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Thursday, October 29, 2015

monkey balls 4 of 4


HAPPY MONKEY BALLS 4
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NOTE: Gary, got the snail mail.  Thanks, and Happy Festivus to you also!
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I had seriously prepped prior, in mid 90’s and overdrive the last year and a half of the decade ( prior to that was the “one year food and one firearm“ limited stockpile ), but the prepping was more an in depth personal stockpile.  It ignored free and clear land, being out of debt, a more secure job and other far deeper preps than mere beans and bullets.  Four years later I started covering all the longer term more serious preps.  I declared bankruptcy the first few months of starting at the casino ( to get my foot in the door I started out on graveyard, while we were living right next to the auto dealership.  Try sleeping in an RV with pneumonic wrenches shrieking nearby all day.  I was a friggin zombie ), upgraded to a bigger trailer I got for about the cost of my old jobs cashed in 401k, and got serious about re-doing my preps on a more intelligent scale ( we had moved from Florida with just a small van ).  Every day we shared tips from jackpots, and while most of the girls found a way to spend that quickly, I put the minimum towards living expenses ( trailer rent, eating from the discount grocery and child support ) and everything into preps.  More than one lot of E-Bay land, a little gold, a lot of silver ( at $5, $6 an ounce and they were selling it like it was coming out their ears ), more guns and ammo, failed attempts at going from writing to publishing ( the blogs have stayed my primary writing pay since 2006 ), a cheap bug out van ( both the van and trailer were $700 each ), solar panels and the like.  I was planning and investing to move off grid years before I did.

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All the time, I was working at the casino, hating everything about it.  I loved the girls I worked with but they were like herding cats and always full of drama.  I didn’t love the customers but since they tipped I kissed their asses ( competing with idiot bosses for the most stressful part.  Yes, I felt like a whore, but knowing I‘d have the last laugh helped some ).  I certainly didn’t like the idiots that signed my paycheck, as they kept implementing one stupid policy after another driving customers away and eating into our tip income.  All in all, high stress.  But they weren’t done.  First, they laid off all the management.  They then re-hired half of them back ( at reduced pay, naturally ).  I played along with that one but knew this was going to be the new normal.  My preps were almost done so I started accumulating cash and made plans to de-ass as needed.  Which was a good thing since next they laid off the entire department and hired half of them back.  I just walked away so not to cost anyone else their job ( a lot of the others transferred to other departments ).  That was Capital S Suck, for two years.  But I had invested rather than spent and knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel. 

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Of course, besides improving my life by trading temporary stress for money to invest in drastically reducing my expenses AND prepping, which was a salve to the stress, I also had my writing.  That saved me more than the knowledge of the necessity of what I was doing.  Biting the bullet knowing it is temporary is all good and well, but I think diving into your lives passion is the only sure way to deal with the high stresses in life.  Find your love and even if it pays marginally, the real non-monetary pay in stress release and soul fulfillment is what is important.  Spending money can’t be that soothing, so supplement that with your dream activity.  Then don’t screw around investing and sacrificing to limit the time living in Suck-Ville.  Then you’ll spend the rest of your life, or until the die-off whichever comes first, as happy as a monkey ball deep in a box of bananas.

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8 comments:

  1. Turned 61 yesterday. After 10 years of failed attempts, gonna try to get serious about this preps thing. Prioritize! Next failure could be the knockout punch for me. Been there already (health issues, downsized, corporate liars, etc) Starting with the basics and realizing that this takes time. Appreciate your personal story about what it takes...have different ideas, but am ready. Go time

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    1. You can ignore all my advice on pre[s but this one: prep yesterday in case it falls apart tomorrow. I'd say Happy B-Day, but who the hell wants to be reminded your age after about 40.

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  2. I had a high school teacher try to pound into our heads that "you are not your job." Took too many years for that to really sink in, but it did.

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    1. To this day I remember my few good teachers. Hope those heretics got to retirement.

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  3. I thought that this rambling quote by the “Demented Vet” from Phil Garlington's book “Rancho Costa Nada” was a fitting end to this series of articles James, and perhaps just the right amount of inspiration that some here might need. I know it's all the inspiration that I need!


    "... They're all the same. Some stressed out dude working twelve-five in an auto supply outlet in West Covina. On Friday night he hitches his trailer to the pickup and hauls his speedboat two hundred miles through the desert. He drinks his brains out, screams around on the water all day, then hauls back in heavy traffic to his crowded tenement in the air sewer. And starts over. He's had to cram his fun into a day and the rest of his life belongs to the straw boss. Serf dudes. But you know, Phil, you can be an ass-kissing, butt-sucking peon even if you're making two hundred grand a year.

    "Who can tell me what to do? Who? The ranger? The deputy? I don't think so. They know better. See that Kalasnikov? They've seen it, too. I live by my own rules. But if you work for the Borg you live on your knees. You're in the world to please others. It doesn't matter how big a desk you got, you're a grunt in the ranks. And it doesn't matter how hoity-toity you think you might be, pretty soon you'll start crawling on your belly like a reptile. You're always discussing the bosses. What can we do to appease them? 'Did you notice the way he spoke to me in a stern voice?' A bunch of cotton pickers spending the happy hour talking about the whip hand of the overseer. Why? Because most people really are serfs. They've been bred and trained from the cradle, by their parents and teachers, to take orders. They need to be told what to do.
    "Oh, we're all infected in this culture. We've all been neuralized by the Borg. Incessant propaganda from the Borg Channel from Day One, telling us what to do. That's what the plutocrats want, Phil: a compliant, docile work force that will piss away its disposable income to buck up the economy. The Borg says buy. You don't need it, buy it anyway. The Borg Channel says buy a house, buy a new car, get a good job, spawn some brats who'll bleed you dry for the rest of your life. The Borg says stay at your bench except for a two-week authorized fun vacation. Unless we happen to need you to take time off to whack some foreigners. The Borg Channel says taking orders and working for others is good for you. What do you want? Who gives a fuck? Resistance is futile. The Borg wants you to fall in, and to sniff at anybody who doesn't line up on the guide-on. You need a bigger TV. You must pay your taxes, if you want to be a good citizen. It's your duty to spend your whole life under the thumb of some fat bastard."— page 93

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    1. Bravo. Forgot all about that part of the book, and I've read it twice. Too bad the guy only had one book in him.

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    2. He has a few others James, but I think that they're mostly fiction? I had always hoped for a follow up to Rancho Costa Nada.

      I'm going to read it again and am hoping to get some more ideas for some simple shelter at the Nevada homestead. Like Garlington, I'm not very handy at building things, so whatever I come up with must be very simple. Of course a trailer is the easiest option, but I know from first hand experience that trailers suck to live in, particularly in the winter time. Earth sheltered is the eventual plan, but probably won't happen right away.

      I have this book in hard copy, but I'm thinking of getting the Kindle version since it's only $5.00. I actually like Kindle more than I thought I would?

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    3. Kindle definitely has a place, but I found myself getting stupid with it. Quantity over quality with Kindle Unlimited. I'm wrestling with keeping it or not, as the temptation is to become mired in fiction rather than read my non-fiction paper. I can see my brain getting soggy. I won't stop using Kindle, just the Kindle Unlimited. I'm with you on the unhandy building department. Getting better, but butt simple is the best bet.

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