Showing posts with label frozen pizza. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frozen pizza. Show all posts

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Putting on my Nostradamos Cap

On Economics/ Politics:

Well QE 3 is finally getting launched so we will see a fast meaningful recovery the lost decade will continue.

Unfortunately I do not think our economy is going to get better until we are really honest about our situation and take the steps to get back to an honest and stable place. This requires facing the pain of unraveling all the bad "assets" floating around and the massive empty inventory in the housing market gets unloaded at realistic prices. As this is not happening any time soon the pain will continue.

I saw an interesting article over at James Dakin's place (original Lew Rockwell article here) that basically says we will not have hyperinflation because it is not in the best interest of big banks and their whole crony network. I cannot say that I understand it fully but, not necessarily for any quantifiable reason, I agree that hyperinflation is not likely.

We do need to get onto the same page as to exactly what is considered hyperinflation. Let's pick the definition of hyperinflation as greater than 50% inflation in a month. It is as good as any. I do not see this happening. Yes we have a huge debt but we are too big and powerful with too many huge productive businesses for it to be likely IMO. (Also I think Arctic Patriot noted that huge powerful countries do not go broke, they go to war) I don't intend to argue this point, it is just my take on things.

Now I do think a period of painfully high inflation is quite possible. Maybe somebody gets some sense and cuts off the free money that has been subsidizing big businesses and poor decisions like dollar shot night at the local bar. Maybe our creditors start to get wise and demand an actual return on their money. Maybe the big banksters aim their destructive market powers at US. I don't know.

We could see 10-13% inflation which would probably leave the fed rate around 16%, prime mortgages around 20% and consumer debt in the area of 30%. This would drag down our economy like a guy trying to swim with an anvil tied to his waist. Several consecutive years of this would essentially destroy those on fixed incomes. Folks holding adjustable rate debt's would probably face default or ruin.

We may see rioting and disorder as welfare/ food aid/ etc that are chained to the ever more manipulated to give a happy story CPI get left behind. [Briefly touching on Matthew Bracken's When the Music Stops I do not see our government failing to send out welfare/ food stamps (now on cards)/ etc. I respect Matthew Bracken immensely but IMO this article misses the simple point that our government via it's cronies the Federal Reserve has a darn license to print money. It is like saying that Jack Daniels will run out of Whiskey or Tula will run out of .45 caliber bullets.

Seniors and moochers will get what they are "entitled" down to the exact penny. However that doesn't mean it will be worth the same as it is today. Somebody on food stamps or whatever will get the same dollars worth of hand out's but if a pound of rice costs $5 and a Digorno frozen pizza costs $10 it won't go very far. Not quite as sudden or whatever as envisioned in the scenario. It would more likely cause a slow upswing in problems than a sudden burst of angst. That is of course unless some sort of response was coordinated to meet a specific purpose in support of some agenda.]

I see this arguably intentionally orchestrated series of events potentially diminishing our status on the world stage with a wimper, not a bang. Think of the way Britain's role and power have changed from WWI to now. They went from being the biggest and arguably most powerful nation in the world to being publicly dissed by Argentina stealing their island (yeah they later took it back, barely).

On War:

The madness between Israel and Iran is out of control. All I hear in the media is war drum's. At this point I really would not mind if they get it over with and fight, at least that way it would get done and we could have  the news back. Except of course it would cause a lot of problems, likely embroil us in a nasty conflict, maybe cause nuclear war, blah, blah, blah.

On Gun Control:

I do not see a reinstatement of the Assault Weapons Ban or whatnot. The balance of public opinion is clearly against it. Unless the Dem's sweep the house and senate plus keep the presidency which is probably not likely I am not concerned. Even then I am not so sure for heavens sake Walmart sells AR-15's.

That being said ATF fiat and possibly executive orders might pop up with some fun new stuff. The play of the ATF arbitrarily usurping more of our rights changing some regulations which FFL's (and individuals) will then follow or face their lives being ruined and livelihoods destroyed is already in the playbook. Remember that your shotgun is a shotgun unless it is suddenly a pistol or maybe an evil assault weapon.

On Crime and Disorder:

In general I think crime is getting worse with the signs showing the trend is likely to continue. Maybe it is the economy. With everybody (well a lot of folks anyway) taking a step down the proverbial economic ladder some folks look to crime as the easy way out. Some of it is cultural/ environmental but that doesn't really matter. For reasons I am not entirely clear on criminals seem to be getting more and more violent. Home invasions seem to be becoming more and more prominent.

As discussed above there is a potential scenario (amongst others) where things could just go nuts like LA Riots times 1,000 all over the place.

Anyway that is what I think may be coming. Now to what we might be able to do about it:

Economics:

Some folks argue that having a lot of debt is fine because hyperinflation or at least inflation will let them pay it back in cheaper (or basically free) dollars. The first issue with that plan is that if you haven't figured it out yet banks are going to get taken care of at the expense of common folks, not the other way around. The second issue is that you it will be hard to pay back cheaper dollars if you lose your income/ job because the economy tanks.

If you listen to nothing else that I say get out of any debts that have an adjustable interest rate. The only exception would be if you have the cash to pay the debt off immediately (like in the next payment) but choose to keep it at a low adjustable rate so you can stay a bit more liquid. Rates are very low right now with almost a guarantee that they will go up. As we saw with various European countries a bad auction or two can jack up rates in a hurry.

The basics still apply here. Minimize debt and live below your means. Save in various forms against an uncertain future.

Gun Control:

In this quadrennial 'OMG the evil gun haters might ban everything' period I have spent a bit of money but that was just bumping up some purchases I planned to make anyway by a bit. Sort of hedging my bets if you will. That being said I have been getting squared away in this area for awhile and while things aren't perfect (are they ever?) most of our bases are covered. If you do not own something, especially if it is likely to be targeted in a ban, that you want and can afford then consider getting it.

Crime and Disorder:

Things are getting more and more dangerous. Carry a weapon if it is legal and practical for your lifestyle. Get the training to know what you are doing. Make yourself a hard target. If you live someplace that is sucky and dangerous with a high percentage of unhappy urban folks and welfare types consider moving if you can figure out how to afford it.

Note that most of the things I have recommended are the same things I have been talking about for awhile. Preparing for every situation is not the same. You do not need a dozen assault rifles to survive an economic collapse. Having half your net worth in PM's will not be ideal if things go all mad max. That being said a whole lot of the commonalities are the same. Live below your means saving (in various forms) for emergencies and the future. Store food, fuel and other various things you will need. Have the skills and weapons to protect yourself and your stuff.

Anyway that is what I have been thinking about. Thoughts or input are of course welcome. 








Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Staple Cooking and Random Thoughts Theiron

-You need to prepare to have failures. I am not going to say you will be a failure of that everything you try to make is going to fail the first time. Just that at least now and then you are going to fail. I suggest having a backup plan so that at 8 oclock at night (speaking from experience;) when you've been waiting for dinner for two hours and the recipe has failed twice (so everyone is hungry and the cook is really upset) you've got dinner. Not saying you need a whole extra menu but a frozen pizza or a takeout menu might be wise to keep around.

-You've got to learn the rules before you try to break the rules. Some elements of cooking like BBQing, pasta and making salad's give a lot of flexibility. They are more like art where you can just sort of toss things which generally sound good together and usually it works out at least OK if not well. However staple cooking, and baking (especially with yeast) just doesn't work that way. It is a lot more like chemistry in that there are lots of rules as well as some hard and fast ways to go things. You've got to learn some rules and start with recipes that work. After you get those down you can start adding a little of this and a bit less of the other thing. People like professional chef's and bakers can just toss stuff together and have it work because they have internalized the rules and best methods for doing things. Until you get to that point you should get a recipe book or hop onto google and find some stuff to make.

-Start small. The first time to try staple cooking is not the main course when you are having your in laws, boss and 20 best friends over for a fancy dinner. A side dish (biscuits, beans, etc) on a random day is probably a better idea. The learning curve is steep so it is best to keep your expectations modest at first.

-Cook stuff you like. This should go without saying but sometimes people get sucked into the staple cooking idea and carried away. No matter how wonderfully you make it a thing you don't like isn't much of a success. If you like soup then make soup. If you like like beans cook beans.

-Don't give up. The learning curve is steep and you are going to have failures. The good thing is that once you start to figure out the rules of a certain type of cooking (bread, beans, etc) you are all of a sudden able to do all kinds of things in that category. You will be able to save lots of money and eat wonderful healthy food. You will turn a bag of this and some boxes of that into great tasting food. All of the work is well worth the end results.

Remember you have just until early Saturday morning to enter our Awesome Ammo Giveaway Contest. Just wanted to make sure you are aware of it. You can get a whole bunch of free ammo for no money and a very modest investment of a few minutes of your time.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Letter To Ryan

First of all I am sorry to hear about your misfortune. Second I am glad you are learning from it and preparing to take steps towards being more prepared. Don't feel too bad about living paycheck to paycheck. That will rapidly improve (assuming you make good choices) when you get done with school. I am going to guess that at least 1/3rd of our readers would be in a fairly similar position though maybe with a bit more food in the house. Another third would need to shift some things around or whatever and would be OK. The last third keep enough of a buffer in checking that it would not be a big issue (depending on when in the month).

Your major concern here is food as you have recently run out of it. Once this little bump in the road is past here is what I suggest. Go to your local big box (Costco, Sam's Club, Winco, etc) and purchase the following items: 20lbs bag of just add water bisquick, a big jug of syrup, 20lbs of rice (sticky is what we prefer) with whatever you like to put on it, a big assed thing of oatmeal plus some brown sugar and a huge jar of peanut butter. Not exactly sure what these will cost you but not very much. Also not going to look up calories and figure out how many days worth of food this is but I think you could eat for awhile on this stuff. This is your starting point to get a decent amount of food for a price you can afford. You now have a reasonable start to staples and more food then a disturbing amount of people. If need be buy the first half of the list one payday and the remainder the following payday.

Here is your next step in food. Get things you actually eat. Every time you pick up something get a second one. The emphasis is on reasonably long term shelf stable stuff but having a couple spare frozen pizzas, packages of burger, etc is not a bad thing. If you would get 2 cans of tuna get 3 or 4. Instead of one box of cereal get two. The key is not to eat up this stuff but to continue buying in excess of your consumption to build up a surplus. It is easy enough (at least in theory) to just put the new stuff at the back of the pile and thus rotate your food.

[if you start getting worried about needing this food for an emergency then just get an alternative cooking source or two]

Between these two plans it is easy enough to rapidly accumulate a good amount of food which you normally eat. Getting to a few weeks or a month of food should be easy and with the plan I outlined you will hardly notice it in the overall budget.

Lots of people say they are too poor to save. I would say just the opposite. People who make/ have very little money need to save (for these purposes) much more so then those who make more. Someone who makes 70k a year can take life's minor problem ($400 seems to be the unlucky number for me) in stride. However a set of tires he would buy without a second though but someone who makes 17k a year that is a real issue UNLESS THEY HAVE PLANNED AND SAVED.

My other suggestion is to save cash. I am not talking about money in the bank though that is a very good thing. Banks are closed, they fail, you loose your card, etc. Every paycheck take $20 and put it away. Keep it in an envelope or whatever in a safe place and DON'T SPEND IT. Continue doing this until you've got a months cash expenses (the landlord, insurance, etc can get checks). At a rate you can probably save at this should take a few months. Once you get to a months worth of cash expenses in said envelope look at putting your continued contributions into a bank account.

Anyway here are a couple of old posts which might be interesting; Letter to Maggy, The Emergency Fund. You can read those but they will rhyme significantly with what I said above. My thoughts are somewhat different because his situation is unique as he is still in school.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cheap Food

Tonight we had sausage and pancakes for dinner. It cost about $4.50 and there are leftovers, would have been a lot less if we had cooked half the pack of sausage. I like to roll my sausage up in pancakes and dip the whole thing in syrup. I will probably have some of the leftovers for breakfast. Sometimes it is nice to have breakfast for dinner and it is cheap to boot. Dinner these days costs 5-7 dollars total if we eat meat and far less if we do not. Of course this could be done a lot cheaper but we do not have the need or desire to do that. For less than the price of a frozen pizza we had a great dinner tonight.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

No New Lower Receiver and Storing Food

I decided against getting that new lower receiver. I don't really need the expense or trouble of building a new AR right now (fully building one and getting mags for it plus ammo would be 2k or more). I don't really have a personality that would let me stash a stripped lower in the bottom of the gun cabinet for a couple years and right now the cash to build the AR I want isn't available. I can use a bunch of smaller $50-150 gun stuff right now (nite sights for the glock 19, short barrel for the 870, collapsible stock for the M4, couple slings, some ammo, etc). I told myself no new guns till the birthday for precisely that reason. Ultimately I would like a Squad Designated Marksmen ish AR but I will not shed a bunch of tears if that doesn't happen. I do need to scope SOMETHING down the road but I am sure a bolt action 30.06 will be available.

Wifey and I had an interesting discussion about leftovers today. A big part of the problem with using up all of the food she cooks is that there is no way to tell how hungry I will be. Sometimes I eat a big lunch and do little and other times I end up eating nothing and working like crazy. Wifey could cook for 2 easy enough but when hubby comes home and eats for 3 on a regular basis that won't work. We also collectively don't like eating the same thing for multiple days. Right now taking leftovers for lunch isn't practical so that solution is out.

We thinks the best current course of action is to get a few rubermaid type containers and just freeze the leftovers to eat in a week or two. This way we don't get stuck eating tacos for 4 nights in a row college style and there will be some cheap semi ready made dinners for the nights when Wifey doesn't feel like cooking. This will also help for when she is gone for whatever reason. Lazy assed doesn't cook much anymore husband can just heat something up and not eat frozen pizza every night.

There isn't a ton on the agenda for today. Think I might have a bit of homework and we are going to Wallyworld to grab some stuff and develop film. Will probably write more later.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Roundup

Yesterday some 12 gauge rifled slugs came home from Walmart with me which is good because apparantly I had none or very few in some oddball location. A few more 15 round packs will join them later down the road. As for the gold or bullets post I am toying with the notion of continueing to purchase precious metals and adjusting some of my other expenses to higher prioritize ammo. The only major thing that would change is the date of the upcoming Glock 19 purchase. That being said if Walmart has those white 100 round packs of .38 ammo three of them will almost surely come home with me instead of PM's. Got a week and a half to ponder the whole thing before any purchases could be made.

Today has been a fairly mundane day. Wifey is catching up on laundry now that we finally have a washer and a dryer. I did some dishes and signed back in from leave. I have been doing a lot more cooking in the last couple days. Yesterday I made grilled ham and cheese with tomato soup. Grilled cheese and tomato soup is pretty darn good and not too expensive to make. Adding ham is nice but is not necessary in terms of protein or taste. I also hear tell that it is safe to eat Campbell's Tomato soup five months after its expiration date. You can't trust the guy who told me this so any risks you take are your own and YMMV. We still have plenty of cheese and ham so this meal is going to come up again at least once this coming week.

I made tacos this afternoon. Using meat, vegetables, sour cream and cheese tacos are not a particularly cheap meal but they are really good. Got enough left over for whichever of us gets at it first to make a taco. We eat them at least once every couple of months. I got a bit of motivation and sent off the prizes from the writing contest. Both of the fellows will be able to add a little bit of silver to their treasures or have a small start for a treasure. I sure hope these don't get lost in the mail because I didn't put a return address on either envelope. Can't say when the next contest will be but this one was kinda fun so there will be another.

I am getting rid of convenience foods by not replacing what is eaten. I do however intend to keep some frozen pizza in the fridge because there are days when they are a real lifesaver.

Tommarow I will go back to work and baring anything unforseen posting will be normal. Doubt I will post several times a day but if I go to one or two the cream tends to rise to the top so it isn't a big loss.
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