Living Amongst The Dead, Dark Days by JN Morgan. I was so impressed by the original book in the series that I wasted no time buying the sequel. It was money well spent. If you liked the first one, the second is just as good. Better, if you really didn't care for the sex in the first one ( very little in this one ), and I'd even say better all the way around as JN is perfecting his craft much faster than I ever did. Highly recommended and I'll be the first to buy his next one.
click here to buy the Kindle version. Free if you have Kindle Unlimited.
You know I’m not a huge fan of retreats. You either live in the boonies or stop pretending you will survive. I hate bugging out and think it is the worst of both worlds-being in denial of reality and luxuriating ( wallowing, actually, a fat pig in slops ) in extra unnecessary toys. So, I don’t really have a retreat, now do I? That would be hypocritical. And no, I’m not just exercising semantics to confuse and redirect. I have a vacation/retirement house. A retreat is a place to go out of danger, and by definition is usually some good distance away from the teeming rabble you surround yourself with to earn a few extra Greenbacks so as to own a trophy wife ( nearly a sex slave, but with barely concealed consent, with a worse attitude and a lot less sex than traditional ) and all the cool toys only a Petroleum Age would permit and you are determined to take into the Stone Age. “Patriots”, a great book ( and his only one ) but one that unfortunately cemented this kind of behavior in lesser rational beings, was a social commentary. Whereas older books were community orientated ( the group survives. Even Social Decay ‘70’s era “Lucifer’s Hammer” had a better sense of securing community. The poor had a place ) Patriots is solidly “only the rich deserve to persevere”-at least in the sense the rich are not the 1% but the 10% guardians of the truly rich. The truly rich don’t have retreats. They merely travel between villas able to pick the current safest location from their Gulfstream.
When your off grid property is just outside town, it isn’t a retreat. Not from a tactical standpoint. I’ve made no secret that for me to have a serious chance of surviving the bulk of the local population will have had to relocate back before the collapse ( essentially fleeing due to the high cost of living here as the mines close down ). It doesn’t matter if I live in town or out at my property, population wise. Before it was a way to divert funds from rent to preps. Now it is a place to survive after the grid goes down. But it isn’t safe at current levels of population, which is why living in town is not a consideration for me. This isn’t “Miracle Mile” where one minute everyone is acting as normal as you can living in the city and next strangers are raping and shooting each other as missiles descend from the sky. Regardless of circumstances I have time to leave, for as much good as it will do me.
An actual retreat would be much safer. But my vacation home, my country estate if sarcasm is desired, was almost as bad as an actual retreat as far as maintenance is concerned. It doesn’t take long for issues to arise when you aren’t there to witness them. You can’t stop destruction but at least you can repair before other issues arise from that initial destruction. Not that I have a whole slew of issues. I built the place with fire and heavy winds in mind and the modern high tech miracles of plastic, aluminum and insulation assure few problems. So far, I’ve only had two severe turd floating gully washing rainstorms and one out of control plant colonization. The plants were from a perfect timing of rains coinciding with only weekly visits, then one skipped weekend when the weeds exploded six inches in growth. I come back two weeks later and my ankle high weeds are getting up to my shins. Then rains continue so the things stay wet and hard to quickly cut. That was when I had to go from sickle to weed-eater. If I had been gone a month the things would have been a much nicer fire danger.
The first flash flood saw my battery floating atop a small pond at the bottom of my B-POD steps ( any new readers here? That is what my underground hovel was christened “Bison Pit Of Doom ). I bought a new battery and dug a hole at the bottom step and placed cement blocks for a step, creating a sump. That has worked so far with rains, until now. Heavy prolonged rains created a ramp out of my steps, evidently also filling my sump, and then when a flash flood came after that my battery was toast once again years later. That is what happens when you aren’t there. I failed to clear the landslide and so the flood screwed me. The charge controller was fried and the connection cables to my inverter rusted and snapped off. Not a huge deal, I keep all my spare electrical parts and I have plenty of clamps from old failed inverters. The charge controller was more of a loss. I went to get the old one set up at the trailer, but old age killed it ( I’d been using it almost eight years ). Luckily I had a Faraday Cage unit I could use, it will just need replacing and I still have credit with Amazon from prior to switching from credit to cash for my lovely minions commission sales ( cough, hint ). I still have my old panels out there so I only need a 7 amp controller ( I bought several 100 watt panels but they are in storage as an investment. Either future off grid living or to sell once China stops exporting ).
The flood also washed away dirt from buried buckets, in a place I thought was protected. So while I was safer than normal from fire and wind, I still am tweaking the flood solutions. The buckets were no big deal, obviously. A shovel took care of that and no one the wiser. It is just like keeping an eye on any erosion over the pit. If plastic sheeting is exposed I cover with a shovel full of dirt to stop that solar radiation from killing the plastic ( kind of like it does to my skin-no one talks about skin cancer at these elevations, so it might be all in my head. All those skin spots must be from old age alone ). All in all, not a huge event. I’m out $20 for the controller. The battery was over three years old so if I had it somewhere besides underground the cold would have killed it already anyway. So I have to call that regular replacement. Still, I’m glad I’m going out there four days a week now, just so I can nip all problems in the bud. Yes, I’m still taking Wednesdays as well as the weekend off. A concession to aging. So, why did I write this besides enjoying the sound of my own voice? Apply this to what would happen at a real retreat you rarely visit. Word to the wise.
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