AGEING GRACELESSLY 2*
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Yesterday I said, prep for less food and you’ll have prepared for old age. I’ll cover that, even though I’m sure it is self-evident. I really have a hard time believing any of my minions are all that stupid-after all, you are here now. But before I talk about what is obvious, a short return to the where we ended things last time. The danger of status symbols in retirement or prepping. You live your whole life feeding the status race to better breeding, you don’t get to retire. If you are still stuck in the paradigm of status in prepping, not only do you not get enough of the necessary supplies, you probably die.
The ultimate status symbol for the prepper is the Redoubt McMansion with megawatts of solar panels, several industrial size propane tanks, a huge greenhouse, a babbling brook, pastures and etcetera. You know the set-up, it starts at a few hundred thousand dollars. They are still hawking this crap. And the reason I know it is all peacock feathers? Whenever a Prepper Dating service starts up ( they never last long-I’m not talking about the computer mating services but a classified ads type a web site tries to add to its articles on buying freeze dried foods ), the females are not even preppers.
The guys advertise the biggest and baddest penis/prepper retreat and the females who are all “concerned with the direction of this country” and “interested in pursuing a preparedness lifestyle” and “Christian, the old fashion type” look to see who they want to live a country but not rustic or strenuous life with. Then, the sites fold as there are only a few rich preppers out there and nary a prepper princess. This would be bad enough if it was restricted to country club bulletin boards, but the regular mainstream prepper publications push this ideal.
I’ve rambled incessantly on Yuppie Scum preps before. No need to waste too many tangents on it. Back to old age preps. If you prepare with a lack of calories in mind, that folds old age physical deterioration into your plans. Just like I tell you to prep for less resources ( super insulate now rather than cutting extra wood later ), to save them later. This takes care of three birds with one stone. You spend less money on preps which also saves money to put towards preps. You reduce your later need for money. You need less calories for labor later.
The need for calories you don’t have ( probably because you insisted on a yummy 1200 or 1400 calories MRE or freeze dried meal, which tastes great but doesn’t deliver enough fuel ) is negated by these types of preps. And if, incidentally, you are older and can no longer perform the physical labor, that is no longer a consideration. If you built underground and triple insulated, there is no need to cut cords of wood. You don’t need expensive chainsaws with all their accessories. And then when you are old, there is no wood cutting or hauling. Yuppie Scum preps trade in huge bucks to negate any labor ( the $500 wheat grinder ). Redneck Preps call for planning smart rather than expensive.
It took me five times longer than it would have even five years ago, but I finally added on a bit to the B-POD. My entrance way to the downstairs door had very loose, less clay soil. It kept caving in and I had to keep shoveling out the sump and hauling the dirt up and away. Even at five gallons worth at a time, that activity winded me something fierce. So I shored up the dirt walls with lumber and extended the roof overhang to protect the walls. The wall shoring was two fold, both to keep me from hauling dirt and to keep the walls intact so my pit wasn’t exposed to the elements.
I wasn’t saving a huge amount of labor in the future, but if it taxed me now, I couldn’t imagine attempting it in a decade hence. I’ve mentioned this before-I can bike all day long but I can’t bend over or get vigorous cardio or I loose my wind instantly. I think that I might have worked at the food bank a year too long, stubbornly pushing myself just a bit too hard. I wasn’t trying to deny I was getting older, just trying to constantly prove I was better than everyone else. That is more of a lifelong problem I have overcompensating on a few levels.
And I’m having issues with my energy level. What used to be a warm-up for eight hours of heavy labor, the commute on my bike, now wipes me out for the day. I’m not lacking muscle strength or stamina, I just get weak rapidly as I’ve always had a metabolism that ran too high. I’m doing less physically and have cut back on my calories, so any sudden up tick in activity my body is telling me I have no extra calories to burn. I’m in a position of balanced intake and output for a sedentary lifestyle and when I increase output I have no fuel reserves ( look at it as I‘ve always needed to eat PRIOR, not after, activity ).
I’m already at Old Age Activity levels, due to restricted food use. I can eat prior to increased activity, to increase my investment in activities that decrease future calories. I’m not at a point of physical incapacitation. But I sure can clearly see the writing on that wall. Weak from lack of food, weak from loss of muscle from aging-same difference. The great news is, you still have options at this point. You can still throw money at the problem, even if the amount isn’t as much as you like. For instance, anyone can afford to pay for that back hoe to dig the hole for an underground hovel, even if you’d prefer a larger house size structure. Build that now and you can live on tree debris rather than whole trees later on for heat. Then it won’t matter if you are too poor to buy food to saw wood, or too old to saw regardless of food intake.
My whole prepping strategy was done on an assumption of no money now and no money in the future, but a side benefit I didn’t really recognize at the time was, it is also old age friendly prepping. I might need to tweak things slightly. A easier to operate grain grinder ( not THE easiest, which is the priciest, just easier which is cheaper ) and I might need to go from battle rifle to carbine. A few things along those lines ( rain catchment to replace a number of trips into town or down to the river ). But really, after all is said and done, it isn’t even much of an issue. Another happy coincidence, an unintended consequence of Frugal Prepping. Yeh, me!
END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2CHrHVV )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
You ain't even there yet, youngster. I told you this a year or more ago (I'm 10 years older'n you), don't under estimate the effects of old age. All the stuff you mentioned above AIN'T old age, it's the lead-in to old age, and they ain't the same thing. I'm in the beginning of old age right now (age 62) and that old saying is right, "Gettin' old ain't for sissies".ReplyDelete
I could pick apart your post above in the old age vein but I won't. Instead, I'll remind you, again, that if you put any kind of wood in any proximity to soil you might live to regret it. If building that BPOD in your 40's and 50's was difficult try to imagine how REbuilding it in your 60's will be?
Look, I know you don't like modern construction practices and I have my professional beef with them too, but one underlying theme that cannot be denied is that there is a very perfect reason why the overwhelming choice is to place concrete in the soil and then the wood on top of the concrete with proper drainage all around. You can go all the way back to 3000bc and find this rule adhered to.
Yes, I believe in the underground concept, because science supports it. Tyvek, visqueen, styrofoam, or any of the other stuff that's out there will not save your ass when science says you have failed. Soil can never encounter wood in any permanent endeavor and saving a dollar or $10k has nothing to do with it. That's my last word on it.
I'm not sure where we differ. I'm atop a small hill, and I have concrete blocks as my building base. The only wood on dirt is the pallets for the floor. As for old age, I look at it as I did moving off grid or prepping for the collapse. Everything is not knowable. There will be surprises. You do the best you can to anticipate.Delete
We’re the same age, and my energy level has dropped to pretty much nothing, starting at about age 45. When I was still employed, I used to struggle to get through an 8 hour day. I would eat as little as possible up until the afternoon (Eating a lot weighs me down and tires me out even sooner) and then suck down energy shots, in hopes of making it through the rest of the afternoon. I have an intense dislike for the medical community (after they murdered my dad for profit) so I haven’t had blood work done, but an educated guess would seem to indicate that I now have the T levels of about a 12 year old boy. As expected, ED comes with the territory, so I have to pop a little blue, or yellow pill in order to perform anymore.ReplyDelete
With regards to wooden subterranean structures, the dry desert would be the most forgiving for this type of construction. There are a lot of variables. What type of wood, is it treated, is the drainage good, etc. There are century old plus mineshafts that are still intact to this day, though the type of wood and if the timbers are treated, I cannot comment on. Redwood and Cedar do well, but are expensive. I plan on using pressure treated for the timbers that are in contact with the ground. I will treat the side walls with something, and cover with visqueen. I believe it was the $50 and up underground house dude, that stated that the polyethylene plastic has a 250 year half life when not exposed to UV. The roof will protrude slightly above ground, and be covered with more plastic and straw flakes, followed by a light layer of earth. I plan on making a complete, ready to bury box, and set it on top of a layer of drainage gravel, with drain pipe to divert any accumulated water away from the structure. It will be done on a budget, since I’m poor.
I did hear something one time to the effect of some people using concrete septic tanks (new obviously) with a hole cut in the side, as a simple and makeshift underground house.
And, honestly, how long do our structures have to last, anyway? Our lifetimes. We ain't spring chickens and our kids ain't living there. As for the Not Going To The Doctor thing, I shouldn't be having the medical issues I do. Like, the swollen toes? Isn't that what 70 year olds do? I stopped eating so much butter, and that helps both the heartburn and swelling. But it didn't stop it ( I did use the NOL's blood test kit-I'm at least not diabetic according to that ). If I went to the doc I would get a bunch of pills that gave me other diseases. That's worth paying for? What are you going to do?Delete
Swollen toes? If you haven’t already, you should check your blood pressure. You can usually go right down to the local CVS, and they usually have a machine that you can use for free. A swollen toe could mean a lot of different things, but most importantly, it could mean heart failure. Considering the cardio that you get, along with your age, I doubt it in your case. But sometimes it does have to do with genetics regardless. But if your bp is in the normal range, then I wouldn’t sweat it. Since you mentioned the heavy butter consumption, it could be a case of the gout, which is caused by rich foods, leading to an overproduction of the uric acid. My uncle had it, and had to stop drinking. He really couldn’t drink much as it was, because my aunt gave him a ton shit when he did. In his case, I think that he welcomed death just to get away from my aunt.Delete
Love that Uncle story! I've always recorded high BP, even thirty years ago. I don't know if it is a reaction to "test anxiety" or I'm usually just stressed. I thought it was gout myself. I might need to go completely off butter ( a little at dinner now-part of cooking ) and go to the butter oil. I'm not panicked-more annoyed. I'll get that bitch figured out, I always do. Thanks!Delete
I tested high as well when I was younger. I think you’re supposed to check it first thing in the morning before you have eaten or drank anything. CVS sells the little home test units. I’m by no means a medical expert, so take this with the grain of salt. But I think that very low blood pressure would be more indicative of heart failure, so from what I’m hearing, I don’t think you have to worry.Delete
Thanks. No, I don't really worry. I'll live longer staying out of the clutches of the medical industry, so unless my dingus is falling off, I'm not concerned overall.Delete
Weak from hunger...ReplyDelete
I remember reading about a research study where they got a group of people together for a pre-planned survival trip into the wilderness. The group was allowed to take any firearms and equipment that they wanted with them (on foot). It didn't take long but they ditched all the firearms except for a single-shot .22. The rest of the weight was too much on their reduced-calorie diet.
Oh, God! Great! Now the AR pukes will come out of the woodwork and declare their love for a lighter weight carbine! Gas on the fire :)Delete
$150 "Youth" .22 bolt action tray-load (single-shot) with $50 rebate is a super-light-weight firearm, which can be ergonomic/accurate in an adult-size stock (DIY, or ....). When ammo is expensive/rare (but owned in 5-digit quantity and never spoken of), this is The Way to have multi-generational firearm capability for cheap. For the price of a most-basic AR, you get at least six single-shot carbines. Your job is to find a half-dozen helpers to use them.ReplyDelete
Agreed, the only way to do it.Delete
Those stairs down to your BPOD will become more and more challenging as you age - you might want to excavate out an entire side (south?) and put in a more gentle ramp. I am going into a hillside instead (south facing slope).ReplyDelete
Most of the stairwell in at a gentle slope. I'll be putting in a rail, also. I know, it might not be enough.Delete
A helluva lot of the hard work of prepping (building your home and getting your property in order) should be done as soon as possible. Because as you stated, the older you get the less able you are to do, as least in a timely manner. My brother and I used to take care of our family's ranch of nearly 1000 acres. Road work and cutting back trees from intruding into road. We later broke up the ranch, my brother and I portion 166 acres. Easy to keep in order at first, but as time goes by, the work takes longer to accomplish.ReplyDelete
Just a part of becoming decrepid, I guess. Spend twice the time to get it done now. What does help are some added tools - an electric battery pole saw REALLY saves us some time and effort. Most of the work was 80% sawing, 20% hauling off. Now its about reversed.
One thing I hated doing at the BPOD was clearing yet more sage brush. Started doing hundreds of square feet, at the end I was forcing myself to do a few a day. I think I was fooling myself with lack of motivation, when it was early onset Old Bastard-dom. That is one good thing about just having a small lot. You can actually accomplish stuff doing just a smidge every day.Delete