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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

stock the closings 2 of 2


STOCK THE CLOSINGS 2
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Note: you simply MUST check out Cassandra's Legacy Blogs new companion site highlighting the Seneca Trap.  All the articles on that theme in one spot.  Wicked scary presented that way.  Should knock the silly off any optimistic person.
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Last article we talked about how retail blows my ass and you can no longer count on a store to fulfill its mission which is to stock crap for you to buy.  I’m not sure why anyone bothers to be in business if their business is to be out of the item you want.  How often do you go into Wally and they are, once again, out of generic bags of rice.  If you are in the one Wal-Mart in the entire North American continent that doesn’t have a Mexican immigrant population, perhaps they are actually in stock.  For the rest of us, always out.  And, you did catch on that rice went up in price again, yes?  With oil prices going down.  That puzzle is answered by pick your choice.  Wally is price gouging again, or the start of food shortages again, perhaps?  Anyway,  rolling shortages seem to be a regular occurrence which you should be used to ( I call resource depletion and JIT breakdown warning bell, but please feel free to be optimistic ).  And, so is your limited choice of bargains.  You literally are limited to one store for each of so many things.  If that store goes out of business, there goes your one and only bargain.  It might not be a huge deal to lose one deal, but when category after category is no longer affordable, and you lose another one, that is one more must have item that increases your cost of living. 

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I’ve regaled you with my travails over finding a decent pair of shoes.  For the longest time, even the cheap and crappy shoes lasted you three or more years.  Now, it is a matter of months.  That makes it mighty hard to stockpile a decent amount of footwear for the future ( loss of employment, then wholesale business failures, THEN the Apocalypse.  There is a long stretch you’ll need to be stockpiled with the basics ).  I tried replacing my five years worn after finding used military type boots to no avail.  Everything was overpriced and short lived.  I tried cowboy boots with the same problem.  Now I’m back to hiking boots.  They are the only remaining cheap boot I can get close to a year out of.  I’ve had $50 a month boots, $10 a month boots, $7 a month boots.  I’ve finally found $3 a month boots.  But the only place they sell them is K-Mart.  And I need enough for years to come.  So I’ve been buying one or two pairs a month ( they only have one in my size at any one time.  Two is an occasional fluke ).  I can only hope I can stockpile enough before this K-Mart closes down. 

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I told you before about the InterWeb Special on the make-your-own laundry soap.  A great idea because it is cheap.  A better idea because it is compact for storage.  I’ve been buying the hell out of that Borax powder, Arm & Hammer laundry powder and bar soap you shred.  Not because they don’t sell them outside of Wally but because I can’t get them as cheap elsewhere.  If I’m going for an eventual goal of hundreds of gallons ( in condensed powder form, made into those gallons ) because it will be all my soap, hand and body and dish and laundry, I want those gallons at fifty cents each rather than a buck or more each.  So I’m buying the ingredients now while I can, cheaply.  These are what I mean about stocking for the eventual closings.  You have to anticipate the end of regular items, not just post-apocalypse items like food and ammo.  Other things are needed for prior and post collapse.  Not everything as in the Alpha Strategy, but the most important items you can’t do without.  Like footwear and sanitation.  Anticipate the closings, not just the collapse.

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NO CHARGE EXTRA BONUS UPDATE

I swear I’m not exaggerating, but the very next day that I wrote the above my K-Mart hiking boots started ripping apart at the top of the foot.  They went from a $3 a month boot ( the longevity from my last pair-same brand- I had bought about two years ago from K-Fart ) to a $17 a month boot.  So now I must go back to the $7 a month boot, the cowboy boot from Sportsman’s Guide.  The gist of the article remains unchanged.  I must now stockpile from Sportsman’s as they are the only boot I can buy that cheap ( without spending $300 a pair.  That might be better economics but I can’t invest that without a money back guarantee, and even then I am leery because how can I ever afford back-up and multiple pairs? ), rather than from K-Mart.

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But here is my point to the update.  ALWAYS and forevermore, assume K-Mart quality is now just as shoddy and crappy as Wal-Mart.  Before, the K-Mart junk was junk but at least lasted twice as long as the way too short lasting Wal-Mart junk ( which I can personally attest to from multiple items ).  Now, they have consciously and maliciously downgraded their quality.  Hump them very much.  You won’t get my business anymore you cretin boxer stains.

END 

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38 comments:

  1. I thought that this excerpt from the “Hippy Survival Guide To Y2K” on direct burial of food products might be of some use to some here James. I know that I found it to be helpful. He goes on to mention that there is a possibility that burrowing critters might compromise the cache by chewing through the plastic sealing bags, but doesn't really offer a solution. My suggestion for this if it is a concern, is to make wire baskets out of some cheap wire, such as chicken or rabbit wire, set in the hole, place a little earth on the bottom before setting the buckets down, then fill the sides as sort of a buffer from the pests.

    Below is the excerpt from Mike Oehler:

    “Though I may try sealing them with paraffin, which I'll reuse to make candles, I'm going to rely on garbage bags to moisture-proof them, 3 per pail. The first one I'll put over the pail upside down and close with a twistie at the bottom. The second one I'll close at the top, and the third at the bottom again. Then I'll tape the bags tight around the center with one wrap of duct tape, after making sure that I've squeezed all the air out of them. The theory here is that even if the pails get flooded, the water first has to work its way up against gravity on the outside bag, fill the second bag from the top, then work its way up against gravity again in the third bag to reach the lid, which is itself a snap seal. And I plan on burying these on ridge tops or on hillsides, where there will be no standing water. I think they will stay dry.

    By burying food, it should keep fresh longer. Though it may freeze some winters, dried food is little affected by freezing. Yet it will stay cool even through the summers, which will help the storage life. Burrowing critters may chew their way through the garbage bags, but they are unlikely to chew through the hard plastic. Foragers such as bears, coyotes, dogs, looters, and government agents are unlikely to find the cache.”

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    1. I liked that book. A little to rant-ish, but overall good.

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    2. “ A little too rant-ish, but overall good.”

      My sentiments exactly James. I picked it up on your recommendation, and so far its turned out to be a decent book as far as the survival information contained within. I just read through the best parts of it that pertain to survivalism, and skip over the eastern mysticism, buddhist, hippy dippy crap.

      I've never understood the appeal that buddhism holds for these people? Perhaps it's just a snub on western society and its Christian based value system?

      Wayne

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    3. Garbage bags are meant to decompose quickly.
      Far better to improvise using contractor grade visquen which is meant to hold up underground (under concrete slabs). For burying underground successfully, there is no cheap assed dollar store version. Put the storage items in a galvanized steel trash can, put that trashcan inside a plastic trashcan. The ultimate would be a 55 gallon steel drum that has been sandblasted and received 1 coat of thick spray on primer (then lightly sand) and 2 coats of brush on epoxy, inside and out, then neoprene seal the lid to the barrel.

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    4. This is one of those times I'm glad I live in the desert.

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    5. Wayne- I think the appeal Buddha has is it was an in your face rejection of uptight religious views most Americans hold. The Yippies were rejecting everything about the 50's material/work culture and threw out the baby with the bath water. I'd start on a verse about Turning Japanese-a but I think that is Shintoism.

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    6. Thanks for the heads up ghostsniper. I unwittingly gave some outdated advice, since the book that this came from is Pre-Y2K. The entire green movement has really taken off over the last few years, so I'm not surprised. I'm wondering if all trash bags are quick to break down, or only those labeled as “biodegradable”? I suppose that a visqueen of adequate width and length can fully cover the containers, and still be tied off.

      I agree on the galvanized trash cans, but I was going for a system that is more cost effective for us peasants, and the galvanized trash cans are pretty pricey these days.

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    7. I don't think Green is why most trash bags degrade so quick. Perhaps they are as poorly made as everything else?

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    8. “I don't think Green is why most trash bags degrade so quick. Perhaps they are as poorly made as everything else?”

      Could be James? I suppose it serves me right for listening to a dirty hippy! Just kidding, except for the dirty hippy part ;)

      Nah, but in all seriousness, he's an alright guy I suppose. Anyone that stands up to the feminazi's can't be all bad. He's in his 70's now I think, and apparently has trouble getting around due to bad knees. I think that he still lives on the Idaho property where he built his first underground house?

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    9. In his last book, the underground greenhouse one, he is still at his original homestead.

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  2. I like to find a shoe that last longer than the laces. I have an experimental pair of tennis shoes I keep gluing the soles back on. I've reattached them four times in the nine months I've owned them.

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    1. Laces. Stockpiled the crap out of them, then, as you say, they started outlasting the shoes.

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  3. In my last post I had forgotten that in the City we have a Target with groceries and an Aldi. Aldi is small, but the prices are real good. They are a German company. There are some things that are better than what we find in a typical Kroger etc. and some things that are not as good. You have to try it out and see. My wife hates their Roast Beef in gravy, but having eaten Army chow while starving I developed a taste for SOS. Toast some bread, heat can over open flame, pour over toast. Yummy.

    As for foot wear. I still have my original boots that the Army issued to me back in 2007. I have walked many miles in them and wore them every day for a couple of years and they are still going strong. The heal is bit worn on them. I was issued two pairs of boots. One winter and one summer. Never wore the winter ones. DLATS Issue Army Hot Weather Combat Boots are what they are called. $76 at clothing sales. You could find them cheaper on the outside, but be careful of imitations.
    https://www.shopmyexchange.com/dlats-issue-army-hot-weather-combat-boots/6247543

    I carry them in my PU, so if I break down or when I work in an office, I can hump it home if vehicle doesn't work. Even in hot weather I have Merino Wool socks on with them. I usually wear jeans to work and can wear the socks to work, but I also have a clean extra pair in my bag. I buy them at Sams Club. $15 for three pair. They are not 100% wool and they don't itch.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Army chow was pretty close to 90% crappy. Yet, I've NEVER had SOS as good as what they served ( and never as good of coffee )

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  4. They probably told the Chinese ladies who make the boots that they now needed to produce 30 pairs per day, up from 20. Or else they would lose their $60/month job. Thus the decline in stitching quality.

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    1. Stitching isn't the issue ( aren't most cheaper shoes glued? ). The top of the boot splits where the crease forms as they are launching a step off of that foot.

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    2. The material dried out, then the moisture and salt from your foot infiltrated, and the fibers quickly broke down. This can happen with $200 Danners too. Upon purchase immediately strip out the laces insoles, etc., saturate with clean water, lather everything except the inside heavily with saddle soap and a polish brush, work it deep into all seams, like you mean it. Flush thoroughly, let air dry in non-direct sunlight for several days. After confirmed dry, using a different polish brush, apply a heavy layer of mink oil (shoe polish consistency) forcing it deeply into all seams, let air dry in non direct sun for 3 days. Wipe off all excess mink oil with a through away rad, then use a buffing brush to work out that sheen. I did this with my $100 Rugged Shark 100% leather hikers 3 years ago and they still wear like new cept with a little less tread. Getting ready to get 2 pairs of $150 Danners and will treat them the same way. Footwear takes the worst abuse people can deliver and very few people look at their footwear with the importance that is required but are quick to bitch about the shortcomings because of it. Take care of your stuff and it will take care of you, but you do have to buy right to begin with. Buy cheap - cry twice, buy good - cry once.

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    3. Lastly, it was a few years ago I came to the conclusion that there is no such thing as under $100 footwear anymore. From here on out you can increase that number 25% per year. I don't think of myself as a heartbreaker but a newsmaker and just because you don't like the message doesn't make it invalid.

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    4. You're right. I hate your message. :)

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    5. I vouch for the Dinner hikers too...about $150 but we'll worth it. I also very much like Rocky boots in high top snake boots. Have both with many miles, still going strong with reserve pairs of same.

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  5. I have multiple pairs of military issue boots from my service and even have 2 new pairs of the desert suede looking boots from my all expenses paid trip to the sand box. Yes it is impossible to find durable shoes on the civilian side without paying through the nose. Ive had a pair of cheap tennis that look like hell but have been worn to do my side work, lawn mowing. 5 years worth at about 8 yards pushing, not sitting on a rider. New ones look like they will fall apart as you leave the store.

    About the aging problems. I retired from law enforcement which was rough on a body. Sitting in a car alot to periods of extreme exertion like fighting or foot pursuits. I couldnt do it now. I work security and walk about a mile and a half a shift, climb multiple ladders and stairs so i get a little exercise. Still doing my side work but expect to cut back to 2 yards this year.

    Yes, I'm trying to stock even more consumables every trip. May stock a bunch with my tax return.

    Nice hair Boss.

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    1. This is my last year of tax returns. Next year, all but $100 goes to Obammy HealthPenalty. I'm thinking of putting on another layer of insulation on the B-POD along with a few other lumber projects. Making the last bit count.

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    2. You're not qualified for VA ?
      Obama Care is not required if you have VA coverage...

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    3. No VA, as far as IO'm aware. Not sure why they'd give it to peacetime/no injury ex-active.

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    4. I keep forgetting that you're a bit younger than me.
      Though in my mind, we've been at war my entire life.
      Because you swore the oath, entitles you to more than just a thank-you !

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  6. Wheres the Malthusian Newsletter!!!!!

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    1. I was wondering if anyone would notice. It is written but I'm deciding if I should publish or not. Running out of good ideas and I was only about 70% satisfied with the content. Not sure if 20 sales are worth my ten hours of writing ( sixty cents an hour ). I know the repeat buyers are big fans, but I'm not sure if the idea id viable.

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    2. Sir Lord BaltimoreFebruary 4, 2016 at 8:21 AM

      C'mon James publish it!

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    3. IMHO about the newsletter - Do a 'Final Edition' for all your fans, rolling up things you covered before in other news letters (with appropriate references to before), and make it so that people can give it a gift to their friends /loved ones who aren't 100% on board (aka use a PC a voice as you can).

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    4. I think I've decided. I'll write part #2 ( the unpublished newsletter had one article, then another article which was part one of 3. If I can stop babbling so long I can get it down it a 2 parter ). Add it to the unpublished issue, add that to issues #1-#6, and offer the whole thing for a buck. Those that bought the rest will still get one to one and a half additional issues, those that never planned on buying any might be persuaded. I just don't have the subject ideas to continue.

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  7. I don't doubt at all what you're saying with regards to the lack of quality footwear James. But it also sounds as if perhaps you lead a life style that's harder on footwear than the average, since even cheap imported shoes should last longer than a month. I get probably close to 6 months out of a cheap pair of Walmart slip on shoes. I wish that I could offer up a good solution to your dilemma. Previously I think that I suggested contacting Tandy leather corporation, though I don't know that this would solve your problem.

    There will come a time when most of us will be taking the hillbilly approach to footwear. That is, shoes in the winter, and barefooted the rest of the year. Though I would definitely recommend at least tire sandals over bare feet.

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    1. I've almost always had a stand up job. I'm comparing boots from then to now, with the same mileage.

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    2. And that's the problem - the boots then were made for more people doing that sort of job. Now they are made for people who are sitting more than standing, so they can cut corners all over the place and still seem like as good a product as before to most people, but those who put the product to the test (like you) find it lacking.

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  8. I learned long ago that it pays to buy quality items over the low priced stuff Wally-World (and K-Mart) sells.

    It's just a fact of life that better things cost more and will likely last longer.

    Jame's it surprises me you don't seem to understand this enough to know to stop shopping at K-Mart. I understand wanting to save money, but when I buy top quality items I actually do save money. Nike shoes last and last and last. I have a set that are going on 7-years old and I have one set that i use them almost every day for work (home construction work) and while they are not pretty at all any more they just won't fall apart.

    As far as boots I have a few sets but I only use them a bit in the winter, I find that if I use them all day my feet get tired (more aches and pain after a long day) much more then with athletic shoes. I live in Ohio and we don't really get what you would call real cold. Heck almost all last week it was in the mid-50's. I almost feel sorry for the people in DC abd NY with all the snow they got and we were enjoying 55 deg days.


    Back to the shoes, Look for better quality (price is a good indicator most times) and buy them.

    Price tends to scare off most people, but in the long-run it's probably the last factor a person should use when buying an item.

    As an example I wanted a portable water filter, most of them sell for $100.00 or so. But many times they filter only a few hundred gallons of water and then you have to buy a new element.

    I bought a Katadyn Pocket Filter, it's as tough as a tank, very well made and it filters 13,000 gallons of water. Yea it cost 3-X what other filters, but 13,000 gallons is A LOT of water. If I use it to filter one-gallon a day, every day it will last for over 35-years. This makes it the least expensive filter made as all other portable filters fall short and will need numerous replacement elements ending up costing much more in the end.


    And don't get the idea I'm rich at all, I do handyman work and spend part of the year doing nothing (no income) but these no-money times make me value the better items I have all that much more because I know I will not need to replace them when money is just not there.

    Chuck Findlay

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    1. I understand buying quality. Twice the price for Dickies slacks as Wally, and they last, so far, four times as long. My issue is that until recently middlin quality was very affordable. Now, at least in shoes, it is total crap or insanely expensive. No middlin price range for a decent period of use. I always search for mid range to stay in budget. Also, while it would be easier on my feet and budget to buy athletic shoes, I work in the cold and wet and worry about dog attacks on my bike. Need boots. It seems the market is Desk Commando or Union Wages Worker. I bought a Katadyn pocket unit for Y2K. Never regretted the money.

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  9. I have been happy with my Australian made(I'm an Aussie....) Steel Blue Argyle's. 7 hole boots. Up around the $180-200 Australian mark, don't know if you can get them in the States. I wear them pretty much 8-10 hours every day for everything from work( disability care worker) through to bush work, hiking etc, and have had these over 2 years. No problems other than this pair got a little squeaky after drowning them in dubbin.

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    1. Wow, you're my second reader from Down Under. I always thought I was too 'Merican-centric to appeal to others but I suppose my most brilliant writing shines though to all cultures.

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