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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

low probability tools 2 of 2


LOW PROBABILITY TOOLS 2
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note: "Cell" by Stephen King was a terrible end of world book.  Alas, the movie just out is just as horrid. 
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Commander Zero recently got into a discussion about stocking the car for being stranded in the boonies in winter.  The cell phone has no bars and no other idiot is out on the road to save you.  Hence, you need to have a kit to keep you alive for awhile ( he resides in the wooly wilds of college town Montana ).  Now, while this is certainly not a bad idea, I can only stare completely slack jawed at the computer as I’m reading about this and ask myself why anyone feels it is appropriate to travel in the winter.  At my location of Elko county ( which is roughly 120 miles long ), there are a lot of commercial drivers out and about.  Frito Lay goes to East Bum Hump to stock a C-store. The local paper moved their printing up to Idaho, then changed the delivery time from 10am to 5am, hence assuring that all paper is delivered in the freezing cold with ice ( while, let us not forget, dropping one day of print delivery AND raising the cost almost every year since ).  But while there is a huge land mass here, there are few primary roads.  If you deliver, you won’t be on the road alone.

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If you aren’t at the mercy of some faceless soulless corporation placing your safety on par with that of peasant Congolese, why are you driving past five miles, or an hour and a half slow walk, in the winter time?  It simply does not compute in my simple mind.  Whenever I drive in this slop, on my time or company time, I always have outside appropriate clothes to walk home.  And I never drive past walking to home distance.  Driving long distance in the winter is like getting on a plane during a terrorist alert.  It is retarded.  But perhaps you can’t help yourself.  Perhaps you enjoy borrowing trouble.  By all means, having a winter stranded vehicle kit is not as stupid as driving in the first place ( for those of you who drive deserted back roads long distances in the winter to make money, I do believe that the city of Detroit has some choice houses for sale for a few hundred dollars-I know that is just up your alley because This Time Is Different and surely A Bigger Fool Will Follow You ).  Okay, I know.  Your dear loving wife needs to go get chemo at the hospital far away.  That’s a good one, right?  WRONG!!!! Chemo is more retarded than driving in the winter.  You couldn’t pay me to take that poison, on par with getting a suntan at Fukishima.  You’re better off drinking a FrankenFruit juice diet.  It might not cure you, but it certainly won’t kill you ( of course, having said that, nobody is going to take life saving medical advice from me, nor should they as I’m not a doctor.  That is just what I deem correct for myself .  As a survivalist writer I hope they believe differently ).

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But, whatever.  Say you simply must have a winter kit in your car.  And say that, besides light, you want some heat.  So you listen to Commander Zero and wish to have a candle lantern.  With this thing you can tip over the heat giving candle and it won’t ignite anything.  Plus you can hang it from the rear view mirror.  These are valid assumptions.  A solid idea for a piece of gear.  But here is where he and I come to loggerheads.  He snidely dismisses a jerry rigged solution such as a plumbers candle in a glass jar, most likely preferring to stop inane non-commercial suggestions prior to them larding the comments section.  Of course, my first thought was that is can’t be too hard to improvise a solution here.  Say, a Mason jar with a ring and lid, with a hole in the lid.  Yes, I understand this is far from perfect.  You have a large glass area to break and being roughly handled in the vehicle it would indeed be prone to breakage.  And coiling some light weight wire around the neck to hang from the mirror might place too much weight on the thing and so is also imperfect.  But my point here is that these were just first thoughts and one could do better.  Why is a commercial solution inherently superior?

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I understand that I was reading a gear blog.  But I also kind of assumed I was reading a survivalist blog, also.  I know I’ll never change the Commander’s point of view here.  I have no intention of trying.  He thinks he can time the collapse, and you can’t counter that kind of blind faith.  I trust those reading this are not so inclined to sin, and hence my efforts here are towards these folks.  Not to the legions of gear worshipers but to the practitioners of result orientated improvisation.  Do you want to buy a piece of gear, or do you want results no matter the source?  Because improve is not just about money, although the rich snobs can dismiss it as such, proclaiming that to consume is to seek the greater glory of king and Mammon.  It is also about skills.  Anyone can get quickly skilled at opening their wallet.  But isn’t it better to learn and practice to adapt, improvise and overcome?  The Jarheads make fun of the other services that throw money at problems, whereas they make a virtue of getting hind teet come budget time ( this is the general view, although I’m sure the Marines are just as good as the Army at pissing away defense dollars on boondoggle projects ).

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And debating whether to spend money or not also misses another point.  Zero insists on a $35 American made version of the candle lantern unit.  All well and good if the $8 Chinese version is complete crap.  But to me, it isn’t $35.  It is five hours of labor, an entire days worth of wages.  The Commander might be all that and a bag of chips and dismiss Wal-Mart cart corraler wages, implying any who earn less than X are retarded mouth breathing droolers only fit to work in the back of a Goodwill store, but there actually exist places where one has a hard time getting a job, and has no control over how little they pay.  Even assuming we ignore folks smart enough to minimize the life wasting pursuit of money.  A days wages for a tool you have a very low probability of using sounds like a VERY poor strategy for prepping, at least to this simple minded special Ed level worker.  Multiply that by how many tools you need, subtract living expenses, and you’ll find you should be ready to survive by the age of about 87.

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4 comments:

  1. Stuck in the boonies in the winter... When I go to work or errands, it's about a two day walk from home. I have a small backpack to make that two-day trek possible. Depending on the situation or what vehicle I'm driving, I carry either a folding bicycle (Dahon) or heavy duty adult kick scooter (Kickped) in order to drop the length of that trip in half or less. I think the best winter use of candles is tealights. If you're stranded, you wrap yourself in a tarp while seated, making a canopy around yourself. Keep the candle near your legs inside the blanket/tarp/mylar and your whole body absorbs the heat. You want the beeswax tealights (a little more expensive) so you're not breathing toxins from paraffin or lead-based wicks.
    Peace out

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    1. I knew a jarhead who tried a tea light at his feet wrapped just in a mylar sheet-he reported success. More power to the crazy bastard.

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  2. Hmm... the candle lantern looks very interesting. But $35?!?!? That's insane....

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    1. Okay, so it isn't just me. Thank you! I'd be more vocal about only buying Made In USA, but the lying cheating bastards get made in China parts then do a minimal amount of packaging or assembling, double the price and slap a big flag on it. Just like they take out half the sugar, double the price and call it healthier. Find some guy actually making a product here and I'll pay the extra to support him.

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