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Live Like You Mean It / The 80/20 rule and #preppernormal

In the News: Wheat Crop going to be way down this year.

Failed States Updates: Haiti

Bad Luck

Robert Heinlein, science fiction novelist and philosopher, noted this about civilization: “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck.””

Call me a conspiracist if you like, but there are forces in the world, often at the highest levels of government and business, that seem to desire to make folks’ lives worse. Oh, they won’t put it that way, of course. They usually do it under the guise of ‘helping’ the poor or underprivileged or some other disadvantaged group, or the environment. But mostly they hurt everyone except for themselves and the cadre of people who have the wealth and influence to avoid the problems and inconveniences caused by their disastrous policies. See one of my favorite articles: ‘How the Government Ruined Gas Cans‘. (I finally found these metal gas cans that I’ve bought a few times, but they cost $50 more now than the first one I bought 3 years ago. I’m now testing these Jerry-style cans…I definitely like the open spout for filling better, but we’ll see if they are as resilient.) In any case, I’ve bought and thrown out hundreds of dollars of crappy red government-mandated gas cans. I’ve had them explode, I’ve had the nozzles fail after 3 uses, and I’ve spilled more gasoline with them than I ever have with a real gas can. I’ve poked holes in them so they vent properly, which is stupid and dangerous, but they are so miserably frustrating. They are an utter waste of money because someone in some room, somewhere, thought that fixing something that wasn’t broken was the most important thing to do today (gas stoves anyone?). And then the fix ended up making things worse.

Another example…a blogger I read has often quipped: “I’ll believe its a crisis when the people telling me its a crisis start acting like its a crisis.” If the people who want me to be worried about the climate really believed it, I mean deep down in their bones, wouldn’t they act differently? I see lots of people who say that the changing climate is the most dangerous thing in the world…who simply don’t act as if that’s true.

How many politicians and celebrities buy million-dollar property on the beach? In the same breath they also tell us the seas are rising and our cities are going to be under water. As a normal human being, if I really, really believed the seas were rising, I’d move to Oklahoma, not spend $40mm on a house that might be gone in 20 years. These are people who don’t practice what they preach. If I really, really believed that carbon was the enemy and that enemy was killing people, would I fly up the coast every time I wanted a cheeseburger or cup of coffee? No, of course not, because that would be immoral. But there are ‘environmentally conscious’ celebs who make that choice every day. If I really believed the world was ending and CO2 was the cause, I wouldn’t own 10 properties using 1000 times as much energy as that yokel from Tennessee working minimum wage and hoping his 40 year old truck makes it home from work. Yes, if someone sanctimoniously preaches to us, the unwashed masses, that our F-150s use too much gas, while flying regularly by private jet, they need to just shut up. But they don’t. And so I have no choice but to extrapolate they don’t actually believe what they are saying. And if they don’t, should I? Worse, I get the sense that their policies hurting those on the bottom more than on the top is a feature, not a bug.

A little thought experiment: imagine where virtual reality and our internet infrastructure would be if instead of politicians, CEO’s and celebrities generating bazillions of tons of carbon and spending tens of billions of dollars traveling to and from climate conferences for the last 30 years if we had poured all of that money into the software, hardware, and communications delivery to make teleconferencing perfect. Now, please see what I am trying to do here…I am not talking about whether a changing climate is good or bad, that’s the not the point of this discussion (plus I’ve always tried to avoid being super-political on this blog, I guess until today!). Nor am I saying all regulation is bad (though much of it is). I am saying that if all of these people believed what they were saying, they would act differently. I am saying that we should measure whether policies are successful or not before we continue them or enact more. If we had poured the same money into virtual spaces (so that we could all get together virtually) that we did into political junkets, we’d have full-body VR and advanced Augmented Reality work-spaces already. So that tells me the reason for all of these conferences is more about flying around feeling fancy and engaging in graft than it is about solving an actual problem.

What does this have to do with prepping and the 80/20 rule?

It used to be that I prepped for some of the more unlikely scenarios (EMP and total societal collapse type scenarios). Today, a big part of my prepping is due to the conscious choices businesses (potential harms of AI, censorship, blacklisting, taking away banking privileges) and government (choices on crime, criminalization of energy and policies that rob money of value, excessive regulation that makes running a business harder and more cumbersome) make. Now, these kinds of feelings don’t really matter who is in charge…many on both the political left and right feel the other is out to get them…so prepping makes plenty of sense no matter who you are.

Prepping via the 80/20 rule means that I am looking to get a large value (the 80) for a small output of effort (the 20). Now remember, I’ve also embraced my #preppernormal, which says that while I recognize that an ‘all-in’ survival lifestyle means in an actual EOTW scenario one will have a better shot, its not for me. I’m also at a point where I see far more ‘non-EOTW’ scenarios where prepping will come in handy.

So going back to the origins of this blog, what does that look like? It means Food, Water, Shelter, Light and Fire. Food and water first, because they are the most useful in far more situations than having a fire-steel and knowing how to use it, for example.

Food and water keeps folks alive, so that is a big +1. Food regularly gets more expensive, so the 2019 expiration soup and mac and cheese that I just finished (and didn’t die) cost me less than $.50 a meal. Food helps feed hungry people in our community. Having lots on hand means my daughters always have cans to bring to a food bank, and we can always give a box of food to a friend who is out of work (this was done less than a week ago). Food in a SHTF will be worth its weight in gold, and that’s just the icing on the cake.

My advice on food hasn’t changed in about 9 years, so I think it’s pretty solid. Store as much food as you will eat in the time period the shelf life allows. That’s a mouthful, so here’s what that means. My wife and I eat 2 cans of soup per month. Soup has a shelf life of 2 years (its way longer than that, as I just mentioned, but we’re going to pretend the FDA knows what its talking about). 4 cans x 24 months. We should have 96 cans of soup in our storage. And we only replenish some of that 96 as we eat it when its on sale. So in 2 years, when my soup is $4/can, I’ve paid $1.50 on sale today. We eat a jar of peanut butter per month…it has a 1 year shelf life. Hence, our storage should have 12 jars. Do this for all of your shelf-stable foods and snacks, and you’ll have a ton of food you actually eat and know how to prepare. And you won’t generally have to discard any of it due to expiration. Of course this is limited to your storage space, which luckily is not one of our challenges (we have plenty of others though!).

Only after you have done the above should you consider storing ‘prepper foods’ such as dry goods in bulk (rice, beans, wheat, oats, pasta), investing in a freeze dryer (unless you just like freeze dried foods!), or ordering long term foods from a food storage company. If you do get to this stage (and being #preppernormal, if you don’t, that’s OK!!), head on over for the absolute best-in-class products to help you on your way.

One of the reasons I preach food storage first is that the more folks that have some basic preps like food, the less they’ll need to be out looting or raiding in the event of some kind of a scenario. If our entire society had 60 days of food at home, then any particular disaster, personal or otherwise, becomes less dangerous. It creates a resilience that is relatively simple to accomplish, and unlike training skills and learning to prepare a salad from grubs, it doesn’t really require much motivation either.

Love y’all, maybe back to AI next time!

07

06 2023

Artificial Intelligence Primer for Doomsday Preppers – Part 1 – Generative (Visual) AI

[Editor’s Note: The AI space is moving so rapidly, with so much new information and AI use cases coming out daily, that this is the hardest blog I’ve ever written. There is SOOO much I could include, and there are at least 2 ‘must-read’ articles on AI coming out every day. I need to find a better way to keep track of articles I find from my phone, so if anyone has any ideas please let me know!]

Ok, this topic may be a little dense, but it’s important. These articles will also contain more links than I normally use. I do not pretend to be an expert on AI, though I do read a ton about it almost every day, so I am providing links to lots of other articles to provide you the best information. I will also expand upon what some of these things mean in a future post, and how they might change our society for the better or worse.

AI concepts have been around since the 1930’s, among the first being the famous Turing Test devised by Alan Turing that would help determine an AI’s ‘intelligence’ or ability to communicate with us in a realistic way. Although we watched Terminator and cheesy 80’s movies like Wargames repeatedly, I didn’t start to think more about the ramifications of AI on society until there were two pieces of software that I actually use: Midjourney AI, and ChatGPT.

One thing I want to state up front, is that many of the AI’s showing up all over the place are what is called generative…they produce things. Text, code, art, voices, sounds. These are what I am talking about in this and the next post. They aren’t AGI’s, which is what science fiction fears are all about. AGI means Artificial General Intelligence…ie. sentient and self-aware software, having somehow made the leap from data processing to actually thinking (or approximating that). That doesn’t mean these things are all rainbows and unicorns; there are still very real concerns about many of the things they can produce (malicious code, deepfakes, scams, and many more), and their ability to potentially un-employ a bunch of people. And it also doesn’t mean that AGI isn’t in the cards for humanity in a relatively short period of time, but that’s a different discussion. But enough of that, for now onward and upward!

Prompt: prepper pantry full of food storage –ar 2:3 –v 5

Midjourney AI is a piece of software that generates digital art from a text prompt. For example, for the image on the left, my prompt was: “prepper pantry full of food storage –ar 2:3 [aspect ratio] –v 5 [software version]”. These kinds of programs have been around for awhile, so that’s not too unusual. What is unusual is that the new breed of AI produces high quality art, in any style you can think of. Midjourney can create beautiful works in hundreds of styles. You can choose Picasso or Van Gogh, or line schematics in the format of Da Vinci. You can create photo-realistic art as if captured by a camera and Ansel Adams. More than that, you can assign what kind of zoom, lens filter, lighting and any number of effects to created images. You can make watercolors or anime (incredibly popular) or pencil art drawings.

While every version of Midjourney can come up with some pretty wonky effects (MJ still has trouble making detailed hands, for example) each version is not just an incremental step forward, but a leap. In less than a year, Midjourney is on version 5. Every image in this post is AI-generated and took less than 20 seconds to create. Sure, there are some things you may notice that don’t seem right. However, I also use less than 10% of the capabilities of the software, and I don’t have the patience to ‘reroll’ (using one prompt to create tons of different images) until I get the perfect image.

People are making movies, comics, popular music and sadly…so much porn (no link there, sorry!) with visual AI. (And if you really like torture, check out this creepy pizza commercial made entirely with AI, including the video, script, and voices) Some of these projects may not seem advanced yet, or worrisome, but both ChatGPT and Midjourney have been out a year or less. What they can accomplish already is beyond anything we could have imagined way back in, say, 2021. I would posit (reasonably I think) that Midjourney and the other visual AI’s combined have now generated more images than previously existed in the history of the world (not counting photographs). Midjourney already has over 3,000,000 users, a massive adoption rate in about a year. Stable Diffusion, one of its competitors, has over 10,000,000 daily users. (ChatGPT has over a billion users). And the numbers are algorithmic. Each casual user can produce thousands of images a week. Non-casual users set up to mass produce can do tens of thousands. Some art websites have been flooded with AI art, and as the days go by, it will be harder to find actual artist-created images.

Prompt: prepper pantry full of food storage watercolor –ar 2:3 –v 5

Before I get to ChatGPT in part 2, I’ll tell you why Midjourney is important to me and how I became interested in AI generally. I’m a closet game designer, with a dozen projects in various stages of completion. Mostly board games, card games, and role-playing games. However, most of my projects have been abandoned due to one factor…the inability to produce the art I need at a price I can afford. Sometimes I’ll need 100-200 pieces of art for one game, often more. The last game I quoted, using mostly cartoon style art, and not highly detailed, was going to be over $14,000. The thought that I can create art with Midjourney has reignited my passion for game design. Midjourney and other art generators are going to displace the majority of artists and graphic designers (and eventually architects and some other careers), especially those who refuse to embrace what AI can offer.

Now, let me extrapolate…in less than one year skilled users of Midjourney can produce art from a text prompt that rivals all but 10% of the world’s greatest artists. Similar to Deep Blue defeating the world’s greatest Chess player in 1997, AI art will compete with the world’s best; perhaps this year, but by 2024 certainly. By 2027 there will be movies created completely by AI…text AI’s will produce scripts, dialogue, visual AI’s will produce the actual film, and audio AI’s the sound (which already produce deepfakes, essentially able to reproduce any voice). While this will empower an enormous number of people to create things they only once dreamed of, it will also displace a large number of people from their careers as well. Examining where we have come to in so short a span seems unbelievable, and so I believe we are beyond our ability to predict what is coming past the next 1-2 years.

This is called the Singularity…the point at which we can’t with any certainty predict how technology will change our society and world. I read about half of Ray Kurzweil’s opus The Singularity is Near over 10 years ago (an accomplishment, I assure you!), but until this year, I didn’t truly understand what he meant. AI is going to change our civilization in ways even greater than the Internet or the automobile or the discovery of fire, and more than going to the moon. We can’t comprehend what is even possible, whose jobs are at risk, and what the dangers are. I am trying to do my small part to let the communities I am in see this sooner rather than later.

underground bomb shelter owned by preppers retro 50’s style –ar 3:2 –v 5

While creating art and movies seems innocuous enough, even desirable…what about when someone creates a video of you doing unspeakable things, or uses someones else’s voice in any number of possible scams? A crazy number of people are falling for voice scams, involving millions of dollars. Or imagine trying to determine what political scandal is real or not based only on video evidence, now capable of being faked with off the shelf software? The stalking and creepery that are coming will shake our society. Remember, these are the early days of these technologies. In a very short period of time, you won’t be able to trust anything coming from your computer screen. (Not that many of us trust very many sources to begin with!)

Of course, audio and visual AI’s are just a part of the puzzle, and what I call the ‘weaker’ side of AI. Text and data AIs, similar to ChatGPT, promise even worse (and better). Artificial General Intelligence, forthcoming before my social security kicks in, is where the truly frightening scenarios appear, up to and including either a Star Trek-esque style utopia, or Terminator style end of the world. That may seem extreme to some just now catching up, but I’ll make my case more thoroughly in the next several posts. Plus, I’ll post the skeptic side of the argument as well; if I’m wrong, I’ll be glad to admit it in 10 years.=)

I am going to break here, as there is simply too much to sift through…I was going to go through Text and data AI’s and what they’re up to, but there’s so much it needs to be its own article. I’ll do a third blog on examining the dangers and possibilities of AI, and why it’s become one of my primary reasons to prep.

02

05 2023

Prepper Normal (Confessions of a not-very-good prepper) – Part 1

I know many hardcore survivalists and I salute them. Those who can survive 3 weeks in the wilderness with a pocket knife and an empty paper bag. Those with basement gun ranges and quarter acre gardens that feed 20. However, at the Self Reliance festival we set up at a couple of weekends ago, I had some thoughts about those of us wanting a slightly better shot of not dying in the first 3 days of a catastrophe, but without the desire or ability to truly live the ‘all-in’ philosophy, off-grid raising all our own food and learning all the skills.

I had several people stop by my table at the show wanting to purchase things using a standard credit card…now, that’s not so unusual. What is, is some of these folks were talking serious Crypto and a desire to be totally ‘off-grid’. They looked pretty sheepish when I told them I had no cell signal so could only take old-fashioned cash, and they said they’d be back tomorrow after they hit the ATM. My wife and I are definitely ‘softcore’ preppers, but we’d never be caught without cash, for any number of reasons.

Now, please note, I say these things not to shame folks who might want to be more or less of a thing and just aren’t there yet; in fact, the opposite. In many instances, I’m the one ‘without the cash’, figuratively speaking.

In the old days when I started prepping, I sometimes felt some shame (maybe not the right word; maybe like the kids who called me ‘scrub’ because I wasn’t good at a certain video game) because I have no particular skills naturally related to prepping.

I was a pretty good shot in the army (I usually hit 38-39 of 40), but I never really embraced ‘gun culture’, and couldn’t tell you the calibers of a Mosin-Nagant or an M1. I still use Youtube when I clean my weapons, because I don’t ‘train’ it until its automatic. I like hiking, and can haul a 50 pound pack 10 miles or so without much discomfort, but I couldn’t track a deer or make a shelter from scratch or otherwise in any way act Les Stroud like. I bring along a lighter when all of the other preppers I know are using fire-steel.

We have chickens who I adore, but I could never think of killing the ones no longer laying, and occasionally my girls and I will have a memorial service for a chicken who ended up as hawk-food or a dog-toy. Sure, at the end of the world I’d try to work the whole thing out, but right now, our chickens have social security at our house. A couple of times we’ve spent $70 at the vet to save our $4 Tractor Supply hens; one day we had a friend ‘operate’ on a hen with bumble foot. I was humbled and shed a few tears that I had a friend who would embrace our crazy and spend 3 hours of her day operating on one of our girls. We’re just those people: a bit prepper, a bit preppie.

We have a Frenchie, not a Pyrenees. We beg friends to bush-hog our fields because I broke the one I had, and struggle to get the tractor running. I freeze dry chicken nuggets and hash browns (and lemons for my wife), not home-grown vegetables or self-caught venison. My girls are all girl and wear Kickie-pants, not camo. I spend my spare time designing board games, not honing my primitive survival skills.

And…I’m finally OK with that. When I say ‘Prepper Normal’, I just mean that I hope people will still be cool with me if I’m not out cutting my own lumber to build a cabin in the woods, or if we can’t keep a garden alive to save our lives. It means it’s OK to prep to whatever level you are comfortable with, and I’m not going to judge you. I’m coming clean here and now and letting you know that by contemporary prepper standards, I definitely don’t measure up.

What I do have is a desire to feed my friends and family as long as possible should something terrible happen, so I buy and store food weekly now (and praise God my Freeze Dryer is finally running after 14 months of trouble-shooting). I have left behind the thought that I’m going to turn my neighbor’s kids away at gunpoint to protect my farm’s food supply. I’d rather die starving than live with that on my conscience.

I do have enough state-of-mind to know how people will react when they miss a few meals, and know that many people will try to take all of what we have than be OK with us just sharing a Mylar bag of rice and beans, and so have the hardware to arm a few of those family and friends.

Do I think my family and I are going to live out an apocalypse as well or as long as the truly self-sufficient or survivalist types? No. But at the same time, I can’t guarantee there’s going to be an apocalypse, and so I make judgments as to the amount of effort I want to focus onto something that may or may not happen, and spend the rest of my time home-schooling my girls, playing games with my friends, and trying to serve my community.

I have some more thoughts on this, but its already too long.=) So part II of Prepper Normal will talk more about the ‘low-hanging fruit’ of prepping, and the 80/20 rule, which I apply to most areas of my life.

05

04 2023

The State of Food Storage at SurvivalClub South

When we moved to the Farm, my wife and I left the bulk of our food storage at SurvivalClub North, just in case we ever needed to go there.  However, now that we will very likely bug-in at the Farm, I’ve been slowly (too slowly for my taste) trying to gather another years worth of food.  In the plus column, I have a dedicated climate-controlled space at the warehouse, with pest control.

Even so, we’ve been fighting the mice recently and lost about $50 worth of short-term food.  Something about the mad heat of Summer pushed them inside, as I haven’t had a problem with them in about a year.  I know Tomcat advertises their bait is better than peanut butter, but they’re full of it.  Of the 2 snapped traps (both missed, but we must have wounded the mouse, as we can smell him dead wherever he crawled away to), both had peanut butter, even though there were several Tomcat baited traps nearby.  Honestly, Tomcat bait isn’t very appealing either, I’d steal the PB any day!

I think they are coming in via the drop sealing.  We used to trap that in our previous home’s basement, and I need to do that here as well.

Although I didn’t open up the blog today to talk about mice!

My brother Tom, his wife and his 5 kids are in town visiting from Deathtrap Island (England).  I had a little heart palpitation when I took a bunch of our short-term snacks and munchies over to our house for when they are in town.  My mind was running to ‘You know, I have quite a bit of food for my wife and family…but not so much when you are looking at a crowd of 7 extra bodies.’

Our current short-term food storage (basically, foodstuffs we eat every day…soups, canned veggies, PB, etc) is currently at around 270,000 calories.  That equates to exactly 30 days for my my wife, Nana, and myself at 2000 calories, and the 3 girls at 1000.  That would mean less than 15 days if something happened when my brother’s family is here. (ugg)  I have another 200lbs of longer term rice and beans; but that might only equate to another 15 days.  Double ugg.  I’m now realizing how woefully low our food supplies are down here, and I will definitely be taking some trips to Walmart over the next 2 weeks to at least double our short term supplies.  My wife probably has another 150,000 calories in the pantry and freezer at home, but in the face of the locust horde of kids currently at our house, that’s not much.

As I was counting up the calories, some obvious things popped out at me:

  1.  Peanut Butter might be the very best survival food.  At 6600 calories per jar, it’s space/calorie ratio is among the best available foods (that people would actually want to eat).  It stores well, at least a couple years at the 76 degrees I have my storage room at.  However, this lead me to:
  2. I need to store more crunchies to put it on, and rotate through them.  I’m completely out of Big Cheez-its and Triscuits, which I usually keep about 7 boxes of on-hand.  I can eat peanut butter out of the jar with the best of them, but the girls will want some normalcy!
  3. As mentioned yesterday, green beans blow in terms of actual nutritional/calorie content for the space it takes up.  I’ll check on how many calories cans of spinach or peas have when I next shop.
  4. No surprise, pasta comes in number 2 in terms of caloric density.  With our pool open for the summer, I’m not much worried about the water situation.  I’ve also done some scouting, and found 2 water sources within walking distance of the property.  However, we haven’t gone into drought yet this year, so I’m not convinced they will be there year-round.  Just something for me to keep an eye on.
  5. It’s not for everyone, but I always have some mobile liquids on hand, as you can see in one of the photos.  Gallon jugs of water and apple juice.  Might not be a great use of space, but until I’m actually out of space, its good for my morale!

I had a long conversation with someone looking to start storing some food this week, and like it sometimes does, the conversation got very long-winded about OTR and MVTR properties of bags, and what was the best bag to use, etc.  I finally gave my go-to answer, as I was worried he was overcome by ‘research paralysis’, and I told him to just start storing SOMETHING.  And that’s pretty much my philosophy for any of you out there reading this who don’t have anything stored.  You can see how I’m doing things, I’m not ultra organized.  I just try to be consistent.  Having extra peanut butter, Pop Tarts, and Ramen on hand will never hurt you.  But if you lose your job, or God forbid something truly awful happens, you’ll be glad you did.

Just do it people!

11

08 2017

Advice and Beans Updates – Spring 2017 Edition (Personal Edition)

So we finally did it.  We escaped the deathtrap peninsula we lived on in Suburbia just outside of Nashville, TN.  No longer do I fear the rising floodwaters of a broken dam or being trapped in an EMP nightmare with 30,000 other people on a 5 square mile strip of land with only 2 ways out.  We bought a 40-Acre farm in Lewisburg, TN about an hour and a half south of where we were living (About 40 minutes north of the Alabama border).  We did keep the house in Hendersonville and are renting it (kind of, as the tenants only pay occasionally).  We also upgraded the business from the little 3000 square foot rental location to a 6000 square foot building we purchased.  It’s provided us a lot more opportunities and we’ve taken a stab at some other little businesses in addition to Discount Mylar Bags.

After the kids are bad.

I love the small town feel (there’s an open drive-in theater two lots down from us!), and I will live and die in this place.  My wife doesn’t even ask if I want to run to Nashville for something…because I don’t want to, and likely never will.  I could putter around in the warehouse or on the new farm for the rest of my days, without ever stepping outside of town.  To all of the customers who made this possible, you will never understand how grateful I am for you.  With Trump in the White House, our market has seen some pretty significant declines, and I hear the same for almost every prepper-based business.  We’re attempting to retool and refocus in different areas as quickly as we can, but no one ever knows what will happen.  For me, it’s enough that we’re here and we’ve kind of created a lifestyle where my wife and I could pay most of our bills selling stuff from Goodwill on eBay.  Plus, they let us keep our kids in cages as necessary.

Not the brightest animals.

We’re on our 2nd flock of chickens, as the first were killed off over the Fall and Winter.  (I hear that’s pretty common with a first flock).  We’ve upgraded to a nice large coop and have 6 great hens (1 passed just recently to an infection).  I had to put down our rooster Cluck Norris last week as he attacked one of my 3 year old twins (and has even attacked my wife).  It was the first, and hopefully last, time I ever pointed my Glock at a living thing.  Though it was a little nice to know that my carry pistol works!  We have a new turkey that wanders up to say hello to the chickens around sunset, I keep meaning to put a flock block out for her.

The thing about 40 acres is there’s always something to do.  My wife and I are not outdoorsy or farmy by nature, but we’re trying.  We all went tooling around the property in the Suburban on Sunday putting fire ant killer on any mounds we could find.  My wife is working on a small garden, and my Spring project is trying to fix the fences (so we can get some goats) and carve out a walking path around the property (it’s just about a mile walk along the outside of the entire property)

Our beloved Coco passed (she ran into the road, which is still too close for comfort), but it was almost a necessity, as she, despite being 3 pounds, killed 3 of our first flock of chickens.  My wife, who was a trainer by trade, says chicken-killing is a trait that is hard to break for a dog.  Ellie, our new border collie mix, loves to get along with everyone.  She’s our hero right now, as she pulled the rooster off of Dagny when it was attacking her, and damn near killed it.  For as sweet a dog as she is, it’s nice to have another set of eyes (and teeth) looking after the girls.

Mancamp in the back 40

Life is busy, but beautiful.  We’ve found a church we love, and we’re working to start making those important connections in a small community.  This past weekend I passed the Technician test to get my Ham Radio license. (Call Sign KN4DCA) I plan to join our local ham club and emergency response team.  I am even considering starting a little ‘Survivalclub’ Meetup to see what the town has in the way of preppers and survivalists.  Down here, I suspect they’ll be quite a few folks who far surpass anything we’ve done.

My families main food storage is still at SurvivalClub North (as another just in case), so I’ve started again down here.  However, my focus here is a lot different, and encompasses everything I learned helping our group lock down our needs at our first location.  If I find the time, I’ll try to do some updates and let you know how I’m doing things differently down here in comparison to when we first started prepping.

Again, thanks to all who helped make this amazing journey possible!

11

05 2017