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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

stuff runs out


STUFF RUNS OUT
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note: not updated for almost five years, but a really great effort at a blog on cheap trailer living.  click here
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Okay, I’d like to introduce my co-author for today’s article, Captain Obvious.  And he’s here to tell you that, surprise, stuff runs out.  No matter what you do, even extreme practices such as stashing ten years worth of wheat ( it’s not the cost-one and a half grand grain in buckets and Mylar-but more the digging or shelter requirements ), your stuff runs out.  If you are a Semi Simian,  tens of thousands of rounds still aren’t enough to keep you from running out ( semi tactics treat a thousand rounds like I would look at fifty for my bolt action Enfields, a long battle engagement.  Setting aside survivability of course-this is just logistics.  If you love your spray and pray and your covering fire, your bare minimum on ammo starts at twenty thousand rounds.  Even at bulk prices this is some serious lettuce.  And I wouldn’t even feel comfortable if I were you under fifty thousand.  Assuming your barrel wasn’t tapped out at ten thousand rounds, even steel case carbine rounds run you ten thousand bucks at this point.  Are you sure you wouldn’t rather just aim? Even paying more per round, bolt ammo totals so much less-$1800 for five thousand rounds, combined factory rounds and reload components ). 

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“Stuff runs out”.  Duh.  But this isn’t a contest to see who can afford the most stuff so he runs out last, which is just a retarded combination of the two games, side by side dingus measurement and He Who Dies With The Most Toys Wins.  What you need to be worried about is not who is richest but about who plans the best for when stuff runs out.  Look, almost none of us employed is really truly poor.  Sweet Baby Jesus On A Tire Swing, fifteen grand a year is minimum wage.  You think that isn’t much but that is because you are STILL blinded by the cultural insistence on being a lazy rich bastard, or at least appearing as if you are one.  And who does that mostly benefit?  The bankers.  Those insatiably greedy twats have their demon shaped thumbs in every pie and yearly work the politicians to grant them yet even more monopolies and profits.  Okay, granted, prior to 2005/8 there was enough surplus that their greed and avarice was a mere Protection Racket amount easily absorbed as the cost of doing business.  For a small token amount, say thirty percent or thereabouts in mostly hidden amounts ( the inflation tax alone was around seven to ten percent ), we enjoyed the benefits of Imperial Control.  Subsidized oil was just the more obvious benefit, but there were plenty of others in all commodity forms.  $10 footwear or a sheet of plywood are clearly the results of cheap oil and globalization ( well, they cost more than that in unemployment costs, but we shan’t go into that ), not some other fabled unicorn rainbow feces such as Economics Of Scale, Innovation or other claptrap. 

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Yet since 2008, which was the real estate bubble bursting sunrise to the 2005 Global Peak Conventional Oil sunset, the bankers are no longer even trying to pretend to share in the wealth and insist on smacking the rag covered proletariat aside in their scramble for the last of the crumbs.  We’ve really only suffered for the last ten years, out of the last hundred ( setting aside the First Great Depression for the moment as that was more Elite Combat induced, rather than Resource Contraction as we see today ), for all intents and purposes ( resource contraction since the mid 1960’s to 2007 is not the same as the ‘07 to now exponential implosion.  Before, you had time to adjust.  Now, the boat is on the lip of the waterfall and your time is about up ).  We are currently in the same situation as the Roman peasants mere years from the barbarians storming the city, the elite squeezing the blood from stones so unrelenting that destitution and death are the future for the 99%.  Back then the Senatorial powers taxed the farmers into abandonment ( even if the land had long been played out ), and now the bankers insist on so much of your paycheck between rent and medical insurance ( insurance, not coverage ) alone that most incomes don’t cover even that, let alone food and other incidentals.  Add the overpopulation from uninhibited immigration stressing our food supply and you can see how this can won’t be kicked too much further down the road. 

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But all that is only seemingly hopeless if you agree to play by their rules.  If you are a chump, a sucker, a rube, distracted by pretty ponies and shiny objects, making the mental bars of your self imposed prison unbreakable ( oh, all my family is here.  Oh, my wife wouldn’t approve ), then a minimum wage job ain’t dingus.  But if you can give up your auto, and rent or a mortgage, and understand that doctors are today far more incompetent than yourself with self diagnosis and treatment, fifteen grand is a Gott Damn Humping Bloody fortune!  On that money you could stockpile the Oil Age Industrial Economy once in a species goldmine objects such as that mechanized wheat, petrochemical plastics and insulation, abundant glass and ceramic and ammunition and etcetera.  You only run into limitations when you try to live in banker profiting luxury AND try to stockpile.  One or the other, folks.  Time is short.  If you don’t see that, if you think this is just another 1970’s or Y2K false alarm, you might as well not even try.  Just wallow in decadence and eat, drink and be merry for soon you die.

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You might as well just be a Prepper Pussy or a Disaster Doomer.  Just lots of guns, little ammunition and less food.  But you’re a prepper by gum!  You have a bucket of dried food that will feed five people for a week!  Well, at least they get three “servings” a day, a total of a hundred and fifty calories each and every whole day!  I trust I don’t have to elaborate on my sarcasm there.  But to return to stuff, the cheaper you live the more preps you’ll have, and the more preps you have the longer before your Stuff Runs Out.  But you not only need to have the right stuff, you need to also have the right replacement plan.  We’ve talked plenty prior to the Right Stuff to have, so let’s move on to what to do when the stuff runs out.  You need a plan to replace all your stuff, even if you can maximize the time to the demise.  The Forever Gun, the five to ten years of wheat, that is pushing your supplies out as far as possible.  But not all replacement plans are equal.  For instance, the universal insistence on gardening.  This is a great skill to have, in and of itself, but pretty much blows mule member in an apocalypse.  Gardening is not farming.  The centerfold Playboy Bunnies of the prepper universe showing off their huge gardens, all their YouTube Subscribers sporting wood over the images?  If you were a rabbit preparing for the collapse, you would survive nicely.  If you are a person?  Not so much. 

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I’m going to name names here and while I don’t mean it as a hateful tirade but merely illustrative, it is still hard to hide how retarded this is.  “Prepper Princess” on YouTube is showing how she could conceivable live on $100 a year spending for food.  She gets “free” eggs and some oranges, as well as a few veggies trash picked.  The food was on top of a card table with room left over, and besides being treated to ONE whole chicken drumstick a WEEK!!!, she was planning on ONE small bag of rice lasting that year.  How many calories do you think she was planning on ingesting?  Not a thousand a day would be my guess ( there was another idiotic video on a guy with fifty bucks in rice claiming that was a years survival stockpile-I didn’t stick around long enough to record his handle, which should have been Dumbass Doomer ), probably a lot less and if in fact this was all she was eating my only guess as to how she is still alive is she drinks a gallon of soda a day for calories ( of course, to be fair, some people actually are able to live on an amount of calories that modern scientists argue is impossible-so there is that.  Still, a regular person is going to die on this ).  But looking at all the freeze dried fruit and the dessert treats and their small gardens, I’m sure it is safe to say that no one has much of a clue what they need to actually survive without a supermarket.  Hell, my wheat only bare bones emergency diet isn’t really all that realistic long term, and I’m presenting more calories than most!

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Everybody gets all sexually aroused since they have a garden.  Oh, look at me, I’m a gardener so I can’t die after the collapse even if I don’t store much food!  Oh, you’ll die all right, but with healthy skin and shiny hair, from all the vitamins you got from your garden produce.  The calories to keep you alive, well, they were in that storage food you didn’t have.  Again, I’m not saying gardening isn’t a great skill to have.  In the worsening economic collapse being able to garden and provide those vitamins and few extra calories will help you survive malnutrition as our centralized food supply breaks down.  But for AFTER the waterfall collapse?  No, gardening will kill you.  All these prepper experts telling you that if you live in an apartment but can plant a tomato in a few pots on the patio, implying that is a great start at replacing food, they are idiots selling false hope.  Gardening is a collapse skill, farming is a post-collapse skill.  Both are needed, but the lesser will not substitute.  Gardening is a poor plan as replacement calories go, yet it is most of what is recommended.  Hunting and trapping won’t work well because of competition, and gardening lacks calories.  Next idea?

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You need enough storage food to get you through the die-off AND through your training period in food procurement.  And, yes, I realize wheat only is problematic in delivering calories while learning another way of providing food.  You’ll almost need to double down on your daily consumption to do that.  So, keep in mind, that super three year wheat stash just shrunk to one and a half.  That means you get through the die-off and have exactly ONE crop that must succeed.  Five years is better, as a minimum.  You must realize that gardening is just as problematic.  If it takes you several seasons to learn the soil and pests for certain produce, why would you think that seamlessly translates over to another crop in a nearby location?  You’re going from produce in the backyard to grain in a location with the acreage it needs.  Let me spell this out clearly.  Christian Militia, Prepper Pussies, Pretty Pony Preppers, Disaster Doomers, all the commercialized luxury laden “survivalist posers” who don’t have multi-years of calories to get them through on the job training for food replacement with its failures, stand zero chance of survival. 

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You don’t have a chance if your replacements are too pie in the sky.  Gaining new skills now is fine, as long as they are directly translatable.  If they are too fanciful, such as “I’ve got a book on making your own flintlock rifles” to replace an ammo gulping semi, they won’t work, not if you wait until you are out of ammo.  Not that there is anything wrong with book only plans.  As long as you have the supplies to see you through the book learning and trial and error translation into real life.  When folks get angry at you when you just stock seeds, rather than learn how to garden, they end up sounding superior and educated but never question if the actual gardening skill is transferable into the post-apocalypse period.  Just like they never question the long term viability of chainsaws ( which I only bring up to cheese off certain minions, just as I delight in riling up those with AR’s.  I’m funning here, folks!  Relax ).  I may or may not continue this at a later date.  I’m not sure of I could expand much from here.  Or, I might just incorporate it into another subject.  We’ll see.

END ( end 'o the article Amazon link http://amzn.to/2sYPbAS )
 

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30 comments:

  1. When I moved away from the farm back in Illinois my father tried to give me a two man crosscut saw. I turned him down and now wish I hadn't!

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    1. Don't fret, you can always buy one made in China to their high quality specs.

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  2. "Gardening is a collapse skill, farming is a post-collapse skill"

    I am going to use this in a coming talk.. give me permission please because that is gold!

    I have to admit that every time you say, gardening does not produce calories, I both snarl and nod my head yes! Its not quite as simple as you write it but then the odds are you clarify in the next bit and I grunt.

    I had to admit that I do think you can get reasonable "calorie" garden crops but I give you the nod because its not "regular" gardening and that is something that is missing hugely from almost all of the prepper garden's that I have seen online.

    They are focused on trying to grow smaller or larger amounts of everything you would to provide a "grocery style" selection on screen and at the table and that.. well that fall's right into the statement above..

    Its fine for collapse skill set but when it comes to producing Calories.. not so much

    You need to move over to potato's, root veggies and a few select above ground crops that can be used for human food and for fodder feed for livestock, depending on your ability to produce protein and fats, you will had better have planned and planned well.

    I have heard so many people talk about growing beans. Clearly they have never grown enough rows of beans to try and provide enough dried beans for a family of five. The space required even if you are climbing them it massive and then you had better have picked the right bean type to go with the amount of days you get in that season You can have some ready in 68 to 72 days and others that need 120 to 140.

    Most of the pretty preppers seem to forget that sunflower seeds are "the" be all for easiest garden plant that will give you storage fats for winter, plus green fodder and garden poles for next year and if the stems are brunt, a 0 mile source for potash for your garden when you can't just pop down to the garden center. Certain kinds of pumpkins and Squash seeds would be the next ones for fat calories. While the skin and the flesh gives you vit-mineral and fiber, the seeds in the middle that are your calorie gold.

    You are bang on about needing more.. I agree with the five years for the basic's and I want at least three years for the "garden" because I had the goal for two years and while it was good, life is showing me that I need to put up not two years on a good year (as my grandparents taught me) but I need at least three years put up.

    And on top of that my crazy (what do you mean we need to plant three zones worth of X Y and Z) plan of layering things in not just on my regular gardening zone but to plant and plan to push on both zones beside has proven itself time and again as has my layered gardens.

    Two years ago everything in my zone got frosted for fruits, only my colder zone hard an soft fruits produced, but I still got a crop.

    Four years ago we had a drought that despite dryland planting in spacing and such, wiped out massive amounts of my annual gardening efforts (good learning curve, excellent plant selection pressure on the plants that did produce and seed saving) but my hugelculture beds which I made to see what they could do.. produced over 600 pounds of quality winter storageable food and was only watered twice by natural rain in end of aug and sept.

    This year is the first year that I and a number of girlfriends on their farms are working with Russian Dryland Rice and we will be growing more our learning how to to do it plots ideally then what the pretty prepper put up for a years supply.

    Great post today FG

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    1. By all means quote me but I don't know if that is original to me. I could have paraphrased, or copied outright, but cannot remember. Seems like you have your ducks in a row. I'd be envious but I'm too old and exhausted to even dream of changing. Is buckwheat a viable crop here? I've heard good things, but with limited info.

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    2. Yes, one of the local ladies grows Buckwheat. Its combo'd up with bee keepers as Buckwheat honey has its own taste and smell and demands a higher price.

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    3. If I recall correctly Jim, from the book “The Self Sufficient Life, And How To Live It”, by Seymour. Buckwheat and Clover were also used as “Green Manure.” Apparently they have the ability to fix nitrogen to the soil, and are tilled into the soil. Something to keep in mind for post apocalypse gardeners; the few that survive long enough to garden that is.

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    4. Just learning on buckwheat, it seems to have a high fat content, big in the Soviet army. If it is like a bean, green manure, that makes sense, along with its short storage.

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  3. There are gardeners and then there are gardeners. Once you take away running water most, including me, are screwed. I planted a lot of greens this year. I find myself picking very healthy edible seeds so my no so healthy, healthy greens can grow. I've always struggled with germination. This gardening is not as easy as it looks.

    The Basque sheep herders survived in the hills largely on beans and corn bread. Learning to grow corn, beans, and onions without store bought supplies to a long way toward supplementing your wheat. Water is the key and will be fought over. Think of water as the new oil. Your wheat will run out.

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    1. I think the viable crops here-the Basque dudes ate out of a railroad supply car-are goat and potatoes. Wheat could, in theory, be traded from Idaho.

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    2. "healthy edible weeds!" Damn autocorrect all to hello. In my soil I had lambsquarter, perslane, mallow, and amareth all coming up wild. Planting seeds was a waste of time.

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  4. hi, fabulously coiffed.
    garden--i hope your garden is well hidden. and i hope no one sees you enter the path with an empty basket and return heavily laden with yummies.
    thieves are like wolves--they notice things.
    and they are ruthless.

    it isn't really survival of the fittest, it is survival of the ruthless.

    farming and calories-- someone just returned from foreign parts where she helped on her father-in-law's farm.
    all work by hand or hand tools. no combines there.
    the family, of whom not one is fat, ate 5 big meals every day to keep up the energy to manage the farm.
    so one person was the cook. also killed the meat and gutted it before cooking unless one of her sons had a few minutes to spare. try that for a while!

    if you only have a minimum of food stored you would have to remain motionless most of the time to reserve your calories.
    also, farming is dependent on stability- political, weather, seed supply.

    modern practice in farming may not be ideal but there is enough for everyone.
    that won't last long in a collapse and money may become useless, so skills to trade for food or something universally desired for barter goods might save you for a while.

    very cheerful thoughts.

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    1. Even more cheerful, no, trade won't happen for either skills or barter. Food will be too dear. No way to get around the depleted soil meeting overpopulation.

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  5. The key to gardening, should one be pressed into it, is appropriate crop selection. As an example, I know next to nothing about gardening. One year I started a turnip crop, and did pretty well, outside of overcrowding them, thus reducing my yield. Turnips are a high carbohydrate root crop, so they have survival potential. They were not only surprisingly easy to grow, but they keep well, and as it turns out, the green tops are incredibly nutritional. In fact, there are gardeners that grow them only for the greens.

    Thought about trying a small patch of wheat before. But the scything and chafing process gives me nightmares to this day.

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  6. My wife is one of my best sources of support when things go down. God made every woman for a specific man.

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  7. Depending on where you live, consider planting lots of chestnut trees. More stable than annual crops, but provided a staple food for many cultures.

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  8. What is 1% of 300 mil?
    That's how many live bodies will be left after the first year of non-resources. The other 99% will be biohazards laying all over the place, mostly in urbania. Here in the mid north the wind blows mainly from the southwest so all the airborn pathogens from the high population centers along the west coast will filter out before they get here, hopefully. But there will still be death all around even in ruralville and how that is dealt with will be important. Shit runs downhill and keeps on going. We're 800 feet up on the side of an 1100 foot hill so everyone uphill from us will be a potential danger. Fortunately there is less than 50 people up there but that will most likely increase as people flee the burbs and move in with the regulars around here. Once they start to come they won't stop so us on the downside of the hill will have to monitor and regulate who gets in. "HALT!" "Advance one and be recognized!" That sort of thing. My only hope in all of this is that smarter people than I have the where with all to sort all of this out and righten this sinking ship. Democracy, the god that failed.

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    1. Dare I say, Oil, the god that failed? Isn't democracy just a hazard of surplus resources?

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    2. I see democracy as a screen the elite put up to make it SEEM like the peons had a say. One politician takes a fall and some else take his place. All with the same agenda and hidden masters.

      YKW
      MM

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    3. I have no idea what I wrote up there. "just a SHARING of surplus resources" should have been. MM-spot on. But why pretend in the first place, right? I think it is the sharing of the spoils.

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  9. Jim after a collapse resource conservation of ALL stored supply's will be critical to long term survival. Gardening/ food production is the most practical way to extend calories. Conventional crops and gardening will get one killed due to visibility and low calorie production. A better way would be dispersed plots of root crop turnips, beets, potatoes, yams,onions. While not as popular as other crops they also are not as recognizable as the edible part is below ground. history has showed us 1 acre of potatoes kept an Irish family and a cow feed for a year. While it cant replace grain storage it can extend it.

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    1. Potatoes are the bomb diggity of crops. Just don't use exclusively in lower elevations as the blights are more prone to occurring.

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  10. Pretty good this time Jim.

    A few points....

    Think of gardening as an apprenticeship before farming.

    When you say "Gardening" do you mean size? or crop?

    If someone has half an acre of corn and winter squash is that gardening or farming?

    YKW
    MM

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    1. I define gardening as vitamins and farming as calories. But farming isn't just calories but ENOUGH of them. Some would probably also say you need enough calories to grow meat or dairy plus grain. Look at Rwanda. Too many plots, shrunk down too far. They went from farms to gardens, and war thinned out the herd.

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  11. My first attempt at growning anyting in a pot (after being inspired by a YouTube video) was a disaster. Apparently plants don't grow when planted in 100% fertilizer. Who knew? Well I know *now*

    A more recent attempt was with square foot (meter) gardening. Did you know that Mint will take over the whole patch? I do now ;-)

    My latest attempt I cut down huge palm trees (they're incredibly dumb plants to have... they offer little shade, no wind break and drop frongs everywhere which are a pain to get rid of) So yeah, I have space for my next attempt but for right now it's a chilli plant in a pot and a dwarf lemon tree in a pot (to be planted in the ground later)

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    1. When I was in Florida, folks seemed to need to plant palms. Perhaps they needed a reason to be reminded they lived there, as if the humidity, bugs, roaches and gators weren't enough.

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  12. look at things just from a budget standpoint.
    the average US household budget puts about 30% of its money into shelter (either rent or mortgage) and 10 to 20% of its money into food.
    If you can garden and stockpile food enough to provide enough you sustenance then you have 5 - 15 % of your money available for savings or other purposes.
    If your house is mortgage/rent free that is another 10 - 25%
    Think about that.
    A 15% to 40% pay raise for simply owning outright a shelter on 'junk land' and growing a lot of your own food.
    Even if civilization gets fusion power tomorrow and somehow uses that to avoid the collapse that is otherwise guaranteed, you could easily use that up to 40% increase in savings to retire much nicer or earlier than you could otherwise.
    Food storage and farming and having paid off shelter just makes SENSE.

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    1. A fifty percent savings and nobody does it tells you a lot about our being a herd of monkey's with little individual intelligence ( custom and social stability taking the lions share of our brain ).

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    2. Well 50% would be the highest possible return. But a 20%+ is certainly attainable. 20% and or more of your earned money free for wine women or song as you desire.
      STUPID not to. IT also explains why land near easy higher than min wage earning employment is both expensive AND over regulated (making building on it much more expensive and difficult).
      On the other hand, get a ways away from the cities and the price for a small lot goes down a lot, but lots tend to on average get much bigger. What good does it do you if the lot is $1k per acre but comes in only 160 acres sections?
      Failed planned communities well outside of a town, that have removed their HOA's and other development regulations are one of the few decent options I have seen in places like Nevada and Arizona. Almost all of those are in desert areas (that I know of).
      I happened to have a large 1 time bonus of @$8k that was enough to mostly cover in cash the cost of my two 40 acre parcels picked up at auction. So now I am land rich, but cash poor. Good trade I think. I can use the other forty for grazing or caching or both in the future, or sell it for funds to build on my prime forty.
      I can not figure out why EVERYONE isn't out buying parcels like the ones I got - NO ONE else even applied to bid on them.

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    3. Haven't the Dakota's been begging for land buyers for decades? No jobs? Water too deep? Too much cold wind? You see the townships giving away home lots for free. There has got to be a fundamental reason folks don't live there ( excepting the one time fracking bubble ).

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