Wednesday, May 2, 2018

bulk buying


BULK BUYING
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note" free zombie book https://amzn.to/2KvhrVu
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note: my enthusiasm for the latest Tremors 6 movie was very short lived as this has proven to be the film that the franchise jumped the shark ( the first is great for multiple viewings and was excellent, with even the following four being mediocre compared to the first but good enough on their own to at least watch twice-yet #6 I couldn't even finish once ) with extremely bad acting from everyone-even from Michael Gross-and very contrived attempts at humor, leading me to implore everyone to avoid this one at all costs.
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I’m writing this the same day I unveiled my new blog on bulk buying, so I have no idea of the reaction, inaction, or complete and utter indifference to it, yet.  But I thought it would still be a good idea to explain my reasoning behind it.  I mean, duh, obviously it is about money.  I like to get paid for my work, as you all do ( most folks think they are underpaid, yet go online and wouldn’t think twice about not supporting the creators of all the content they Hoover.  I don’t think the stigma of digital will ever be erased.  And it probably shouldn’t be ).  But I try NOT to make money the old fashion way, by stealing it.  I try to avoid screwing folks.

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I’m not going to publish crap books ( okay, the presentation might be crap, but I try to avoid crap content ), and I’m not going to throw commission ads your way JUST to make bank.  I’m not going to put up ads to FLIR scopes just because the commission is so much larger than on a used book.  I’m not just putting up bulk purchase items to nudge up my commission numbers ( that have halved over the last year-to be expected, with the economy, but still to be fought against ).  I think buying in bulk has many merits.

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Obviously, it encourages consumerism and resource exploitation, but at this point it is all hands on board the lifeboat and screw everyone else.  I mean, seriously.  I’m supposed to NOT consume so Al Gore keeps his mansion?  I’m supposed to be LESS prepared so that a Chinaman can move out of a rice paddy hut into an apartment?  Screw them.  What have they done for me, lately?  I understand that bulk buying ( outside of food and ammo ) is NOT critical.  It is just like precious metals.  It comes LAST in your preps.  But haven’t I been a Glorious Gus and given you the keys to the frugal prepping kingdom?

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I think all loyal minions can and should be fully prepped, since they can do it so cheaply.  After which time precious metals and bulk buying are feasible possibilities.  Okay, honestly, it IS for the prepper that has everything, but it also isn’t the worse idea out there on how to invest surplus funds.  If you don’t have three years of food or at least three thousands rounds of ammo per bolt action rifle, there are few bulk items you should be buying.  But after that time, you can do bulk buys.  It is just another optional strategy.

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I know what you are asking yourself.  Self, why do I need 72 nail clippers?  Even if they are only 28cents each, I still need to spend $20 to buy the batch.  If I go to the dollar store or Wal-Mart, I can buy three for $2 and that should last me the rest of my life ( believe it or not, I’ve given a LOT of consideration to a post-apocalypse life without nail clippers.  It is one of those tools you could in theory do without but which make life so much nicer and civilized.  And at its cheap price it is less a luxury and more of a necessity ). 

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Here is why you need 72 nail clippers.  Because now your family has the tool for multiple generations, and they aren’t going to be making any more of them.  If this was a hundred dollar tool, I’d find a way to do without.  But for barely over two bits?  What about salvage, you say.  Every home has at least one nail clipper.  My answer there, is that most likely other houses were looted by someone else.  And you don’t have access to the tool, and you must pay that other person for it.  And purchasing power wise, it will then cost you far more than 28cents.

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How about something that wears out quicker?  A handkerchief is great, far better than disposable Kleenex.  A hankie lasts for years if not decades.  Sure, they are a little gross, but so are your underwear-and you still clean those in the wash.  Still, you might think a hundred hankies is a bit overkill.  Wouldn’t a dozen last you the rest of your life.  Perhaps.  Call it $24.  For barely over twice what a dozen cost, you get eight times as many.  So, you say, hey, I don’t care if something only cost a quarter of retail when I buy it in jobber lots, there are too damn many of the things.

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Are there?  Aren’t other people going to appreciate your surplus?  I’m not suggesting you become a post-apocalypse merchant.  That is a LOT of money upfront, for almost anyone.  I’m saying that you should use these trinkets for inner-tribal good will gifts.  Not to profit off your fellow tribesmen but to be extra helpful to others.  The primary purpose is multigenerational stockpiling, but if your stores are depleting much slower than you anticipated, you can gift them.  If your stores deplete quicker, you have the surplus.  Better to have it than need it.

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But for goodness sakes, you exclaim, a friggin HUNDRED space blankets?  Who needs that many space blankets?  You need one, for an emergency, or perhaps one a year using in conjunction with a lighter sleeping bag.  Well, perhaps for better insulation?  Cover a window if broken?  Solar cooking projects?  Surely, there can be valid uses a group could envision, and then even in a small group, a hundred of anything won’t last long if you factor in replacement units.  Which does bring up quality.

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You know, I know, and Ross Perot knows that crap just ain’t made that well anymore, in general.  You might need 72 nail clippers JUST because they only last as long as 36 used to last, quality wise.  The space blankets might crease and lose their coating easier than they used to.  While my listed items did mostly consist of just higher rated items, you never can tell for sure.  Very few folks report after a year of use, to record longevity.  Consumer ratings seem to mostly be initial reactions ( this is especially bad with reviews on shoes ).  Then, there is the storage issue.  Not so much room but entropy.  Will a stack of cloth hankies decay in storage or be attacked by bugs?  Continued tomorrow.

END ( today's related link https://amzn.to/2HA1StX )
 

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42 comments:

  1. My finger and toenail tools are in the workshop.
    They will work til the end of time.
    Sidecutters, razor knife, jewelers files.
    And they do lots of other things too.
    Fingernail clippers, in bulk, are a waste of everything, time, space, and money. Figure out different ways to use stuff you already have.

    You can "if" yourself to death if you're not careful.

    The one that always gets me are those nitwits that say you should have THREE ways to produce a fire then list all these expensive and ridiculous things that are as far removed from fire making as you can get. Vaseline saturated cotton balls eh? I have never bought cotten balls in my life but I've seen them and can't imagine how they'd be any more than a gooey assed mess. What, you scoop a glob of that mess out and smear it on a branch and set it on fire? How do you get the shit off your fingers?

    Guess what? 2 BIC lighters in each pocket will give you enough fire starters for the next 10 years. Not enough? Put 4 more in your backpack. They take up no space cost pocket change. I said BIC brand. Not the knock offs. The knock offs will disappoint you when you least need it. I've had BIC's last 3 years or more.

    You can use the BIC and fingernail clipper analogy for lots of things. Concentrate on the things that really matter and let the flotsam go and try to use the word "if" infrequently and when you catch yourself using it stick a twig in your eye as punishment and memory reinforcment.

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    1. I don't disagree with using one "forever" tool for many things. What I find odd is how a big ass pair of cutters gets to your little finger nail. Of course, I've never tried them, so I could be wrong. Also, however, there is the investment angle as cost per user. If I have 36 nail clippers, at six per lifetime per person, for $20, but two side cutters cost me $15, does that last as long? Longer? Again, not saying you are wrong. I could be. I could just be failing to visualize the tool working. I'm only questioning, not denying.

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    2. Lol, I've got side cutters from ones which will cut half inch steel bar stock down to surgical ones.
      Yet yes I also have several sets of big and small normal nail clippers. You can use side cutters, but they ain't as quick and easy as regular old nail clippers.

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    3. As Spud said, there are various sizes, I have maybe 3-4 sizes and there's usually a pair or 2 right on the workbench, which I'm never far from. I ripped a nail in the shop once long ago and had to get the last vestage off NOW cause it was painful and I saw them cutters so I used it, been using it ever since. Got clippers in the desk drawer but thats way over there. As far as close ups go, thats what the files are for. The cutters get em close and then the files do the sculpting as it were. I also use a knife or whatever else is handy.

      You get the edge of the nail in the sweet spot on the cutters and then while syeadily pushing the nail around the curve I just keep cutting real fast. Lot of little nips, makes a nice smooth curve. NOT like cutting a piece of #8 waterheater wire. All square looking and shit, catching on stuff the rest of the day. sheesh

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    4. I'm going to have to award a Tightwad Bastard First Class medal for your use on nail cutting. :)

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  2. Good again Jim, following this theme. I monitor sportsman guide catalog sales as that outfit will offer surplus/foreign nation goods on bulk-multiple units per price. Socks/hats/gloves/scarfs/kankerchiefs-desert doo rags etc. The prices can be good per unit and allow a Minion to lay up supplies. I caution Minions to consider storage and dispersement methods. If your area-homebase is secure then stacking to the rafters and filling the basement is o.k. HOWEVER, like my problem being in a city/unsecure location that will burn post collapse, stow supplies in storage tubs or inexpensive nylon travelers luggage, etc. Disperse each bag so as to be a seperate refugee supplies bag with various items to survive a spell on the march or post relocation-bug out. All the goods will not be useful if not securely stored, or abandoned cause they were not pre-positioned to deploy or bug out for whatever reason comes up. One may be in sunny suburbs now all fat and happy, but find themselves behind enemy lines tomorrow taking incoming fire.

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    1. I think my best score at Sportsmen was a dozen thermal underwear bottoms for $15.

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    2. Boom! Bad assed shopper you are there. Yep, eyes open for screaming rape deals. When I had job-income I learned don't be shy and pull that trigger and point and click to buy a deal never to be had again in a lifetime. Do it!

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    3. I thought my best score was like close to two dozen pairs of wool socks at the dollar store for an actual buck each pair, but the Sportsman's score was military surplus and the socks are of unknown make, so it is kind of a toss-up on the two.

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  3. "...a friggin HUNDRED space blankets? Who needs that many space blankets?"

    Well, you could always re-purpose some into a giant reflector that could be used to heat a large vessel of water with reflected, concentrated sunlight.
    Or you could make some up into individual reflectors on a frame that your tribe could use to blind an enemy approaching you with the sun at their backs. (Although I doubt that you could concentrate enough solar energy to do thermal damage, as was done in Arthur C. Clark's short sci-fi story "A Slight Case of Sunstroke" (also sometimes called "The Stroke of the Sun"). If you're interested in the story (it's from 1958) you can read it here: https://www.archive.org/stream/Galaxy_Magazine_Volume_16_Number_5_/IA_Galaxy_Magazine_Volume_16_Number_5_#page/n71/mode/2up

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    1. Just beware sci-fi from that far back always seems to suffer from eternal optimism. You know, cause there is no need to worry about Soviet thermonuclear attack since we'll use cosmic rays to defend Das Homeland, and stuff.

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    2. Actually, the plot line was about an American advisor in South America who attends a soccer game with his client, a high-ranking government official. The official has his military guys fill the stands on one side of the stadium. Each soldier is given a program card for the game that has a mirrored surface on one side. When it becomes obvious that the referee will not make calls that throw the game to the side the government favors, the soldiers all use all of their thousands of reflectors to focus the noonday sun onto the hapless referee...who is instantly vaporized by the concentrated solar energy. Far-fetched, but deliberately so to make a point about government corruption.

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    3. Ha! That sounds like a cool story. Now, if I may, with apologies, can I point out a possible hidden meaning that reaffirms my happy-optimism point? Technology will save the day. Right? Even if it saves it for the evil side, as it were. I could be full of it :)

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    4. No apology needed. In fact, in the story, Clarke (speaking as the advisor) marvels at how much energy is contained in sunlight, an amount that most people don't even think about. It may have been his way to subtly point out that concentrated sunlight could have military as well as benign uses, so your observation may not be far off the mark. See, your paranoia is paying off!! Keep up the good work :-)

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    5. I figure if I keep getting more and more paranoid, I might eventually get real close to reality :)

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  4. Zip lock baggies. Ridiculously inexpensive right now and handy for ALL kinds of material for storage. Especially in the larger sizes for storing winter / summer clothing during the off season, vermin population going to explode in Bad Times.

    A dozen ferro rods would also be well worth it. They don't spoil and their small size can be stored in many different places (a PVC storage tube of these end to end can be easily hidden in wall or attic insulation for example).

    Water filters - a little pricier than the above, but imagine what you would pay for a Frontier Pur or Sawyer unit if potable water at the tap is gone. Well worth buying and stocking if you have a tribe to take care of.

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    1. They won't spend barter items for the Sawyer, they will cut off all the trees from the mountain to boil water, causing erosion and the mud washes away your village. Buy the filter price equivalent of bullets and shoot wood poachers.

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    2. Nice! shooting wood poachers, sounds sporty. Control your area, open as large a buffer zone to include overlapping bubba farmers turf to reign supreme.

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    3. see related comment at the bottom of the page

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  5. Okay so I listened to the podcast at Kunstler's place.

    It's some sort of low-budget Ted Talk. The interviewed guy daydreams about how to run utopian cities with birth permits etc.

    He assumes that post-collapse (of 90 to 95% of Earth's population, no less) there is going to be a high-level degree of complexity around to enforce "leasing" the copper value when manufacturing an object.

    I'm not kidding you, there is nothing of use in this interview.

    I stopped listening at 44 minutes, with some 14 minutes left to go, because my attention span is too precious to waste.

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    1. I insist offering a Extra Brownie Point Minion Appreciation Badge. Above and beyond the call of duty-you probably saved me insane amounts of hate and discontent.

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  6. Yes Jim, I like your usage of an analogy for us minions to get our head on straight. The purposes of bulk buying (I buy repeat copies of consumable and durable commodities as money budget permits during routine shopping to increase stockpiles) is of course as forever items come post collapse festivities. I include the product failure from use/inferior quality as well. Loss of some items in abandonment-evacuation/disaster-destroyed scenarios must also be considered. Leaving the compound for anything you forgot to stock or ran out of is risk exposure.

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    1. Remember people, Charlie is always outside the compound.

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    2. And sometimes inside too. (Don't trust ANYONE- especially not yourself!)

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    3. Ha! So true. Your mind will talk you into some stupid crap.

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  7. So ....what is the new blog going to be called ?
    Where is it ?
    Or did I miss sumpin ?

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    1. bison bulk blogspot dotcom. The link is at the end of the article in my contact/support request info, first paragraph.

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  8. Sewing needles. Very cheap today and not something you can easily/cheaply make with low tech.

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    1. Do Soy Boys have Needle Dingus'? Might be a sub.

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  9. If I have to use my get home bag, I have to account for the possibility that I may not be able to access my supplies for a variety of reasons after I make it home, or can't make it home. My on-the-road nail clippers are the file on my Swiss Army knife. Slower than clippers, but does the same thing. Of course I do have extra clippers in stationary locations.

    Do a full article (please) on people deforesting the area for firewood after an event. It's something that's been in the back of my mind as a long-term (2-3 years?) threat to the viability of my area after an event.
    Peace out

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    1. Wood control ( that's what she said! ) is also a concern of mine as I cut a half acre ( or maybe only a third ) of sagebrush and piled it for future firewood. Then all the surrounding brush is a source. I've thought on how to treat that theft. What if it is little kids scrounging? A bit of a conundrum. It might make an article, but I'd need to give more thought to deterrence.

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    2. Big Yep there ! To me, that is a huge question on why to invest on a single permanent BO location. No matter how frugal you are, gaining collected firewood will become an issue. You will have to range further and further until it becomes easier to move to new location closer to new source of wood.

      Solar cooking should be more popular than it is. Its free and available in most locations. A cooking solar set up makes a lot of sense but I'm sure will take practice to become good with.

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    3. Alas, solar cooking is a time sensitive transitional method. Every jerk stealing your wood is busy breaking every piece of glass they see. One wonders the longevity.

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  10. Off (todays) topic but relevant for previous one

    https://libertyandlead2.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/four-zero-zero-part-dux.html

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    1. I hope this guy keeps on his blog. He seems to have good things to bring to the table.

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  11. It is a resource! Your resource. Treat all offenders as violators of your realm, if it is your turf. Minions, do not be shy here. Every blade of grass may have a rifle behind it, but, if it is your terrain, own it.

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  12. Minions, my friends. Do not be swayed by notions of giddy friendly persuasions of innocent waifs needing your protections you tough guy you. DO NOT SHARE YOUR STOCKPILE WITH ANY-BODY OUTSIDE YOUR WIRE. condition yourselves to watch/and pray-as such, to the death of the unprepared or enemy-non tribe. It will happen.

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    1. Yes, protect your AO at all costs. My main concern is the initial reaction to an intruder. Head on a stick to warn others? If you kill a kid or women, is it a war you don't need? But if you let them off with just a warning, they will not take you seriously, either. THAT is the conundrum, not the violence itself.

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    2. Be invisible to them, if not invisible, then somehow worse off than they are- ask THEM for aid. AKA ask them to clean out the pig pens, too bad all the pigs done run off and get killed, BTW do you have any food or gas to pay for staying in the house while I sleep in the pig barn???"

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    3. When did someone ever NOT steal from another just because the other guy was poor?

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  13. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-05-02/the-u-s-climate-strategy-of-total-retreat-is-failing

    It costs less (in real things of value and skilled labor, mis-allocation.gov is running low on genuine wealth)to abandon repeat-disaster areas, even if you have to condemn and pay for the properties. Old-school unlimited cheap oil economy would rebuild every 3 years, as-needed.

    pdxr13

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    1. Right, who needs New Orleans? Refineries, port, football stadium and Madi Gras tourist area are all the restoration needed. What good in Houston outside the oil and gas infrastructure? Puerto Rico you only need to keep them breeding for more immigration. What problems? This collapse stuff has plenty of easy solutions!

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