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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

dipping a toe


DIPPING A TOE
You know I’m not a fan of incremental preps, past a certain point.  No one can usually just buy everything they need in one swoop, and I think the best strategy is to just buy the Better Than Nothing supplies in a state of panic.  Panic, spend your $500-$700 ( $800 if you throw a hundred on a piece of junk land as a down payment, to avoid the coming rush ), and THEN start to take your time and build up your preps.  You MUST act as if the ending is tomorrow and be prepped yesterday.
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So, you can’t JUST say that “slow and steady wins the race”.  It isn’t a good idea to completely panic, either.  It is a mix and match strategy.  Don’t take your sweet ass time, because no one can time the collapse.  And don’t panic and do stupid crap, because no one can time the collapse.  Do both.  The one area I think incremental steps fits well is in skills and habits.  Since it is that time of year when we are supposed to do “New Year’s Resolutions” ( not that you should, but it is traditional ), let’s cover fast and slow change.
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Changing fast is saying, hey, I’m a fat slob and I’m hitting the gym, cutting out Quarter Pounders and Little Debbies, quitting smoking and beer, all starting tomorrow.  We all know that is NOT going to work.  Too much, too soon.  As long as you don’t drag out the process too long, slow and steady improvements are better.  As a teenager, I had braces ( why?  Because my father had medical insurance. Not necessarily because I needed them ).  That dingus breath had me in braces for a good two or three years, claiming slow and incremental was best.
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He went TOO slow.  Many a night I missed out on homemade taco’s ( OMG-my mom’s best meal.  Shells fried up from tortilla’s, chorizo in the hamburger.  A rare treat ).  To this day, I hate the dentist JUST for that.  All those visits and micro adjustments, teeth constantly sore.  Just clamp those bitches down and be done with it.  But nooooooo!  We had to put his little spawn through college.  And the doctors were worse!  Anyway, I just had to get that off my chest, again.  Even though I’m cooking, I cannot eat that kind of grease and perfect tacos will never again be realized.
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So too fast doesn’t always work and too slow is worse.  But I have found that as long as we aren’t taking about pain and suffering eliminating luxuries ( what?  You don’t think sloth and deliberately poor diets aren’t luxuries? ), “dipping your toe” works rather well.  What do I mean?  I mean starting a new skill or habit and using positive reinforcement to motivate you.  Stopping one bad habit after another is no fun, but it is a lot easier just by starting.  GOOD habits are much easier and faster.
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Let’s say you are a slob.  Just cleaning one room in the house, that motivates you to start cleaning other areas.  And if your whole house is clean, you don’t let one area get dirty or other rooms decide to join in on the fun.  It is a behavior contamination process.  You don’t shave five minutes off of your exercise today, because then you’ll do it again tomorrow.  But again, that is a discipline issue, and no fun at all.  But LEARNING, as opposed to painful discipline, that is a more positive feedback loop.
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Say you want to start gardening.  Don’t do a butt ton of research, invest a ton of money and then dedicate most of your waking hours to it.  Too much, too fast.  Just take the simplest crop, the most forgiving, and plant one flower pot.  Whether you know what you are doing or not.  You are dipping your toe in an unknown area.  Let that success wet your appetite for more.  “Okay, that wasn’t so bad, I’m going to dig up one corner of the back yard and plant a single square foot garden with a couple of different seeds”.
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Or, just start a compost pile.  You’ll be motivated to put that to use once it is completed.  That was all you had to do.  Just throw kitchen scraps in a pile, after reading the basics on Wikipedia.  Then walk away and let the progress motivate you later.  Don’t rush things.  I did NOTHING about reloading components past my initial primers purchase ( close out at the hardware store-I think I got them for two cents each or less ).  Not for years.  But they were calling to me ( “more!” “I’m lonely!” ).  I started picking up lead wheel weights.
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That was free and fit my budget at the time.  But the more weights I found, the higher the fire underneath my butt burned, motivating me to buy more components.  More back-up Lee Loaders.  Covering rifle, carbine and pistol loads.  More loading manuals.  Haven’t we all been guilty of this Mission Creep?  I view it as a good thing.  It isn’t about buying more shoes, it is about eventually becoming an amateur cobbler with the tools and materials.  When I became interested in anthropology, I had zero clue what I was doing.  Textbooks were worthless, the field seemed the birthplace of feminism.
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But you read one “popular market” book and get the references from that book and then the books listed from those new ones and before you know it, you’ve started finding books that just reference each other and you know you have all the information you need.  It was exciting chasing down the knowledge, and it all started with just a throw-away remark of “anthropology can be distilled down to food forms all behavior” ( not an exact quote, obviously ) I randomly ran across.  Just find one simple thing to get your journey started.
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What about finding a dandelion?  They aren’t very shy and easy to spot.  Try something edible they are famous for.  That was easy and fun, and it might get you motivated to move on to other plants.  Opening a book and studying wild edibles?  Most likely, it ends there. But once you do a simple hands-on, you wake up your curiosity.  You have a positive feedback.  JUST reading and forcing yourself to learn a new skill, because it is Prepper Approved?  That won’t work.  It is another chore.  Make it fun and hands-on.  Tactile reinforcement.  And do it super simple to start.
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That avoids being overwhelmed or having too high of expectations.  You start out with a cover over the front steps, you don’t try to learn carpentry by building a barn first.  You don’t start by shooting at five hundred yards, but at twenty-five.  Just zeroing the weapon wets your appetite for more.  Just because it is necessary doesn’t mean you can’t use it positively.  This was an elementary level discussion, but I think we do tend to overthink and over plan and lose sight of how simple and easy we can start new things, like when we were kids.
( .Y. )
( today's related Amazon link click here )
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note: free books.  Zombies here.  Another here.  Dystopia here.  
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28 comments:

  1. Yeah Jim, I concur many upstart preppers or those not economically and phsychologically "all in" can benefit from your outlined approach. I have mimicked this with the economic and personal available time constraints. Sometimes a partial approach and not full completion of one area of concerns allow a Minion to juggle or get at several topics or projects along the same time line. It can be a haphazard approach, but analogy of a kitchen chef cooking 4 or 5 things at once at differing intervals to arrive at a multi course end product at one time. Another analogy would be a grease monkey who only focused on paint and body work with stupidly designed 24 inch chrome wheels, but neglected engine systems and is now broken down and won't start in the morning when he has to get his Lester ass to work. A balancing approached through out, but persistently attended to. Like ants and squirrels prepping for winter. Just remember where you stashed your nuts.

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    1. I look at the squirrels in the snow out my window, and those are some happy frolicking little dudes. Probably because they ain't hungry.

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  2. re:
    Start slow, then grow

    Here in hippie-land == Eugene, Oregon == folks tend to start their serial-monogamy with a Significant Other.

    Tiring of that mate, they dump, and grab another.

    Someplace along the line, they realize they could squeeze-in more than one squeeze. Suddenly, the realization they can have everybody all at once. A whole different world opens up. "I can pencil you in for Thursday lunch? You're involved then? How about supper? Tell me again, do you do fish?"

    Some folks developed a nice new name for this == ployamory ('polyamoury' if you do Brit-speak).

    Some of us are still getting the hang of one at a time. Please be patient with us.

    PS:
    Unless we're talking dogs. With dogs, 'the more, the merrier'.
    Oddly, strangely, the dogs have a similar opinion about tennis balls.

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  3. Qouted @ woodpile:
    James Dakin at Bison Prepper

    You didn’t get it, about food. You confused calories with tasty treats. You were an idiot and are going to pay the price.

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  4. I know, right? TWO weeks in a row. I can feel the love. Now all you bastards go buy more wheat kernels. Wally wheat back in stock:
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    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Augason-Farms-Hard-Red-Wheat-Emergency-Food-Storage-26-Pound-Pail/22985145

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  5. 5-6 years ago I stopped drinking soda waters (coke, root beer, etc.) by stopping buying them. Went to the fridg to get something to drink, gasp, no soda waters. Now what? Water. Right. If you want to stop doing something you have to stop buying it. I know me. I can't moderate. If I have something I'm gonna do it. So just don't buy it. You'll find your strong will power in the store. You'll find your weak will power in the kitchen.

    I heard you can start or stop a habit in 21 days. Is it true? I don't know, but I'm gonna find out. I stopped eating chocolate a week ago Sunday. 9 days so far. 11 more to go. I'm not craving. In fact, I just don't care. 2 days ago my wife made a giant pan of her legendary triple chocolate brownies. I ain't touched em. Haven't even looked at em. Was in 2 stores last week and had no urge to buy chocolate. Well, I guess I had an urge, but my will power wasn't weak. I didn't bow to my former master - the COCO BEAN!

    Say a 16oz glass of coke costs 50 cents and you drink 2 a day.
    Thats $365 a year and in my case that would be 5 x 365 = $1800 I have NOT spent on soda waters over the past 5 years.

    Use the same numbers for chocolate and there's another $1800 over the next 5 years. What am I gonna do with all this extra coin laying around here?

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    Replies
    1. Uh, super quality AR or a FLIR? Seriously, if you look at the savings, your AR was free. I think any of us would trade the soda's for the AR. Even those that don't really like the gun.

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    2. I quit soda's over thirty years ago...at the same time drastically stopped consumption of most all sugar.
      Now anything sweetened by processed sugar tastes had to me. But the fruit sure tastes fine and very sweet...

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    3. Which is probably why you survived and recovered as well as you did, with a body spared the ravages of fake food. I have no where as near the willpower. Which is why I'll be in the stewpot. But probably spoiling it, so there is that consolation.

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    4. Just a heads up on fruit, but you should also watch your fruit consumption.
      I learned when I decided to go on a ketogenic diet (I never quite got there, but rather, ended up on a low carb diet; a topic for another time) that modern fruit is modified in such a way, that it contains considerably more sugar than the completely natural fruit of the past. Many people are under the impression that because it’s natural sugar, you can eat all that you want, and remain healthy, but no. It will really put on the pounds if you don’t watch it.

      I use a lot of Stevia myself (Healthy, unlike Saccharin, and no calories). I’ll often have plain yogurt with a little Stevia sprinkled on it as dessert.

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    5. Not sure if I trust Stevia over fruit. Just because they always lie. Like, Gore Warming. And almost every pill ever pushed.

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    6. Stevia is just a plant Jim. Not that this necessarily means that it’s healthy for you for that reason alone, so you could be right. But with the fruit, you also have no idea what it’s been exposed to, unless you grew it yourself. Pesticide perhaps? Or perhaps Pedro rubbed it between his culo crack, while proudly proclaiming “Take that you stinkin gringo”, prior to tossing it into the truck :D So think twice next time, before you bite into that Granny Smith, amigo :D

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    7. I learned long ago that moderation in all things is best.
      Yes I'm sure a healthy body helped immensely with my recovery Jim. Tho not 100% (I'll never be) but my stubborn nature helped too. Never say never, say I .

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    8. Yes, moderation and balance. I've even learned not to hate so much. Not that They deserve any less scorn, but it is exhausting.

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  6. Chocolate is the latest diet craze sweeping the nation.

    A tiny nibble of fair-trade organic 85% melting on my tongue. To two-for-one extend the slow dissolve, I add a fork of cool organic unrefined coconut oil. A three-ounce bar of Endangered Species lasts me a month. I'm holding one in my hand, buck-forty marked down from three. So far, I can budget that.

    I get it on sale clearance late-date, send it for birthdays and holidays and no-particular-reason. Tribe.

    You mentioned brownies?
    Bison mentioned chocolate ARs?
    I'm getting all tingly.

    Wait. Was today's column about deprivation? Never mind.

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    1. mmmmmm brownies. Rifle shaped brownies?

      Dangit. Now I'm hungry.

      I'll just take a cold shower and concentrate on wheat.

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    2. So, thinking of Hilary in a cold shower kills your sex drive and thinking of wheat kills your hunger. Okay, I'm not going to lie-that is pretty damn funny.

      Delete
  7. Hell, I'm forgetting what today's article was about.

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  8. Please forgive me for getting of topic. I was wondering if anyone knows anything about dentures. What kind of cost I'm looking at, pitfalls or things to ask about. I want to be able to eat when shtf. Thanks for any help.

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    1. Off topic is fine. I only learn by asking stupid questions, and yours isn't even stupid. Valid point. Minions? Minions? Bueller?

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    2. I don't know much but I believe they are in my future. Both my parents had dentures, bad genes they said. Wonderful. Since age 50, 14 years ago, I have lost close to 1 tooth a year and certainly not from poor hygiene. The first happened while eating a hardshell taco. Snapped right off at the gum line, no pain at all. Had the root dug out by a dentist for about $200. That hurt, my mouth and my ass pocket. I remember my dad saying that when he swam in the ocean the saltwater had an effect on his dentures to where he had to keep him mouth firmly shut cause the dentures would try to get out. His dentist told him lots of people lose their dentures at the beach.

      Guy across the road is 57 and lots of broken off teeth so he got all of them yanked at the same time. They put him under. Then he was toothless for 6 months while the gums healed, then he got dentures. Having all the teeth yanked affects your speech, and in his case it was permanent.

      Now, being aware of the precarious state my teeth are in, I no longer eat hard foods or foods that put strain on the teeth. Plus, since I've lost some already that means the remainder have to work harder. I haven't lost a tooth in more than 2 years but I have one that been hurting for the past couple months. Getting old ain't for sissies, and shitty genes blows great blue whales grandfather.

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    3. I'd make a joke about wheat gruel, but that came back and bit me in the ass. I tried a ground rather than rolled oatmeal, and good dog was it some nasty crap. Paste or cardboard would have been an improvement.

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  9. Yes, chocolate brownies shaped like full size AR's with FLIRS gets me all tingly too.

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