Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Clutter from my mind to the keys

We are stove shopping, at least we might get a good deal with the holiday season here. Our 1970ish stove is on the fritz and it's time to upgrade. We are thinking about doing the counter tops at the same time, it's just hard to part with money. We have $800 in gift cards saved up from Home Depot and Visa, that will cover half of the stove. We want a 6 burner smooth surface electric. We put some thought into a gas stove, but you have to have a large over the stove hood vent in order to have it installed. Our kitchen won't allow for that, so we will stick to electric. You can see in the below picture it's a 2 burner on the right, but either side is a large insert (we have a grill for the left side as well), but the contacts are all wearing out. If you have the 2 burners on the right cooking, the left burners barely work. Not acceptable as much as we cook.
I'm amazed, and totally not surprised by the number of people who can't make bread.... or anything. Someone at work assumed my bread was from a bread machine and told me how they can't figure out how to use the one they got as a gift. I know it's hard to measure and dump....
Fresh bread not only has an amazing taste, it's only about .50 cents per loaf worth of ingredients if you don't buy in bulk. It's so much work... oh my poor hands, all that kneading. A solar over isn't really inexpensive

Organizing: Making room for a second gun safe and a possible freezer had me in the basement for 4 hours. I moved a rack, added a rack, organized a rack and checked the expiration dates on the canned goods. I noticed my 7 day go buckets have expired pop tarts in them, this weekend I will swap some mountain house packets in their place. I had about $50 in goods to stock in from the staging area, it's only a pain when you have to move all the cans to put the new stuff in the back/underneath.

Surfing: I read an article over here, about a LEO during Sandy. A few of the comments talked about a sense of community and how they hope people will pull together and learn from lessons in the past. Good luck.
We are guilty of not wanting to socialize with the people who live around us, for the most part. It's ok to be friendly, but when people go out of their way to cross the street so they avoid you... well that's all I need to know. Who's fault is it that people aren't prepared, it's not ours. If there is a crisis, people do band together some, it's natural. After the crisis, it's back to the Xbox and ignoring each other.
We have enough to do right now with friends and family, I'm not going to waste crisis energy or supplies for people who never wanted anything to do with us. I'm sorry if I walk out of my gate and someone notices a pistol on my belt, tough cookies, see you on the other side of the street.

Everyone has the same opportunity to be prepared for whatever. Income and expenses will vary but the opportunity and choices are/have been there. I grew up on food stamps, government cheese, low income firewood delivery programs, etc. Once a month we would get some ice cream or a bag of cheetos, otherwise everything we had went into just getting by. Thankfully there was a free school lunch program to help, I'm not sure we could have done one more meal 5 days a week for my Brother and I. We made the right choices the whole time and even when were off food stamps we didn't change much, (we did get electricity and a 19" color tv) our shopping habits stayed the same.

Lesson learned: Some blogs and websites I have read/read talk about using a .308 as a main battle rifle... After shooting the carbine and .308 this weekend, I don't think that's feasible. With the recoil on the .308, you are way off target after a couple of rapid shots. The carbine I can get a 30 round magazine on and around the target with no issues. It makes me wonder if I'm reading things from 'armchair preppers', or am I just a weak sissy boy.

Finally: I was in Safeway yesterday grabbing some fruit for the week (work nibbles) when I saw they were doing some type of fundraiser. $10 donation and they will fill a grocery bag and give it to X charity. Hey, good idea to help those less fortunate. THEN I saw the sign said you could use your EBT card for the donation. HOLD UP, WHAT? Your EBT card is to help you purchase groceries, it's not so you can give to charity. If you can give $10 to charity then you shouldn't be using an EBT card. People should be allowed to donate the money they were donated.


  1. It's truly a shame regarding the neighbor situation. I don't trust any of mine regarding "prepping" subjects. I no longer even try to speak with any of them unless they put the effort into coming over to see me.

    For what it's worth, I'd give a lot to have an experienced person like yourself in my neighbor just to simply show me some things. Many things are learnable just by trying and putting a small amount into the task. Some others though, not so much.

    1. Growing up I knew every single neighbor, my Dad and I would stop in and visit many of them.
      Flash forward to today and I'll answer the door with a gun in my hand unless someone called first.

      I wish I could put more skill things into this blog, but most everything is already out there for people to learn. It's so much easier to show in person and I'm not an expert in anything. I just don't like to give up so many things are experiments in frustration. But I'll give anything a go.

  2. I came to your site by way of Prepper link, and I throughly enjoy your no nonsense approach.
    I make bread, but I do cheat alittle, I do use the bread maker for my dough. I have very pain prone hands and spine, but it doesn't stop me. If the SHTF, then I will have to endure the pain for bread.
    I DO NOT talk to my neighbors. I live in a trailer park full of dopey's. I am considered the hippy/weirdo here...go figure. No one knows what I do, nor do I tell anyone anyway. They are too stupid to even think except when the next fix is due. They do know I am armed though...
    A question for you...do you have ideas to make a solar oven. I have been looking at finding an old stereo cabinet and converting this. Would this possibly work. I am on disability income and cannot afford to buy one, but I am thinking this would work with a little modification.
    Keep up with the great sharing. Well done.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday

    1. Thanks for stopping in! I don't even know what prepper link is but it's nice to possibly give someone info that's useful. One time is all it takes to be worthwhile for me.

      Sometimes I'll use the Kitchenaid mixer for the dough, it gives me time to get the next batch going while it 'kneads'. It's also a faster clean up. I don't like to double a bread recipe I'm not good at dividing evenly.
      I have a bread machine and I'll use that in the summer so I don't have to run the oven. I'm not opposed to cheating and if I had bad wrists/hands I would cheat all the time as long as I could do it if I had to. Just like you :)

      Google homemade solar oven and there are a ton of designs and plans out there. Here is how my mind thinks one would work:

      Old roasting pan, any color as long as it's dark on the inside. Make a box for it out of wood, line the wooden box with insulation and drop the roasting pan inside. For the reflective part you could use more wood with foil, glass, mirror, etc.

      The top reflective parts would need to be hinged to the box you just made so they can be adjusted for the sun (on the cheap use some sticks to hold them up at the correct angle.

      The most expensive piece would be plexiglass for the cover. It an be held down with some screws and wing-nuts.

      I hope that makes sense. A small oven thermometer can be set in the box somewhere.

      See, I ramble. Wood, plexiglass, hinges, screws, nuts, foil and an old roasting pan. Bam. I'm nuts but I think it would work.

    2. I think that it would work too, Max. Over the holiday, I will prowl around the web looking. And, no you don't ramble, it called "thinking". :-*)
      I know that I did cross somewhere, where someone took a small stereo cabinet, left the glass lid on it,painted it flat black inside, lined the inside with shiny aluminum, and tah-dah, a very workable solar oven.
      I will keep you posted.
      Oh, www.prepperlink.com

  3. Thanks you for your blog. Information may be all over the web, but I don't have time to look for everything. I fund you through a fellow blogger just north of us. I like her and your straight to the point writing, so I come back.

    An example is the carbine/.308 comment. That is the next rifle to buy, but we don't have the money to buy both. So which would be better? You answered by explaining your experience shooting. I have a wife and daughter that will shoot also. The .308 would be too much for them for them, just as the 12 gauge is. Though we are working on that.

    Thanks, again.

    1. We actually decided to give father in law the old 12 gauge and I'm keeping my 20. It's all set up for the side of my get home bag, I don't want to work over an entire change in gear. I'm surgical with my 20 and if it's just going to hang on the back of a door we can give the 12 away.

      The .308 is awesome, I picked it up for a long distance rifle that's semi auto. I have a bolt action .308 but wanted something more combat-ish. I wouldn't use it as a main rifle unless I had no other choice. It's also $1 per round vs. .45 cents or so. Bulk is less but still double.
      Thanks for the kind words.

    2. I'm curious about your 20 gauge. Is it a pump, or something else? Our 12 gauge is an 870 and that is what I'm thinking for the 20.

      I'm also thinking of starting to hunt rabbits and squirrels so a 20 would seems to be better suited than a 12.

    3. It's a mossberg something. Pump with pistol grip. The mollee scabbard hooks on the side of my get home bag perfectly. I'm changing the pump from wood to synthetic to reduce the weight a little more.
      The side of the scabbard has a shotgun shell pouch with extra ammo. I alternate slugs and low ball shot.
      I like it's weight and compactness, I can over the shoulder scabbard pull, I can give it to a 10 year old and it won't jump out of their hands when it's fired. I like it's light kick so I can shoot a round 1 handed and not lose control.
      Some will argue a 12 gauge is better for everything, everyone has to find whats perfect and not fall for the usual caliber traps (9mm is useless, 20 gauge isn't powerful, etc.).

  4. In my neighborhood there's one family that I'd want to team up with - our next door neighbors. We share dogs, we share extra fruit from our trees, and I know they can food. They shoot in their backyard and we shoot in ours. Still, it's hard to bring up the subject, "we have over a year's worth of food, how about you?".

    Sometimes I use the Kitchenaid to mix the dough. I gave away the breadmaker. The loaf was so small that it wasn't worth the electricity. It's too bad you can't use a gas stove. I ran a propane line into the kitchen specifically to be able to cook with gas over electricity.

    The neighborhood drunk wants to be our friend. Unfortunately his mother owns the neighborhood fishing pond so we are stuck associating. We don't share any ideas or discussion about prepping at all. I wouldn't want to give them even the slightest idea that we prep as I wouldn't want anything to do with them if things went downhill. Their pond isn't that important in the overall scheme of things.

    1. I checked into using a small vent fan but unless I have someone do it outside of permits (permits required to change to gas/propane inside), I'm screwed. I prefer gas and growing up we didn't have vents at all.

      Times sure change.

      We don't have a neighborhood drunk. Instead we have about 20 bi-polar, schizo, paranoid, sexual deviants, etc. in the 1/2 mile radius. Walking the pit and hound makes us seem like the crazy ones... I'll take that.

    2. I have dope-y, drunk, skitz-paranoid, several level 3 perverts, bi-polars, within a 3 block area. I don't walk around. I am labeled the weirdo here, or hippy, which ever comes first. I'll take it too.