Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Meister RE: Ryan vs Liberterian Solutions to Urban Poverty

Meister wrote this in response to Ryan vs Liberterian Solutions to Urban Poverty and I felt it most appropriate to reply in the larger context. His words will be bold. My thoughts are going to be after every paragraph. My thoughts will be in italics.

Tough love is an important part of society. You succeed, or you deal with the consequences. The idea that everyone deserves their own home is just silly. Just 50 years ago we still had 3-4 generations of family living together. Of course, That was back when the family unit was an important thing in America. Today the idea of an equal partnership in marriage has squashed the family unit all together. It leads to many more issues than it helps, and our kids pay the price. (disposable relationships) I know you are dealing with that issue now, and I'm not saying you are at fault, just that society as a whole has accepted failure as an option in relationships, mainly due to the breakdown of the familial leadership structure.

I agree about tough love and that consequences are an effective motivator. Personally I am pro multi-generational home. I would note that in many poor communities this is much more common both for cultural and economic reasons. 

As to my own life. First I don't take offense at what you said. Second
while the marriage was totally broken and needed to end it is very unfortunate that it hurt the kids. That my actions/ decisions (I own my piece of the split) have had negative effects on my children is something that bears heavily on my mind. Third heck if I know what any of the answers are man. I am 0-1 on marriage and not in a hurry to try again. At the end of the day we can't look back in anger. Oasis said so.

I interested in hearing your thoughts on REALISTIC ways to fix these problems in the short (say under 5 years) to mid (call it a 20 years) range. Emphasis on realistic. Everybody adopting a specific religion, no kids born out of wedlock and no divorces tomorrow would not be realistic.

The poorest have little incentive to live a different way. I'm not saying that those unable to care for themselves should starve, I'm saying that even people with health issues are useful to society in more ways than just receiving benefits. The ticket taker at my local movie theater is a wheelchair bound person with limited hand control, but he can tear tickets and point you in the right direction like a champ. He has a genuine smile that tells me he's enjoying his job, when 95% of the welfare recipients would refuse to do such a menial task. 

This part is complicated because the multi generational poor have an entirely different set of values than the rest of us. The way they look at things like money, relationships and values are totally different, obviously they have totally skewed views/behaviors about work. 

I agree with you about working. People should not be starving or homeless in America. (I would prefer a more private model to a government one.) However those people should provide a useful service in exchange. Even if it is half 'make work' jobs people would get used to the behaviors of working (get up on time, go somewhere, dress appropriate, work hard or reasonably hard, shut up when the boss is a jerk, etc) to hopefully transition to a more meaningful job.

We must once again look to the past to see how we need to change course or perish. Communities thrived long ago because they knew they were part of something. Today's neighborhoods are full of strangers.

I do not know the answer but I think the breakdown of community when we changed to patterns of life based on the automobile was a big part of the problem. People used to live and work (mostly) in the same area at much higher ratios. There were businesses on one floor and apartments up top or in the back. In a more rural setting the business might be in the barn/ fields. Work and life were a lot more commingled. Now we work 20 minutes from home and shop 10 minutes away in another direction. That means a lot less time spent with family and around close neighbors. 

Sorry if I rambled.

As always the comments section is open.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Life Update

Kids are good. Honestly they are not really old enough to get it. In that regard it is better now than if we had somehow kicked the can down the road a few (more) years. They are with (soon to be ex) MIL and surrounded by family.

I video with them a couple times a week or so.

I am doing OK, settling into a new normal I guess. The bad 'OMG my life is over' days are getting much more rare.

I am keeping up on PT and doing OK on dry fire. On the plus side I have started cracking the code on the eating side so I am seeing real results there. 10 down and 13 to go. More on this in due time.

On the big D side we are figuring it out. Trying to balance protecting both our interests while not spending 2/3rds of our money on lawyers to fight over the remaining 1/3rd is the goal anyway.

So that is what's going on here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Heavy Unfortunate News: Separation

Wifey and I are separated and moving towards divorce. I am down here and she is at home with the kids and dogs. Of course nothing is over till its over but it sure looks unlikely the current course will change. I didn't see it coming though I should have. The unfortunate truth is that we have probably been throwing good money after bad for awhile now. I wish her the best going forward. Hopefully we can settle things as painlessly and quickly as possible.

So that is what's going on with me.

So what am I going to do moving forward. I am going to keep writing (need this little invisible community more than ever) while I try to figure things out. Heck I've started writing fiction again. No promises on when anything might come out but it is still progress.

How am I doing? Emotionally I am all over the place. Mostly moving between a sort of one foot in front of the other OK and sadness. On a positive note I am at least somewhat trending in a good direction and getting used to things. Figuring out what my new normal looks like. Working hard to forge stronger connections with friends and fill my time with positive, or at least neutral things. Have some self improvement to do also.

I am scheduled to leave here in the winter and go to a new duty station. Going to go home to see the kids as much as I can. Also I am looking hard at a new plan where I end there for good (and could be a meaningful part of their lives) a lot sooner than planned.

I don't write this to solicit advice or pity and for goodness sake I do not want to talk about my feelings. My intent is to let you know what is going on with me and get it off my chest. Please bear with me, the usual regular quality posting will continue in due course. In fact from a preparedness angle some pretty interesting things are probably going to happen.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Quote(s) of the Day

Walker looks accusingly across the table at Wifey "Mom, This is a terrible dinner."

A couple minutes later after the kids went to play in the other room out of earshot for normal conversations. She leans over and says quietly to me.

"4 year old's are assholes."

For the record she made us philly cheese steaks with fries and salad. It was really good. The kids had cheese sandwiches and fries, usually one of their favorite meals but apparently not today. It as classic kid, say something very matter of fact that is totally outside of social norms.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Stay At Home Mom Discussion

I talked about this not so long ago but this topic has come up in our social circles a couple times lately so Wifey and I have been talking about it.

[Note I am going to speak of dad (or to account for different paternal situations the man in the relationship) as the one who is going to keep working and mom as the one who is going to stay at home. I do this not because I am sort of old fashioned, though I am, but because it is by far the most common situation. So if Momma is going to work and Dad is going to be Mr Mom swap the titles in your head. Additionally if you have some sort of other non traditional situation where Tim and Sue are going to work and Bob, Jill and Ally are staying at home with the kids then adjust in your head as appropriate. I am not judging any of these scenarios it is just that I am writing to the situation I have experience with that is also the most common.]

I have said simply "For momma to stay home you need to live on at least a dollar less than what dad makes" before and while that is accurate it is a bit simplistic.

We will touch on what I believe are the most important parts of deciding whether momma staying at home is feasible and if it is something YOU AND THE SPOUSE want to do.

Agreement that momma staying home is a common goal: Unless you are rich to the point where mom's income does not factor into the lifestyle it is absolutely 100% essential that BOTH PARENTS AGREE MOMMA STAYING AT HOME IS IMPORTANT AND THAT THEY ARE WILLING TO MAKE SACRIFICES TO ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN. This is not biting the bullet and going to the restaurant or movie the spouse wants, this is a major decision that will have a massive impact on your economic, social and family lives for at least several years. I would say this is probably something that if a partner feels strongly about they would be well advised to discuss it prior to making a (at least theoretical) life commitment to another person.

Obviously you have to be able to live on dads income for this to work. The three biggest points here are debt, income and lifestyle.

The thing about debt here is that, especially if the prospective momma has been working in a good job for awhile it is easy to accumulate stuff, or more accurately in the current American fashion stuff 'bought' with debt based on that situation.

I have long been on the record about hating debt. Personally I think debt should be used to fund education and purchase reasonably priced homes. The only exception I can think of is if you need to borrow to get a vehicle decent enough to get out of the clunker car $500ing you to death trap. Even then it is more like a 10k commuter car not a 50k extended cab 4wd diesel truck. The biggest reason I hate debt is that by promising your future earnings you are limiting your options. Want to quit your job because the boss sucks? Too bad you have a jumbo mortgage, a line of credit, 2 vehicle loans, a motorcycle loan, 4 credit cards, 3 store cards, 2 student loans and a vacation loan from last year's trip.

[The second biggest reason is that you pay extra to get a hamburger today and pay for it tomorrow. Fundamentally personal debt is currently and has historically been a vehicle of the poor. There is a reason for this. The third reason was good too but it just slipped my mind.]

Obviously for momma to stay at home the family will have to be able to service all their debt as well as live on Dads salary. This is where planning comes into play. A couple, unless they were anti debt for other reasons, often cannot decide a few months before the kid is born for momma to stay at home because of decisions they made months and years before. This is really the hardest problem to unravel and the only one where there is not a very good way forward for families. I know multiple families who are stuck in this debt trap of their own making.

Income is something we Americans have a hard time talking about. There is a reason folks working low/ no skill jobs for 25k a year living in old  single wide trailers and professionals with advanced degrees earning 250k living in McMansions both self identify as middle class. This topic is taboo to us for some reason; I think it is our egalitarian national identity or something. The hard truth is the family has a lot more options if dad makes a decent living and a lot if he makes a good one.

Families certainly can live 25-35k or whatever a year if they are in a place with a very low cost of living and have no debt combined with significant discipline. However transport them to a medium cost place and live them a pretty typical student loan, a vehicle loan and a bit of consumer debt and less than perfect discipline and dad's 40k is not going to make it work.

In the overall income to expenses discussion the income side far too often gets ignored. Sometimes if the family runs the numbers and falls short the answer is for dad to figure out how to earn more money to close the gap. Maybe he is in a job where extra shifts and or side work are an option or maybe he is not maximally employed and needs to seek out a better job. Along these lines momma doing a bit of something is an option. It is important to be reasonable here if dad can work harder. more at work going from 42k to 46k is realistic but 40 to 60 is probably a hard sell without some significant game changers

Lifestyle is a big one. I would argue aside from already existing debt (which is arguably the non smart way to finance a lifestyle;) lifestyle is the biggest single barrier to momma staying at home. As the saying goes you can have anything you want but not EVERYTHING you want. Many if not most Americans live a pretty materialistic lifestyle. We like cool shiny new things.We like traveling. We like eating out. We like tv with 7,000 channels in super 30,270HD.

Having momma stay at home means less money and that your things will be older, duller, smaller and fewer than they would otherwise be. Relative to your situation you are going to have less cool stuff than neighbors, friends and co workers.

Personally I would like to say I/we are not materialistic at all but that is simply not true. I would love to drive an awesome new shiny 4 door Toyota truck with all kinds of cool tactical/ SHTF mods but we do not want (and can't afford) the inevitable payment that would go with it. Ditto a motorcycle, a riding lawn mower, a sweet cabin/ bug out location, an awesome vacation every year and a Steyr SSG.

I/ We have chosen to have Wifey stay at home instead of having somewhat cooler stuff. There are times when that sucks and you get a bit jealous of the Jones's. That is called life.

Will not go as far as to say a couple are bad parents if they both choose to work in order to have bigger shinier stuff, travel more, etc. We all make choices for our lives that others could criticize but at the end of the day folks are doing what they think is right. There are lots of factors involved and it is hard to judge a persons choice. I will however say that if momma claims to want to stay at home she should be brutally honest with herself and admit to choosing a newer car and a bigger house or whatever over doing so.

So those are my thoughts on that. To recap for momma to stay at home the couple needs to agree it is a common goal, avoid debt that can't be serviced on one income and adjust their lifestyle to what the remaining income allows.

I do not want to be a kill joy. In most cases I have seen it is possible for momma to stay at home if they are willing to take the lifestyle hit. Maybe they need to ditch a vehicle with a big note and/ or a fancy toy in the process and generally living more modestly. YOU CAN DO THIS. Now whether mom and dad are both willing to take that hit is the question that matters.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Check Ya Later

Over the next few days posting may be light. Depending on events and spotty internet I may be late responding to emails or comments. Got a post in the cue for tomorrow but don't expect a lot till after the New Year.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day 2013

Merry Christmas. Today will be filled to the brim with family fun, presents and more food n drink than are probably reasonable. Don't have anything big to say. Baring something unforeseen and amazing this will be the official 2013 Christmas post.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas or whatever else it is you choose to celebrate. Regardless of the religious and or cultural celebration you choose I hope you spend some time with friends and family doing good wholesome stuff; or maybe not so wholesome stuff, just try not to get on Cops with a knock down drag out family brawl. Talk to you all later.

If you have spare time get your fighting load contest entry put together.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Road Trip Day 5- Louisiana!!!

Today was the last day on the road. We left Houston (well actually a suburb) about 9:30 then got on the road. Aside from everybody being tired of driving and Walker being rather confused plus wanting to stay playing with cousins it was a decent drive. Once we got off I-10 shortly after entering LA things got rural in a hurry. Windy roads through small towns which is the sort of thing we're used to from home. Also we enjoy the trees and general greenery. A big change from Arizona.

There isn't a whole lot of anything out here but town seems big enough to met our basic needs which is good. Honestly we tend to prefer a rather rural area anyway so that is good. 

In general the heat has been getting to Wifey and the kids. I spent the summer in Arizona so am used to 90-100+ degree temps. The addition of humidity is something I knew was coming (we did live in Alabama for awhile) but being away from it for awhile expecting it isn't the same as being in it.

Well we arrived safely which was a bit surprising. Between two very young children, the dog, about 1,400 miles and a trailer that was far heavier than our vehicle is meant to tow I figured something would happen. No breakdowns or wrecks, our stuff didn't get messed with, no food poisoning from random places, etc all. Aside from the usual shenanigans like Walker loudly celebrating that he tagged the dog with a toy truck, throwing food, screaming and lots of diaper changes, it was pleasantly uneventful.

We got the trailer unloaded and returned which was good. Took Walker swimming, fed him the requested pizza, picked up a few things then headed back to the hotel. Kids passed out on the drive back. Looking for a short term place to live tomorrow. Got to figure that out, learn our way around then start house hunting. If anyone with current resident type knowledge (not a tour here 20 years ago) of the greater Fort Polk area is willing to help out with advice please drop a line to

Tomorrow will be a make up for Gun Stuff Saturday.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How Out Are You As A Survivalist?

First off I have to credit Commander Zero for inspiring this post.  When it comes to preparedness and survivalism there is a consideration of how much to expose to others. Zero has previously compared this with being gay or some other not widely accepted and arguably deviant behavior.

Giving our more conservative readers a second to adjust to the comparison it is very valid. Compare the normal "prepper" to someone who is totally in the closet and the dude who wears BDU's all the time, has a custom camo painted surplus truck full of political/ gun bumper stickers, etc to the assless chaps (though really by definition chaps are assless, that's what makes em chaps instead of pants) shirtless with leather vest dude at the gay pride parade.

[Look if there is any confusion I genuinely do not care who anyone has sex with so long as they are consenting adults. Be gay, strait, or change it up on Tuesdays, whatever. That's not what this blog is about.]

Part of the issue with being in the closet is that it is difficult to meet like minded people for friendship, to work together and of course for mutual support. You'll miss out on a lot by not getting involved with like minded people. That sucks.

Of course the other side has it's issues also. Part of your life can make the rest difficult. Just like the guys from golf might not approve of Man Disco Friday they might not be a huge fan of Crazy Bunker everyday. You get the point.

Most people tend to choose something between the two extremes.

First of all it is my general belief that people can, for lack of a better way of saying it, smell their own. Be it sexual lifestyle choices, drugs, survivalism or whatever folks can usually pick others with similar choices out from the pack. This is darn near unavoidable if you spend more than a little bit of time around eachother.

It is worth considering that a persons environment largely guides what is 'normal' and thus what is abnormal. For example in many parts of the western US it is common for people to carry handguns for a variety of reasons and a rifle in a rack is not uncommon. Folks who are in certain trades may tend to carry different tools or fixed blade knives. Conversely some professional jobs in big cities dictate suits and terribly impractical shoes. Personally being in the Army and thus living around bases I can carry a fairly aggressive tactical type knife like a Benchmade auto and wear a rigger belt without undue attention.

In preparedness we gain or sacrifice capabilities depending on how out we choose to be. A tiny swiss army knife with a 1/2 inch blade beats no knife but a 4" folder would be a lot better. Boots or comfortable shoes sure beat dress shoes in a disaster. You get the point.

I think we all have to consider how much is gained or sacrificed by our level of overt survivalism.

Personally I carry a fairly large tactical type knife and wear a gun manufacturer hat albeit a discrete one. In Arizona I open carried about half the time. How out that is I'm not sure. For my area I'm fairly out in terms of dress but for others it would be pretty shocking.

Also how much we do or do not talk about survivalism with others is a consideration. Talking can help you convert people or gain like minded allies but it can also alientate you from others who find the whole thing shocking and put you at risk. A neighbor who thinks preparedness is whacky might come knocking when a disaster strikes. 

In this area I play it pretty safe. Very good friends and close family are tracking the broad strokes of what I do but strangers, neighbors, folks at work, etc do not need to know. The rewards do not even out the various risks. Every once in awhile you stumble into somebody who just seems to think the same way so maybe you talk more with them when others are not around.

Both being out and being discrete have pluses and minuses. It is worth noting that it's easy to go from being discrete to a bit more overt and short of moving a long distance and dealing with totally new people almost impossible to do the opposite. Once the genie is out of the bottle it's out. It is really about what is right for your goals and lifestyle.

So how out are you?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Making Survivalism Fit 2

Today I went through a bunch of stuff. Tossed out some random junk which helped. Also I combined a bunch of partial boxes and such into full ones. That did a lot. Decreased space consumption is a big part of my goal so that was good.

Grouping like items let me make some choices which was excellent. Several items that were in pretty rough shape were tossed. Stuff that would be better than nothing but is not really fit for service. Seeing I had X pair of boots meant I could ditch the other two that were close to falling apart.

Some stuff I went through (to discard junk and unneeded items) still has to be organized. I'll get to that ASAP. My next big goal, which will happen once we get settled in, is to organize a couple larger systems. A heavy vehicle based bug out kit and sort of solidify our 'bug in' gear setup. Getting those two things figured out will go a long way towards showing what we need, what gaps exist that must be filled, and potentially what stuff is excess.

Organization is slowly making things better.

RE: Making Survivalism Fit

An email reply to my recent post Making Survivalism Fit
This is Mike who responded to you in the blog. I’m one of the editors of the Plan B Writer’s Alliance. We put together a book you might find helpful because it addresses some of the issues you mentioned. It’s called ‘Locusts on the Horizon’. It’s 236,000 words (it’s an eBook that would be about 1,100 pages if printed out) and only $2.99, but that isn’t a sales pitch, just thought you might find it helpful.
The staff of Plan B is scattered all over the country, and I’m the only one that lives within walking distance of the beach in hurricane country on the Gulf Coast. When you live part of the year (hurricane season), every year, in a state of mentally contemplating a ‘what if’ of a total bug out, it refocuses you on what is important and what is not. Anything you leave behind when a hurricane hits simply might not be there when you get back. You keep your stuff pared down, your gear lean and mean, and you itemize just what is really important that you will need, and what is utterly irreplaceable. Everything we want to keep we have ready to load up on short notice into a bug out trailer.
For example, we keep our ammo supply down to just a very few calibers and stored in a few GI ammo cans. The reloading gear is compact and stores away readily also. We also don’t keep on hand a massive collection of guns, just what is useful. All photos are scanned and stored on DVD’s and stored with important documents in a portable, fireproof safe with backup copies, including scans archived on DVD’s. Everyone keeps their clothing inventory down to one GI duffle bag each. We have an emergency food supply, but nothing so huge it can’t come with us.
One of the yard sticks we use is, “Have we used this item in the last year?” and “Is this item useless and/or redundant?” If it doesn’t pass the test, it then goes into one of three piles, donate, sell, and trash. It’s stunning how much ‘survival’ gear, including many guns, we found fell into the ‘useless and/or redundant’ category.
Two of the things we have noticed is what preppers/survivalists tend to horde way too many of are excess guns and paper printed books. This stuff can weigh a ton, literally. One of the reasons I have tried to focus the bulk of my book acquisition for some time now into eBooks is that they are zero mass. Only a select few titles, one Rubbermaid container full, do we keep as printed paper books. A few key medical books, a couple of plant reference books, and a couple of the most important reloading manuals are amongst those included. All of our eBooks are kept backed up on DVD’s in a waterproof GI ammo can.
The side effect of all of this is that when you get rid of extra baggage and clutter, it really takes a lot of stress off. Things like moving are also much easier.
I hope some of this helps out a bit.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Making Survivalism Fit

One thing about moving regularly is that it leads us to looking at how we are doing things, what we can do better, etc. Here things got messy. Survivalist stuff seemed to get stuffed into every closet, corner and space. It's overflowing and creating friction within our household.

A large part of the issue is going to be addressed by getting a bigger place with some storage that will better address our needs. That will go a long way towards the issue. After that we need to be better about having honest discussions about what is family space, what is storage and what is my crazy space. Having enough space will help there. When you have 20 pounds of stuff to fit into a 15 pound sack things go wherever there is a hole.

Keeping things in the right place has been an issue here. To support things staying where they should I need to improve the organization of our stuff. This will also help as organized stuff always takes less space than disorganized stuff.

How have you managed fitting various survivalist stuff into the living space you have? How have you balanced having a decent non cluttered home into the mix?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fam is Back

They arrived safely today. Walker is huge and talks constantly. #2 is much more active now. Spent the day hanging out with them.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Life Update

Baring any sort of cataclysmic issues in the next few days Wifey and the kids are headed home this weekend which is excellent. Our time in Arizona is winding down. In a couple weeks or so we will be out of here. I have mixed feelings about that. We like it down here a lot but getting to a place where we will be stable for awhile will be nice.

There are a lot of things you don't do in a temporary (say under a year though this was really close to that) place. Painting or any sort of home modifications are pretty much out. Also you just don't put in that much effort to really get settled in, make friends, etc all. This is also sort of self defeating. You do/ don't do things because it is a short term place; so it feels even more short term.

Socially we got some good family time which was nice. That was sadly disrupted by the trip home that never ended. We got a dog which was probably a mistake but at least it was a fun one. Being back in America is pretty awesome so that has been good.

In terms of preparations some good things happened. I built a nice rifle. We stashed some food. Got a lot of work done towards our systems. Overall some solid prep work was done so that was cool.

Anyway in conjunction with the move not a ton is going to happen with preps for a bit. I'll still be writing but doing less stuff generally means a bit less fuel to make for interesting writing. I suppose in all long ventures (somewhere around 6 years I think) there are ebbs and flows.

So that is what's going on. Please excuse me, it is time to make a monster taco salad, except without all the really unhealthy stuff.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Life Update

Somebody asked so it seemed worthwhile to address it here. Wifey and I are still married with plans to stay that way. Haven't been talking about her or the the kids because they are not here. They went home to see family then Kiddo #2 got sick which extended the visit considerably. Kiddo #2 is better (at least for now and well enough to travel anyway) so they are coming back here in a couple weeks. Wish it would get here faster as I miss them a lot.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Door Knockers and Strap Hangers

Teotwawki Blog brought up The Doorstep Problem and it is worth discussing. In fact it is probably on the quarterly fundamentals rehashing list. So here we go.

There are a few fundamental questions to consider:

1) Do I/ we want to help this person? If you have been wanting to yell at somebody and maybe point a gun at them for years then the decision is simple.

2) Can I/ we afford to help this person? This is a question of how much food (or whatever stuff) you have, how many people it needs to feed and the suspected length of the situation at hand. I could feed the whole neighborhood for a 3 day power outage and a bunch of folks for a month to ride out a natural disaster. On the other hand if we are talking about 6 months or a year or maybe more the division gets bad in a hurry.

3) Under what conditions am I/ we willing to help this person?

Now to some discussion.

I think it is reasonable to keep your preparations from acquaintances and casual office buddies. It's easy enough to avoid those discussions with these folks. Worst case for casual acquaintances who say "I'm coming to your house" the response of "No you are not, I have a gun and know how to use it" is probably sufficient.

However close friends and family will know to some degree that you are prepared and we tend to like them a lot more. Maybe it will be because keeping things from these folks is harder as we are closer to them or that they are around more and will eventually see a stash of canned essentials or a few boxes of freeze dried food. So we are going to focus primarily on more than casual acquaintances.

The old adage that you can get murdered alone or starve to death together bears some consideration. There is a balancing act here. On one hand any decent security setup is probably going to involve several or ideally more like a dozen plus healthy military age (broadly 16-60ish) adults which probably means at least 2 or more likely 3 times that number of people with kids, elders and the infirm. However at some point the math just doesn't work. Most folks have a hard enough time trying to make bills, save and get prepared for their immediate family, let alone a 40 person extended clan. If you do not have enough food in the short term and the space and stuff to produce food in the long term it's just not going to work.

I think conditions under which you might be willing to help a particular person are worth giving serious consideration. Are you willing to let them camp in the back 40, use whatever shelter they bring and eat their own food? Will you provide them with some food, tell them you cannot spare more later and send them home? Are they going to sleep in the den and basically be treated as family? Can they bring 4 poorly behaved pit bulls? What about granny?

[People often lack any sort of realistic shelter plan for those who are coming over to ride things out. Travel trailers are a fine idea. Slapping up a couple basic rooms with bunk beds in the basement is a fine idea. Turning an old shed into a bunk house is a fine idea. The point is to have a realistic plan of some sort.]

There are not really clean cut answers here but it is worth figuring out the answers for your situation. I think it's worth mentioning that the time to talk about this stuff is BEFORE something happens. That gives folks a legitimate opportunity to meet your conditions or find an alternative plan. Also it puts you on as solid ground as you can be when your cousin who was told he can camp in the back 40 and eat his own food shows up empty handed.

I think strap hanging family are probably the most underestimated problem for your Rawlesian type pre planned survivalist group. When the chips are down many folks realize that blood actually matters a lot. Most people simply will not turn away their parents or siblings. At least with a more natural group of some family and close friends there is a bit of overlap and you know each other. On the other hand if your 'group' is 6 random families all with their own relatives and close friends the numbers get out of control in a hurry. Depending on peoples family situation and proximity the issue may be pressing. Again the answer is thinking about these problems and coming up with a realistic plan before you need it.

I do not have all the answers. Close family and friends we would help as much as possible, more distant relatives and  casual buddies would probably get some help and other folks would get told to kick rocks. My answers might not be right for you but it's where I stand on the thing.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Meeting Like Minded People

Commander Zero once compared being a survivalist to 'alternative lifestyles'. For the more prudish folks they have to get past their prejudices (just for a second) and actually thing about this. It is something you do not really want out there for most folks but to meet people with similar interests occasionally you have to put yourself out here. There is a 'survivalist radar' that is sort of like a 'gaydar' that you can sometimes peg folks who are like you. However at some point you or the other person have to go out on a limb and talk about it for things to progress. In any case moving on.

I put myself out there recently. This was a big thing for me. To say that I am paranoid and have significant trust issues is probably an understatement. However to improve my situation this has to happen. My current 'tribe' has some pluses and some minuses. One of the biggest minuses is that until I change jobs (no plan to do that anytime soon) they are very far away.

Sometimes the answer to improving your situation is that you need to get out and make some new friends with similar interests. Where it will go I am not sure. Honestly don't know what my goals from the whole thing anyway. I would like to learn useful things I do not know and help others learn what I know. Also maybe leverage numbers to make some group purchases at 'bulk' prices. Could even progress into some sort of mutual assistance type thing.

Anyway the point I am trying to get to is that many of us (myself included) would benefit from developing relationships and training with like minded individuals. Obviously we need to pay some attention to OPSEC and limit the amount of info we let folks know about us but otherwise the benefits outweigh the negatives. However if the only reason you aren't willing to meet new people is that it means leaving your comfort zone then put on your big boy(or girl) pants and do the smart thing.

We will probably talk more about this.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Family Fire Team Complete

Kiddo #2 was born this morning. 7 pounds 13 ounces, 19.5 inches long all the right numbers of fingers and toes. It looks like this kid has some will to live because she is taking to nursing just fine which is great. Walker seems to like her which is good. She also seems to be a solid sleeper which is good. Time will tell on both of those things of course.

Anyway figured I would let you all know so please forgive me if correspondences are delayed or whatnot. Posts are scheduled for awhile which should help things. There are a few more entries to our EDC contest that helped a lot here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tonights Conversation

Wifey- I'm mad at you. I only have the energy to be nice to one person today, all things considered it should be Walker. Beside he didn't do anything to me.

Me-What did I do to you?

Wifey- Impregnated me!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas Eve

It was a pretty good day here. Did some running around and taking care of stuff early. The afternoon was spent cooking. Wifey was working on tomorrows feast. Today was my job. The menu was prime rib, potatoes au gratin, macaroni and veggies. My first time with the meat and taters but the consensus was that it all turned out well. Dog sure liked the ribs and trimmings too.

Tried to get a $25 blu ray player from Goodwill bought to replace our KIA DVD player up and running without luck. It will probably work eventually but didn't tonight. On the plus side that trip included a great deal on a $25 brand new (still had tags on it) DCU Gore Tex parka that I'm really psyched about. In any case after putting kiddo to bed we did a little Elf work and got everything ready for tomorrow.

Looking forward to tomorrow with Walker. Except he hates Santa. Had a bad experience with a mall impostor and now every time the S man is mentioned he freaks out. In any case it should be an eventful and fun day. No big plans. The usual presents in the morning, some snacking through out the day, dinner and then call it a rap. We aren't near family so it is just us and good ole Dog. Sure there will be plenty of catching up with folks via phone though.

In any case I hope you all had a great day today and are ready for tomorrow.

Merry Christmas

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