Wednesday, November 8, 2017

american hoarder


AMERICAN HOARDER
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note: Tales From The Green Valley episode 10 ( click here ), at the 21 minute mark.  Weeding sticks.  They might only be new to me, but I loved the concept.  Two sticks, one with a hook on the end, the other a V.  You hook behind a weed, then push the stalk over the hook into the ground.  Yank on the hook stick.  The weed pops out by the roots.
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note: Vudu streaming is offering "Day Of The Dead" free with ads ( the service makes you watch something like three minutes of ads per full movie-very reasonable ).
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Don’t they have cable shows on fools that hoard compulsively?  I feel like I am in one of those.  I can’t seem to ever stop hoarding.  You know, like when you tell yourself, okay, there is five years of wheat for everyone and I’m not buying anymore.  And you don’t, you’re really good, but then in a year or two you see the price go down and you are compelled to buy another years worth.  I’m bad like that, but I’m even worse, because I keep moving the sand in the line.  I keep redefining how much is a minimum. 

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Do you think I ever eat any of my old wheat?  I have stuff ( trash picked ) from the Eighties.  I know it is good, since after I pried off a rusted lid ( the old style square tin buckets ) to stash some silver coins in there I noticed no issues.  No smell, no bugs, everything still looks brand new.  Heck, I don’t even rotate.  I buy the new, then stash that, then buy more to eat currently ( I can’t believe I waited so long to start milling my own flour again.  This fresh stuff tastes so much better and my body craves it ).  Oh, and by the way, I’ve since moved the silver so kindly don’t come visiting and steal all my metal tin wheat buckets.

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Do I shoot my ammunition?  Heck no.  I keep stashing it.  I keep telling myself it is too expensive to “waste”.  Kindly don’t lecture me on the evils of practicing shooting only once every few years, I’m well aware.  Another reason to stick with my old Enfield arsenal-it’s what I have any muscle memory of.   I wonder if I’ve moved into a psychological debilitating state.  I won’t open a package of underwear or socks until my old stuff is gray in color or so full of holes I’m in danger of blisters, and then they go to the rag bin ( I do rotate-I heard cautionary tales of Great Depression Kids stocking items for so long they disintegrated upon opening ).

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Money, I do the same thing.  It was stressful almost to the point of illness when I dusted off the saving envelope to buy a dozen sheets of pressed board plywood.  I keep increasing the minimum I should have in savings.  It didn’t hurt as bad when I dipped into savings to buy wheat-to me a better savings account than cash.  Better than precious metals and even better than ammunition ( but only since I have enough already ).  But as with everything, the ammo minimum keeps getting moved up.  I find a good bargain or get extra in earnings and I buy the ammo.  Tell myself to go out shooting.  Then ignore my own memo.  Oops, sorry, new minimum for the Apocalypse, I’m not allowed to touch!

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I do the same with shoes or shirts or pants or even for goodness sakes pencils.  Now, that is bad enough, but you have to understand I’m doing this with FREE items.  I have a four gallon milk crate full of wasp spray, which I use as dog repellent.  I had been buying the two pack for $6 and going through them about once a year per can.  About the time I got the crate for free I had one can in reserve and one on my bike.  I used up the bike can, replaced it with the last bought can and that has been on my bike for about three years ( since I’m commuting to the B-POD less I use less ).  The last time I had to use it, about two months ago, I noticed the pressure was crap.

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If you get wasp spray to use on those devil dogs, keep in mind it might be technically illegal to do so.  I do it anyway.  Bear spray is $30 a can and out of my price range and pepper spray is $20, doesn’t last and has about a three foot range.  Wasp spray is a much better bargain.  But don’t buy generic and don’t buy Raid.  Get the other name brand which reaches further AND is cheaper ( I’m not evaluating the effectiveness on actual wasps ).  I don’t know how poisonous it is to dogs, they don’t drop in their tracks, but they do immediately lose interest in biting you.

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Well, as I was writing this I forced myself to get up and go change out the old can for a new one.  I’m so tight and frugal I embarrass myself, but I won’t knowingly be so cheap I endanger my life.  But, alas, that two month gap from when I SHOULD have changed it does remind me my subconscious can be tricking me into forgetting to stretch out the time between wallet openings.  It doesn’t always prevail.  I am very careful what I eat from the food bank.  Food poisoning is NOT worth even saving a nickel. 

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And, yes, you could say I might be endangering myself by failing to practice my shooting or trying out other stashed toys to avoid manufacture defects, and I acknowledge that.  I have been pinching pennies for so long that the habits are engrained and only overcome with tenacious contrariness.  But, on the other hand, however imperfectly I can’t begin to imagine how much better prepared I am compared to the norm.  I’m less  imperfectly prepared, as are we all in different aspects. 

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Another aspect of this is that I have learned to stretch out everything I own to the longest possible extent, or find work-arounds.  I own cases of notepads.  A hotel was re-branded and I got cardboard boxes full of those crappy paper notebooks ( I guess they give them out for scribbling phone messages on? ).  Yet, once again, I was afraid to use too many of them ( “this will be enough for the rest of my life-one less thing to buy!” ).  So I started taking junk mail and scavenging the blank non-slick parts for note paper.  It is all different sizes and doesn’t stack compactly so I have no interest in hoarding those.  So I find myself taking more notes about article ideas and filler and information.  Yes, I’m so cheap I relied on my failing memory to record great ideas, most forever lost.  Not anymore!

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Is all of this a cautionary tale or one from a braggart?  I don’t know.  I tend to think it all works out for me in the end, so often has Baby Jesus proved his love for me exclusively.  All my supposed negative habits or choices seem to reward me with dividends eventually.  Perhaps it is a bit of both.  Do as well but don’t get carried away.

END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2zdGvLC )
 
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23 comments:

  1. Regarding dog spray.
    Go to Lowes and get the big spray bottle, 32 oz I think, the spray part is yellow - looks like a ducks head. On needle (wide open) that thing will reach out 15-20 feets. Fill it with white vinegar. Dogs hate that stuff. Lots cheaper too.

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    Replies
    1. What about freezing? I keep my bike in the shed. What if I forget the spray bottle one day ( the wasp can stays on the bike )? That would be the day the dog attacks.

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    2. Another thing that you might try on the dreaded curs, is a small pump up spray bottle, or an electric squirt gun with ammonia.

      I’ve also noticed that since I’ve been spritzing the carpet in the cab of my RV (where they enter) with a little ammonia every evening, I have not had one mouse since.

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    3. Ammonia is good for corrosive ammo, also. Shoot, dab powder exposed areas, clean as usual. So you can stockpile for both uses.

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  2. About the notepads, in a post-electricity world it's back to paper, for everything. It just looks excessive now because we look at it from the present perspective and not from the post-collapse perspective. The same is valid for many other small things we accumulate this way.

    The hotels actually want you to take the soap and the other consumables, because they don't know if people used it or not and if they find it they'll trash it anyway. The small shampoo vials are in themselves more precious than their content.

    I collect every pen and crayon left on the classroom floor by the pupils, in the end it built up to a seizable stash, although I even gave away some stuff to a super poor pupil (along with a school computer that was being trashed) - ten years later, that pupil is working towards a masters degree. Not because of my stuff, but the computer surely helped, and he was not rejected in the first days by the other pupils, because he already had all its stuff together (from what I collected). This may seem completely missing the point but Great Depression people were all about those minuscule details that snowballed in awkard situations.

    A very important thing I wanted to write about earlier : the difference between being a compulsive hoarder and a regular guy (on the outside) is having a system of inventory and standard boxes to hold your belongings (I use cardboard boxes for paper, next to the Xerox, optimal size for heavy stuff like books).

    Inventory always pays out : you can calculate what you have on hand and identify what is lacking and what is in ample supply. After fifteen years of hoarding I forgot about a lot of stuff stacked away in my boxes.

    We all know that one day the trucks won't be driving by anymore, and everything will become unaffordable. So take what you can, especially the items at steeply disocunted prices.

    One of these days I'll write an article about how to process broken objects and other stuff people toss away (establishing a scale of added value and complexity).

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    1. I look forward to the article. Now, after your comment, I wonder if I'm squirreling enough away? More dryer lint. More Bic lighters for the flint. More????

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  3. It's a sign of getting old!

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    Replies
    1. Yeh, you would think you'd want less, dying soon, but it's the opposite.

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  4. Thanks for the prompt to be more frugal. I'm still working on tightening my food budget from one of your earlier articles.

    I'm currently lusting after a Thompson & Centre single shot. My LGS has a second hand G2 with cheaply scoped 223 & 22lr barrels. The asking price was "Oh my" levels. The G2 can handle 30-30 but not 308 (extra barrels are "ouch" priced).

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    1. I don't know if I was prompting for more frugality, or decrying its escape :)

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    2. I use to have the G2 in .30-30. I really liked it but eventually sold it since I changed my mind on needing it. I had a 4x scope on it and I seem to remember a 1 to 1-1/2" group at 100 yards with Federal Power Shok 150 grain. Sometimes the single shots have extraction problems with cartridges like the .223 that don't have extended rims like the .30-30. See if the shop has a dummy/snap cap round that you can borrow to repeatedly test the extraction of the .223. If they don't have a dummy round, maybe they'd be willing to test it themselves with a live round behind the counter while you watch? The live rounds might be a good idea anyways. If it causes extraction trouble for you after you purchase it you may have trouble selling it. It's a niche market with not many average gun owners having interest in it. It took me about 10 months and taking a 40% loss in order to sell mine.
      Peace out

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    3. Hell, I didn't even know what a G2 was until I looked it up. I already decided to stay with a bolt, anyway, if I ever change the arsenal. Not that I think we have enough time for it to be an issue. Not sure I'd want to worry about modern quality anyway.

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    4. Thanks for the post ANON

      The G2 with two barrels / cheap stocks (and dings on the stock) is 18% of a brand new one. I'd have to buy the 30-30 barrel new (you know what I'd be looking at price-wise).

      Thanks also for the heads up on the difficulty I'd have selling it should it prove not to be for me.

      1 - 1 1/2" groups doesn't excite me. Maybe it's the caliber? I quite like the 30-30 from my Marlin and it does the job on pigs and having more than one firearm for each caliber is something I think would work for my "tribe". A bit of redundancy if you will

      Again, thanks for your input

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    5. I had to look up the G2 as well. To be clear folks, it’s the Thompson Center G2 Contender, not the Glock. Had Peace out not mentioned the caliber, I would have never figured that out. Might be unpractical, but I’ll bet that gun in the .204 Ruger would be wicked, and would be the barrel I’d be getting.

      https://www.tcarms.com/firearms/interchangeable-platforms/g2-contender/

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    6. It would seem far more practical to stash reloading components than buying a new caliber. Repurpose found ammo into your ammo, not into another gun.

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    7. Yes, it would be more practical Jim. And in my case, I already have the shells and the dies for the .30.30 (to be clear, I’m not Dingo or peace out). But the .30.30, while a fine round, lacks the long range accuracy that I would want in a rifle. So in this case, if I were to purchase this particular gun, I’d rather upgrade to a different caliber. A few hundred rounds of shells that can be reloaded many times, and a set of dies wouldn’t be too expensive of an investment. But for the purpose of practicality, I’d probably get the .223 rather than the .204 Ruger.

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    8. I don't mind odd calibers, but even for me- a two oh WHAT Ruger? Why? Anyway, not a big deal if you reload so my response isn't really justified. Perhaps a good thing about really odd calibers is your ambushers will leave the gun behind and your survivors could go get it later and bring it back to the ammo and dies.

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  5. “I have been pinching pennies for so long that the habits are engrained and only overcome with tenacious contrariness.”


    We know. That’s why we refer to you as the Honorable Rabbi Dakenstein. Nah, just kidding. I don’t think anyone calls you that :D

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  6. There is a fine line between being frugal, and being cheap. cheap is not buying a deal, frugal is wieghing the value to me.
    I just purchased the entire inventory from Dollar Tree of freeze dried fruit(apples and peaches). the same size package is $3 plus at wally world. I never intended on getting it but at $1 a pack I couldnot turn it down. My wheat gruel breakfast will taste so much better with fruit in it.

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    1. What was wrong with it? Dusted with Chinese baby formula? I still drool over those wool socks I got at the dollar store. Just clearing out their dozen pairs broke me that day but it was well worth it.

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  7. You guys are getting so fucking sick!

    Really Jim!!!

    Drier lint?

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