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Friday, June 12, 2020

really pulling the plug


REALLY PULLING THE PLUG
I'm really going to pull the plug on the Internet. It started as a pain in the ass to use twenty-three years ago, and it is a bigger pain in the ass now that I've become addicted to it. Please note, I AM STILL GOING TO BE WRITING. I'm just going back to my origins, a snail mail periodical. This blog is going to become a monthly magazine. I'll have to publish it on a CD-ROM. There is no way I can afford paper and its postage. Nor any way I'd get you to buy it. The CD's are going to be expensive enough.
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I know I'm going to lose a lot of you, even if you want to read what I have to write, just because everything is on those silly Smart Phones now. Even though Big Brother LOVES those location tracking spy devices. Far better you are not inconvenienced by having to buy a $30 garage sale desk top computer that has a CD-ROM player. Look, I hate to lose you, paying reader or not. A writer has no reason to write unless he is read. I just hope I won't lose as much of you as I suspect I'm going to. Or, that some will curse me and abandon me, but come back later anyway once you realize nothing is a suitable substitute.
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I'm going to charge my cost only. If nothing else, I'll stay within your budget AND not have to collect sales tax for fifty states. I'm guesstimating this will be about $1.70 or thereabouts. The final post to this blog will give you the exact amount. The CD blank itself is about 20cents. The postage $1.20. Envelope about another 27cents. I'll hurry up and buy a dot-matrix printer if I'm flooded with subscriptions, but I suspect that won't be necessary and I'll manual type or write out the addresses for now. Once I get labels, that might be another nickel.
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I have to go to Wal-Mart and the post office to be sure. Things are a LOT harder without Internet access. I won't say no to any donations on top of the cost of publishing and mailing, of course. I still have to eat. Even if all you do is continue to buy through my blog links here, I'll get a commission. At least for a little longer ( I'll cover that down below ). I'm really no more happy about this than you are. It is a huge pain in the ass, a head rush akin to the decision to give up the pick-up truck and go all bike hauling.
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This is also not a rash decision. I've been stressing about censorship for many years now. My web site has the clause “may be canceled for any reason by us”, a new development after the company was bought out. Google of course is always fickle. I don't REALLY like supporting Amazon, not after their book burnings ( but you take what you can get ). They were simply LESS evil. And I would have soldiered on if the local Internet hadn't gone spectacularly tits up.
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The library, even if it had been open, uses the same ISP. Everyone with the same company is reporting problems with Frontier. Who has filed for bankruptcy ( and a minion reports other areas serviced by them are not even taking new customers for broadband ). The writing is on the wall for Internet here. The competition? Unreliable very expensive satellite, or the one competitor who gave off a serious used car salesman vibe. No thanks. No, it is time to throw in the towel. It is time to go Lower Tech.
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Please don't send me anything by PayPal. I won't have any Internet access. Same for e-mail. It is strictly snail mail now. No more blog ( the blog will stay up, I just cannot access it ). No more e-mail. No more posting PDF's for downloading ( get them while you can at my web site, before that goes dark from lack of renewal ). No more ordering Amazon for me, or watching streaming services. I'm going back primitive.
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The CD-ROM will have the magazine as PDF file.  I'm thinking at the very least I can easily make the magazine 60 pages, but I imagine it will usually be closer to 100. I am going to enjoy life once again, and won't be staring at a screen all day. More time just to smell the roses and not feel rushed. I thought I could use those mini CD's, the three inch half size ones. They are MUCH cheaper to mail. Alas, I just today found out they were discontinued. I was wondering why so many folks were out or charging double. So, it will just be a regular size CD-ROM. No fancy printing, just a Sharpie marker. I'm going Garage Company/fanzine here.
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All correspondence will hence forth be by snail mail ( I'll try to keep checking the comments and my e-mail, at least for a little while longer. A week? ). If it's publication related, include a self addressed stamped envelope ( that used to be called a SASE before the Internet almost killed the Post Office )( not necessary for personal correspondence ). If any of you are butt hurt because you just gave me a lot of money, I actually completely understand. I might think of it as Services Rendered, but you might assume it was Paying For Future Services. If this is the case, contact me. Seriously. I will try to make restitution. I don't want anyone feeling I've cheated them. If you donated a lot already, and subscribe, just pay the cost and nothing extra. Only pay for value received is a much better business than Buyer Beware.
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I would also advise you to NOT send me too much for a subscription. Don't sent a years worth. Will the grid be up in a year? The post office? Office supply stores? Law and order? You can send a month or three or five at a time, and I'll let you know when to send more. I hope I see most of you at this new venue. I apologize for any aggravation. Change blows. But I think I'm getting ahead of a trend here. Being a trail blazer. I think we can all expect my local condition, Internet wise. And, will Amazon even survive much longer? I'm having doubts with their questionable investments in luxury shipping ( and customers becoming unemployed ). Watch for the next post with prices ( I'll find out about foreign postage as well ).
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ADDENDUM-better than I thought.  $1.08 is my all in cost ( unfortunately, $1.78 for foreign shipping ).  Tomorrow will be the last post, no article, JUST subscription instructions.  Basically, you send the above amount, times however many months you want, plus any donation if wanted, each specified.  Hopefully with your address printed so I can read it.  So, I'm kind of hoping you only click on if you feel you might subscribe, and I'll get some idea of how many folks I'll hear from by the visit numbers ( you can keep commenting here until I disable that feature ).  First issue should be mailed around the first of July.  
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No hard feelings on those opting out.  It's been more than real, and I love you all and appreciate you more than you think.  I WILL broadcast to the minions until I die, or until all communications cease.  Sorry it cannot be an easier way for you than this.  Best to you all, hope you stay safe.  
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Link for external CD player for laptop, under $20 HERE
( .Y. )
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note: thanks for the generous PayPal donation yesterday, B.F.  In light of today's article, would you like a return, or credit towards the postal magazine?  I've been talking of this in the comments, but if you didn't read I understand.  Let me know e-mail if you want to change anything.  Appreciated no matter what.  

69 comments:

  1. Right. Best course of action Jim, considering your localized conditions and the impending censorships or grid downs. It would actually be a superior cottage industry, or an artistic forum without any of those fears of censorships or economic influencers, a better route under the new normals coming.

    Going old school dead letter drops forays is retro fun activities as well.

    Keep writing and stay frosty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you understand the basic underlining trends I'm following-I fear most won't.

      Delete
  2. I’d try like the devil to at least keep the E-newsletter. Your already low income is about to drop to nothing, if you do this. Ride your bike to the nearest cafe with a connection, or the library. You only need a connection long enough blast out a message a day. The situation will improve, it has to. It’s not possible to do business for most anymore, without an online connection, so a replacement service will be along. Unless of course you’re suggesting that Elko is about to become a ghost town.

    I don’t even have a CD player Jim. They’re sorta going by the wayside, as did the 3.5” floppy, a few years previous (Which by the way, I once worked with a guy that had one of those, much to the dismay of his obnoxious, overweight wife :D ) I’m assuming that there’s no choice between this or a USB stick? I’ll get a CD player if I have to, but it’s money that I’d rather not spend.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The cheapest USB stick ( measured in MB rather than GB ) is still $2. Then you have to have a better envelope. And more postage. I wouldn't imagine it would be under $4. In six months, that CD external drive hooked up to the USB plug pays for itself. I've been dirt poor, and yes I will be again, so I know the investment sucks. I do apologize, truly. Actually, the Internet here is mostly back up. It was just my warning shot. I think Internet will stay around. I do NOT think most of us are going to be able to afford it.

      Delete
  3. Bummer and Bummer11 and Bummer111.

    Jim,
    one question. Are you prepared for bags and bags
    of letters/mail coming to your home?

    There are many new ways of censorship becoming apparent
    to me. A program is announced, one waits for it,
    "tunes in" and sees that it is due to start at xx:xx
    but it isn't. Sometimes it is available the next day.
    Sometimes one can get through a back door, sometimes
    that door is locked.

    I will subscribe. It will be refreshing not to be on a
    screen so much. Maybe. I have no smart phone. Never will.
    I resent it when my Mr. has it in the house. I think it is
    listening. Maybe that is nuts. I just hate those addictive
    gadgets. Intrusive in so many ways. Simpatico with you.

    Regards,and
    good luck with your new system.
    Suzanna

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Bless your heart. It actually didn't occur to me how damn addicted I was, until it wasn't there. I didn't like the feeling.

      Delete
  4. Well this blows a fat one. I've been scarce lately, and I'm going through some mostly seasonal changes, but I check in every couple days and back read the articles, don't always comment.

    "A writer has no reason to write unless he is read."
    That's not true. I write all the time and it's stuff no one will ever read, cept maybe after I'm dead. I find it cathartic and causes me to focus.

    If I know your snail mail I'll keep in touch.
    We can pretend we're old army buddies waiting on mail call. lol
    Good luck in all you do Jim.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Waiting on mail call. That brings back memories bitter sweet. I like it.
      James M Dakin
      181 West Bullion Road, Unit 12
      Elko Nevada 89801
      Thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you

      Delete
    2. One more thing. I think you get a lot less rain than what we get here in Hoosierville so maybe a Hughes satelite would work for you. When it was cloudy or raining the satelite was troublesome, but when it wasn't, it ran pretty good. We could even stream stuff. We were paying about $80/mth but I believe they had lesser cost tiers. Take a look at some of the sat's (I've seen one on TV commercials but can't remember the name right now) and see if that might be a solution. One more thing. I got a TracFone Samsung Galaxy on HSN.com for $120 and it came with 1350 mins, 1350 txts, and 1350mb of data transfer for free. I downloaded Chrome onto it and configured my email on it and my gmail account too. I rarely use it but it does come in handy when the power's out.

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    3. Not much rain, but lots of cloudy days.

      Delete
  5. The prepper sphere will miss you, Lord Bison. You brought a good measure of sanity to an internet chock full of alleged survival experts pushing the latest flashy widgets that were “mandatory” if you wanted to survive the apocalypse. Best of luck in your new endeavor. I look forward to checking out the new format.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks for understanding. This kind of subscription model really cuts into the FLIR budget :)

      Delete
  6. Daaaaym!

    But I get it.

    So, I'm in. Guess I'd better fire that old desktop up!

    And please don't stop writing -- no matter what. There are people today who covet the words of those from the yesteryears. Myself included. Journals, diaries, memoirs, ramblings...they're all of value.
    MT

    ReplyDelete
  7. I will subscribe. Been thinking about this a while. I've left way too many digital footprints, but better late than never. It's probably all going away soon anyway. I lived my first 10 years without electricity, expect to live my last 10 the same way.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I look at it like this. I was on a gov list back when I subscribed to Soldier Of Fortune. And probably American Survival Guide. So the Internet KGB didn't bother me terribly. But I am happy to make it more difficult for them anyway LOL

      Delete
  8. Haven’t always agreed with your point-of-view, but you always write from a working man’s perspective, so I’ll hate to see your blog go. I’ll continue to follow you in whatever form you make available. Good luck, and keep the faith.

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    1. Thanks, and the faith has never been stronger!

      Delete
  9. Will be a subscriber

    I deem you the Rational Contrarian, and your fundamental take on events and actors will always be valuable

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you Bison, its been a helluva ride and I appreciate you staying with this as long as you have. I'm not sure what I will do right now, but I totally see your point. I also think that internet
    security' is becoming rather onerous. Hell, even copiers and printers have marks which can be traced back if you speak that lingo.

    I'll wait for final details on how this shakes out - again, my thanks.

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    1. It has been a GREAT ride. I hate to upset the apple cart, but I see this as the only rational move. I appreciate you. So long and thanks for all the fish

      Delete
  11. Run parallel ops. Use internet at wi-fi hubs off site outside the wire, to burst transmit a weekly minion pep talk article (s) as before but on a looser schedule, add in the
    Other mailing business info updates or offerings for the new usps postal comms mode. You may have thus two cadres of readership, running parallel in each realm. Digital cub scouts following you on a more casual schedule, and the mail call brigades will follow on cd rom periodicals schedules. The cd-rom is interesting as more meat and potatoes information and writings can be expounded on, Scanned data, etc. Like going to a 80/20 business model focus on mail over digital. Then having a foot in digital and mail infrastucture of shipping and receiving enterprises will give you more flexible avenues economically. You can then arrange to go on a sabbatical and wander the woods for a few weeks, benefitting your health and sanity. Winning.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I thought of all that, and dismissed it as the mailings would stay at zero if the weekly freebies continued. A reminder-I'm making ZERO profit off this if the subscriber thus decides. Still using the donation model. I want mail subscribers not because profit but because I see the inevitable Internet problem and want people to go back to a model ( postage ) less apt to fail as quickly.

      Delete
  12. Well Damn. First WRSA gets all sideways and then back on track, now this. For you I see one door closing and another opening. Reading your opinions every morning is similar to the local morning newspaper ( been long time gone) with my coffee.LOL, I even read Ol woodpile Remus thoroughly just to see you referenced. Big THANKS for pointing me toward good apocalyptic/ doom fiction, and some non-fiction. I will be corresponding to you via pony (mail) express. Respectfully, 4hawks in dixieland

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  13. It feels like you are quitting on your readers. Not everyone is equipped to make the switch. If the internet vanishes I can understand having a system ready to go, but while it is still around I don't understand doing this. You are hurting your own income and hurting the people who count on you to provide helpful info during the time you are needed most. I wish you would reconsider your decision.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. In my defense ( that not I totally disagree with you ), you'all have five years of blog articles to reference and 30+ books ( reminder, books are free now but soon vanishing-don't delay ). I'm only providing motivation at this time. And entertainment. I look at daily blogs as I would 24/7 cable news. 99% of it is filler. I would argue we are getting too much information, and daily over monthly has now passed its usefulness. I recall the days it was expense and disheartening to realize you were too poor to read the Internet. Remember those days? Not even twenty years ago. I had to make payments to buy a computer to write. I don't think I'm asking THAT much.

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  14. James~ These days seem like a tilt-a-whirl that the limiter has been take off. Do what needs doing to keep you and yours safe. In God's Safekeeping...Pamela

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    1. County fair company full of crackheads and hobo's version of Tilt-A-Whirl, at that. LOL

      Delete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. That makes my day, brother! Success stories sticking it to The Man, escapees from Clown World, those enjoying life after the Rat Race, it makes the grind well worth it. I hope you inspired many of the minions, because you sure inspired me. You started a LOT lower in circumstances and got a lot higher in self sufficiency. Bravo good sir. You'll be missed.

      Delete
  16. Lord Bison, Of all the craptastic news over the last 4 months or so, this to me in the worst of it! Only cuz this is the only thing that affects me on a personal level! That being said, I'm all in and will be a subscriber as long as the system holds. I've been reading you for years upon years on your various blogs and have purchased (and read!) the vast majority of your books. I can honestly say Ive learned more from you than all the other survival writers I've read, combined. No reason to stop now! Although, missing the comments will be a bummer. A minion brotherhood has developed over the years,and I really enjoy hearing what the Minionites have to chime in as well.
    I wish you well Sir, and appreciate your work and dedication to it more than my feeble words can express. You and your luxurious mane of hair are one of a kind!

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    1. Ha! Thanks. I'll miss the comments as well. Everyone there kept me on my A Game. And taught me well. Except the Grammar Nazi's ( kidding! )

      Delete
  17. Adam from WisconsinJune 12, 2020 at 2:05 PM

    Going to take any advertisers?

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    1. No, no advertisers. You can never stay free. I might take unpaid advertisers ( as customer service ), but I don't think they'd want me.

      Delete
  18. Say it aint so jim. You will be missed. By many . (Not me i thought you were an a$$hole. JK:) fer real tho, i thank you for the many lessons imparted through the years. Hope the collapse of civilization serves you well. Hope you smite many a commie verman scum.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Well Jim, I guess it's hello and goodbye. Been reading your blog daily for over a year,(every morning at 11:00), this is my first comment.
    I'm in Canukistan and it's getting crazy here too, just no riots, yet. I'm a few hrs drive from Green Mtn. Dude, (talk about crazy, see his last post, he must believe everything the CBC tells him, we're not all like that here).
    I'm well prepped and was motivated by you and my intuition to top-up and fill holes over the last few months, wracked my brain each eve to plan for next day excursion. Today it was a couple extra sets of guitar strings, yes, I've got spare tubes too! :) Deals are still out there: bacon, maple syrup, cheddar, and Moosehead beer, haha!
    Guess I just wanted to say Thank You! And thanks to all the great minions for their comments/ideas.

    Michelle_in_NB

    Oh! Finally figured our what "B-POD" means, I thought it was Bugout Piece of Dirt. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Never could figure out the areas cheddar fixation. I mean, who doesn't love it, right? But to elevate it to exalted status? Anyway, I think this last week finally elevated the crazy commie Americans PAST crazy Canadian commies on the crazy meter. Except your PM, but then, votes are manipulated anyway. Be well up there, thanks for taking the journey with me as long as you did.

      Delete
  20. You were full of shit from the beginning, so it is appropriate that you would be full of shit in the end. Anyone that has taken your advice about anything is surely worse for the wear.

    You move to town and then decide to 'disconnect'. OK then.

    ReplyDelete
  21. The universe loves me and approves of my direction! Proof? I just got the Final Jeopardy question right two days in a row. I NEVER even can guess the question, they are so difficult. Hell, even the teen versions. The very few times I can guess, I NEVER get them correct. I don't even know if I have ever gotten any right. And now, TWO in two days? A sign from On High, bitches. ( granted, I don't watch the show religiously, but when I do the above applies )

    ReplyDelete
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    1. What were the questions? I thought I was super smart, knowing the answer to, "What was the name of Charles Darwin's ship?" (The Beagle) as THE FINAL question, to win a million Euros.

      Then I realised that it wasn't a matter of intelligence, rather, general knowledge.

      Delete
    2. I stopped watching Jeopardy years ago, too boring and slow .
      Damn dude, what the hell am I gonna do every morning at ten now...
      As you've probably already figured out, I've not ever really read you for the how to stuff. Been there done that long ago ya know...but really have enjoyed throwing a bit here and there back at you in comments.
      How am I to do that in a nooz letter ? Sooo one way...

      Well , you know my address. Few do...
      Nobody lives forever , I guess.
      All things must pass.

      Regards,
      Your friend Rob

      Delete
    3. I really do regret this, for the handful such as yourself. I'll stay in touch, although I'm much more boring in a letter than in my writing.

      Delete
    4. Klaus- I was so excited not being a dumbass I forgot the questions. One had to do with the first university to offer what new technology degree? Computer Science. Of course, they ask in a more discreet way. I'm watching some old shows on Netflix-I think about five years old.

      Delete
  22. Going to miss you buddy. I've been a reader since way back when you could drop N Bombs all day long (the comments section was wild)

    Thank you for all that you did.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'll miss you as well-I needed a non-American perspective ( not to mention you were funny ). I'd offer a free sub but honestly I think I'm going to really be pinching pennies here.

      Delete
  23. I'm sorry to read this but understand it's the best way to go, considering the sorry state of your ISP. I've noticed you don't like to use graphics. I hope you see fit to insert photos, if no other types of graphics, into your PDFs, when they would be helpful.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. So used to text only I didn't think about it. But a good reminder on pictures.

      Delete
  24. Please be sure to let us know how to subscribe from overseas. I'm in Australia. I can send you $US notes in the post if that works for you. You are world-class, Jim; there is no substitute.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you for bringing this up. I hadn't thought about it. You got me thinking, and I changed today's post about how foreigners pay. I guess there isn't much choice but Greenbacks. Hopefully it is just birthday cards that are targeted for theft ( with the expectation of cash )

      Delete
  25. "I'm only providing motivation at this time. And entertainment."

    That was enough for me! I'm staying as well. You, John Wilder and Ol' Remus (plus a very few others) were the exceptions to what my first wife once said - that Americans were more stupid than Germans...but happier. At first, I thought that taht was enormously cruel but, sadly, I think there's a grain of truth to it.

    You blokes combination of: information, humour and (in your case) bluster have helped me greatly. Befiore the internet, I thought I was crazy - thinking of "what-ifs". Now Iknow I'm not alone.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think your wife was correct. We are ecstatic in our ignorance. Germans at least have a sense of fallibility. We have no clue. Pigs in slop happy in our hubris. I imagine its common in all empires. Just like someone out there is always taller, smarter, prettier, there are always folks out there crazier than you! Welcome to our clubhouse LOL

      Delete
  26. Jim,

    04:45 am...could not sleep, was having unpleasant dreams
    so I am going to be watching the sunrise.

    So long as you are happy, your NOL will be happy.
    That will be great. Who deserves a break more than you
    do? See what happens with your snail mail idea. Maybe you will get a big cookie jar full of cash!

    We love you and we are grateful for all your great work,
    time and effort.

    Thank you,
    Suzanna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course you are welcome-but I appreciate everyone who tuned in to read my drivel as well. I was up at 4:30-the NOL and I get one day a week to cuddle for a half hour after waking ( I exercise the other six and must get done before the heat ) and that was nicer than a sunrise. I think unplugging will help even more enjoying the small things.

      Delete
  27. I don't blame you for going old-school coms. The Internet, especially social media (which I don't use) have gone full retard (oops, that's not PC!).

    If I could ditch the smartphone, I would in an instant. I mainly use it as a tool for self education, researching purchases, etc. But, far too many peeps are addicted to it (alas, the wife included). I was a teen in the '80s, so grew up without smartphones. I feel sorry for today's yoots. I get all nostalgic when I see a (nonworking) pay phone.

    I learned to type on an actual typewriter. I hate *trying* to type on a smartphone, with its teeny buttons, and I'm too stubborn and set in my same-old fart ways to learn voice-recognition typing/texting on a smartphone.

    As my former manager and I used to say, our nation and society are devolving, not evolving, in spite of technology.

    I wish you best of luck, and think you are doing the right thing. I think it would be fun to follow you via USPS.

    -KC

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you! You get it. I didn't think about it like that, but perhaps a huge dose of this is actually nostalgia. I actually feel the same way about pay phones. How weird are we? I never learned to type, but refuse to even tough a Dumb Phone. But I sure hate using the thumb alphabet entering in the name of a movie searching Netflix. See you on the other side

      Delete
  28. Thank you for all of you time an effort to educate those with a brain. I have read you for 5 years and I am deeply going to miss the daily blog but am very happy that you are willing to keep up the writing for your followers on a monthly distribution. Count me in, I will pay for whatever you want to share. I have seen several blog sites bite the dust in the past 6 months especially prepper sites. It is going to get very hard to find good advice in this crazy world. Good thing I cut and paste many articles/blogs as that may soon be all we have is what we remember and what we retain in print. Your commenters are some of the best there are. Best Wishes to you in all your endeavors. YOU MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE in many lives! Bless you.

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    1. Thank you very much. We can hope for another five years. I might still be alive by then, without outside interference LOL

      Delete
    2. There has to be some type of solution to this dilemma of having your voice still broadcasting. Without losing our so called sage advice as commenters . I fear you'll go down into obscurity without the real time feedback from us.
      Not that I ever had anything worthwhile to add lol...

      Delete
    3. Some days I had nothing worthwhile to contribute. And then it helped that minions had something to say. So we are looking at a horse and cart problem. Do I need to post daily, or do minions HELP me post daily? Looked at as a social gathering, sure. But looked at as anything else, such as a source of information? And even if I just stayed for the tribal aspect, how long before so few of us were left, I become a target? Or, more simply, too many paying minions fell out as casualties?

      Delete
    4. The target aspect has been on my mind for a while now. You are wise to be concerned.
      Better to just fade away and turn grey.

      Delete
  29. Hey,
    The Howard Ruff book came in the mail yesterday.
    I will be reading it. TY

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    1. Imagine, if you will, other minions, how exciting it is to get an anticipated read delivered to you in the mail. Hint, hint. S, I believe you will love the thing. If I had to give up most of my books, that wouldn't be one of them, despite how many times I've read it ( or how many copies I bought, to give away to potential preppers )

      Delete
  30. A pox upon you, Mr Dakin, and your luxurious hair!
    What am I going to read now when I am bring the little rug-rats down to the flesh eating, brain swelling amoeba infested pond?

    -rightwingterrorist

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It probably won't be any consolation when you can save one of them from a gator, now that you aren't distracted, right? LOL

      Delete

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