Monday, November 27, 2017

in retrospect


IN RETROSPECT

In retrospect, were there things I could have done differently on my preps ( a warm hug [ with suitable space between pelvises, to avoid any misunderstandings ] for the minion who suggested this topic ) over the years?  I’m not engaging in self-flagellation, bemoaning the broad strokes of any of my actions.  I’m quite proud of my sacrifices and achievements.  With what was left of my earnings by ex-wives I think I did better than most folks could have.  To most of you, just being without a motor vehicle would have been an unbearably fresh Hell every day. 

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And I don’t spent an inordinate amount of time dwelling on the past. I’ve always been future orientated ( while most wives have been living solidly in the present, my planning, hard work and sacrifice unappreciated and unwelcome ).  Since I mull over, obsess over, over analyze and over think everything ( except getting married, obviously-ha! ), I have practically zero regrets.  All decisions were made logically and methodically with all the facts I then had on hand.  So, all this is nothing more than taking my newest knowledge and comparing that to what I knew then and deciding if I should have acted otherwise. 

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For instance, should I have picked a different location to settle down at?  I’m not applying personal lifestyle choices here, by saying, oh gee, if I hadn’t moved here I never would have met the NOL.  I’m saying, as the collapse looms ever closer, and knowing what I know do about this location, was it the right choice?  I still had my family living where they did, the visitation of my kids a factor.  I still needed gainful employment to pay the ex to avoid jail.  I can’t say, “oh, I should have gone self-employment sooner”, because that doesn’t factor in here.  I was still paying child support as I was digging the B-POD.  I’m not twinkling my nose and doing any fact changing wishful thinking here.

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So, with all that said, let’s get to it.  Right up to 2006, all the choices I had made were basically in the ball park of being Best I Could Do.  There was the Car Fiasco, where I tried to buy a passenger car.  The plan was I lived on my desolate lot four miles from any other home, power line or paved road.  I biked those four miles, got in my car and drove the ten miles into town to work.  The trailer towing truck got too poor of mileage and the Hippie Bread Van was too old to be reliable ( with spare parts availability an issue ).  After about a thousand bucks in purchase, registration and repairs, I gave up on that plan.  Buying a closer lot was cheaper in the long run.

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I had already bought the Elko lot, at bubble high price ( if I recall, $3300 after up front cash discount-this was bought with casino gratuity money, just like my silver stash and other goodies ).  Did that mean I needed to move there?  I also had Arizona, Arkansas and Texas land ( all for under $500 each ).  I wasn’t tied to any location because of investment ( I can easily walk away from a ill considered investment, like the half paid for mobile home in Florida ).  Should I have kept looking for other land elsewhere?  Well, here’s the thing.  I couldn’t follow my kids as they started moving all over the place, quickly.  So I wanted to be close to my aging father.

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So I picked Elko.  A six hour drive away from my dad, plenty of jobs and plenty of close in land to buy on payments, with very reasonable zoning laws ( or, lack thereof ).  In retrospect, what could I have done differently?  Most other Nevada locations, far better locations with much smaller populations and more isolated, had worse zoning or no jobs.  What I should have done is spent another three grand and bought one of those secluded lots close enough to the river, and waited to move out there.  Yet, would that have been feasible?  I needed to have my B-POD ready yesterday, not five or ten years in the future.  Both because of an aging body and because I ALWAYS plan for the collapse to be tomorrow.

*

So, no, I would say I couldn’t have picked a better place to hang my hat, all things considered.  Unless I had no child support to pay, I didn’t have the freedom to remain unemployed settling in a preferable clime.  Should I have saved a few grand and bought tax property instead of private sale?  Again, no.  The peace of mind of not having the land potentially revert back to the original owner was worth the price.  What about prep items?  Would I have done anything differently?  No.  There are plenty of other better weapons, but for the price I paid I got the Deal Of The Century.  I’ve never changed my mind on the Near All Wheat Stockpile, not in thirty years.  I never regret not buying far cheaper freeze dried foods while getting all that sweet tip money at the casino. 

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I know I tell you to buy food over precious metals, but I had plenty of food.  In wheat, granted, but to me that is not a handicap.  I did use that extra for lots of expanded scenario items I still own and which make for a better stockpile ( the Forever Gun, more Enfield’s for breakage or people joining the group, finally getting enough ammo for the 357 to take it from a Protection Today gun to a post-apoc one, etc. ).  Did I waste a lot of money?  A thousand here, three grand there, sure.  But none of it was critical to buy something else I don’t have.  It was the cost of education I don’t see how I could have avoided spending.

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As I’ve said, prepping isn’t an investment, it is a cost.  I don’t see every dollar as needing to be highly justified.  Some waste is built into the system.  I look at it like the rich dude having five mansions in different countries.  Four are a waste of money, but the fifth saves your life as a safe haven.  Same with prepping costs.  You might piss away a lot buying worthless crap like FLIR scopes, but if in the end you have done and completed your preps and you are all set for the collapse, it is all good.  And I minimized that waste anyway.

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Everything COULD be better.  I could have found a secluded cabin up in the Appalachians, or in the Louisiana swamp.  But few of us want the perfect retreat, with thirty years of food and ammo.  We want to enjoy a reasonably normal life, which doesn’t mean complete seclusion.  I chose to visit my father and children, swapping that for a less than perfect location to live.  Was that a wasted effort?  It seems so, as my dad slides into his not-very-aware twilight years and my kids barely bother with me now that I don’t have money.  I was grasping at something that slid through my fingers, living my life according to others high expectations.  I should have known better.  Yet, I have no regrets, since I tried. 

*

You know, the more I think about it, Better Than Nothing is really not bad at all.  I had BTN family ( given the poison the ex poured into everyone‘s ears, even my dad, I have to give them credit for even associating at all with me ).  I have BTN preps and location.  I have a Far Better Than Ever relationship.  I have a job I love ( that doesn’t mean I don’t need to be paid ).  No regrets!  Full steam ahead!

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

  1. WOW, a lot of brutal honesty in this blog. Its hard to look back at 40 years of being an adult( that's me NOT you) and not sugar coat it. That's just our nature as humans. After the first wife passed away, I considered a lot of options but settled on a Fl. panhandle city of medium size to be close to kids and since I still needed to work I had the option of working self employed with a firm I had worked with before. I meet my NOL and I'm grateful to have her in my life. I'm in a area that is full of military people that after a collapse will have not problem blowing me away if I have something they need. I live in a indefensible home, but at 60 how long will I survive after TEOTWAWKI. My preps are really only to survive a waterfall event that does not end in complete collapse (at that moment). I do not think that the Idaho (yuppie scum)survivalist concept of a instant complete collapse is logical. We have been on a long path downward and it might take a plunge off the cliff in 2018 but it might just be bop along for for 3- 10 years. I'd be 70 then. How much wood do you think I can chop and split at 70 lol. The NOL is type 1 diabetic. How long will she last with no insulin? 5 months...12 months? My point is like you, I have made my decisions and it is what is. I have at least indoctrinated 3 of my 4 kids to have a concept of prepping and NOT believe the media or the State.

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    1. The Yuppie Scum strategy is kind of like basing strategy on tactics rather than the other way around. "Since I need credit and a high wage to finance preps, only a complete overnight collapse is possible". I see my preps as impossible to accomidate what most likely will happen. Rwanda and Serbia, plus trade embargo, plus grid down, but surrounded by federal forces. The worst of all worlds. How long I'll last as a geriatric guerrilla fighter is anyone's guess. That is IF I get the chance to survive the initial collapse.

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  2. >>As I’ve said, prepping isn’t an investment, it is a cost.

    Why haven't I realized this before ? It's both brilliant and evident. All you're saving is your life, which evidently you can't resell to anybody, hence it's not an investment.

    It's money spent living, in all acceptances of the word. Prepping is a rewarding hobby, I get more out of it than wasting ten times the money to go to crowded dancefloors (it shows my age, I've heard those places basically all shut down since everything happens on screens nowadays). Not to piss on anyone's parade, some people live for their annual Burning Man festival etc., that their business and thank God we don't have to live like your company-sponsored TV , sorry, I wanted to say, social media tell you to. The Sixties were a long time ago. (Back when the AR-15 was a novelty and we didn't invent wheels on suitcases yet, it was a primitive and brutish time to be alive).

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    1. I wonder how much the TV show SWAT influenced the AR Porn People? Here is the theme song:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFijg_Tnn7M

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  3. >>As I’ve said, prepping isn’t an investment, it is a cost.<<
    All insurance is a cost - until you need it.
    How much you are willing to pay toward a cost that you can completely control but may never need is the only real issue.

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    1. Hmmm, perhaps that isn't the best way to put it. Even those who adamantly believe they will need it in this lifetime STILL minimize the cost ( at least compared to other things such as rent, vehicle, entertainment, spouse/girlfriend, etc. ). I might have minimized living expenses and maximized stockpiling, but I never minimized to the point I could have. We are still ruled in our budget by White People Problems. Even now, at two or three hundred a month income, I could find a way to go to a better place and have better storage. I choose not to, minimizing the insurance cost. I'm sure none of us can claim to be truly paying the real cost of better insurance.

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    2. Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
      As long as One is CURRENTLY fed, clothed, sheltered, not threatened with physical violence, one WILL address needs of belongingness, love, esteem, (aka tribal status) and maybe eventually self-actualization. In our current society there is so little need for preps beyond the occasional hurricane or wildfire type bug out that we work on tribal 'belonging' well ahead of other survival preparations. AND we are so busy running the 'rat race treadmill' for tribal status (belonging) that we seldom have time for self-actualization that we could be using to improve our survivalist preps.

      Only with 'survivalist' type communities does one have any chance at actually working toward real long term preps. Such communities have to remain virtual for lots of reasons and frequently (IMHO) turn either political and stupid, or just cultish and stupid.

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    3. I couldn't even see belonging to a survival community, as much as I disagree with most "normal" conventional wisdom. The armed ones are too stupid with long term planning food wise and the food sufficient are stupid about being armed, anyway.

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  4. Rather than biking the 4 miles and then driving 10, I’d of compromised and got a 4WD mini truck, or a Subaru, or the such. The biking 4 miles in the winter time when it’s dark, and in freezing weather, would have sucked rather badly. It’s retrospect I know, but it might help someone else pondering a similar decision.

    The $3k extra for land with a source of water and food does sound rather appealing. The one issue that I see is that land near water will tend to be more populated. And if it isn’t pre-collapse, it will be post collapse. I’d probably put the $3k towards a large capacity cistern on the remote parcel, that would provide a year round source of water.


    “But few of us want the perfect retreat, with thirty years of food and ammo.  We want to enjoy a reasonably normal life, which doesn’t mean complete seclusion.”


    I thought that complete seclusion was the only way that you could live a reasonably normal life anymore? :D

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    1. The land I settled was six miles to work, which I biked for seven years, in the cold and dark. I traded the expense of a car for that. I think I made the right choice all things considered. Four extra miles a day, twenty minutes, no car. Instead I ended up with another chunk of land, one mile from the river. Which wasn't anywhere near that crowded-I started with about five or six neighbors within a mile radius. Many more later on-double perhaps ( now about triple-but I wonder if some will move as the town dies )? Not bad, for the area. Here, they didn't cluster near natural water but city water.

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    2. I have 2 neighbors in a 2 mile radius. I still have so much traffic on the road that I cant work for 4 hours on the land without at least 4 vehicles going past during harvest and fishing/hunting seasons at least.
      3 miles to pavement and an additional 5 miles to town doesn't keep the bicyclists and atv's away either.
      Fortunately I have lots of concealed nooks and crannies behind hills and such on my land, but everything in sight of the road has been noted and probably discussed in local town gossip.

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    3. Roads. Everyone thinks they own MY roads!

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  5. ah reely lik yur websit ewe hav reely gud eyedeas
    an sum reely smart peeple hear two. ahs lik to ahsk sum
    udvice. Ah leeve inn partment un kan git lots un lots uv drier lint. thinks it wud bee gud barter ting to stuckpile?

    going tal all my frends bout thes plase!

    sune ewe hav miny more minyons, ahskin luts uv kwestshuns!

    Hokay?

    ew! ulmust firgit hare berry but-e-ful o grate wun!

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    1. Everyone is a friggin comedian. A+ for phonics.

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  6. Don't be too hard on yourself, Jim. I think you've done well.

    George Orwell wrote, " A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats".

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    1. Love the quote. Now I could read Churchill with new understanding!

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