical Murkan pipedreams about our exceptionalism and “greatness”. Murka is no more than one big, dumb, and ugly stain on the map. May it get wiped up soon.