Thursday, January 9, 2020

more alpha strategy 3


MORE ALPHA STRATEGY 3
Buying the crap out of everything you use as regular consumables ( soap, toothpaste, socks and underwear, razors, etc. ) can be a survivalist strategy ( I try to have five years of everything. I still need to work on that toilet paper, but almost everything else I've nailed ). It can be an inflation fighter ( mainly, the last few years, that was just buying meat on sale to get my grocery bill down to insanely low levels ). But, as pertains to many of us, this is also a retirement plan. The more crap you own, the fewer bills you have, and the less money you need for retirement.
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I've always laughed, my entire life, every time some slack jawed idiot makes a claim that “you need a quarter million dollars to retirement” or something similar. What kind of toads asses has he been smoking? I don't know about you, but my retirement is NOT going to be about taking a cruise ship to Greece and buying a Cadillac to drive around the grounds of my mansion. I've seen enough of the world in the military, enough of the US trying to find a spot to settle ( and most of those travels were by Greyhound and a duffle bag, with just enough rent money until I could get another minimum wage job ).
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I'm glad I traveled. It eliminated any illusions that people are different anywhere else. Granted, cultures are different, but no matter where you move to, you are a stranger. So you might as well live where home is. I won't be living in a place I have to worry about the property tax or the utility bill, and I won't be driving because I won't bail out the bankers through their insurance subsidiary, nor can I repair my own auto transportation. I can with a bike, and with a bike I shall stay. I get too old, I can upgrade to an electric assist for the hills.
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I have no bills other than food, and the odds and ends such as shoes, pants and bike parts I can stock deep on. By stocking those, I eliminate needing much of any retirement savings. True, I pay the NOL to stay in town, my share of the electric, water and Internet. It is only twice what I would pay for a cell phone unlimited plan for Internet ( I'm figuring $50 for that-the $30 plans all seem to have small print limits ). Worse comes to worse I can get by on just food money. To get down to this amount, I've spent many years hoarding. The whole time, I was just stocking for the apocalypse, but now it is coming in handy for retirement.
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Not that I'm living off the seed corn. I use something, I usually buy two to replace it. That scatters the cost over time. But if the economy went, I'd have ample supplies to live off of for many years ( all but food, which I can live off of for six months without touching the apocalypse food ). I'm also seeing an Alpha Strategy saving off of those items. My two each stocked front and back bike wheels were $20 and $35. Now, $35 and $55. Bike tubes have doubled in price, but that doesn't really count since they are going back to thicker tubes.
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( A hat tip to the minion who pointed out the flat resistant bike tubes that are, finally, not scams or rip-offs or over rated. They are the Armour Tannus brand, HERE ) The thrift store has been my good friend. It took years but I finally found enough slacks ( jeans are made for crap, and look silly on old dudes ) to be stocked up for the rest of my life on those. I have several lifetimes of wool sweaters. Probably enough shoes for twenty years, but I keep buying those ( the generic Crocs, the plastic clogs. Look silly, but oh so comfortable, a relief after working on my feet on concrete for thirty years ).
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All my shirts come from the thrift store, the polo/golf type. Usually donated in great shape as the colors and patterns are loud and the stated sizes run way too small. I have decades worth of those. For Christmas I only ask for clothes. Socks, underwear and sweatpants. Those should be good for a minimum of five years, hopefully ten. As a kid, I hated clothes. I want cool stuff, dammit! Now, I want clothes so I don't have to pay for them myself.
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I get paranoid and uncomfortable if the toothpaste tube or the bar of soap I just opened doesn't get replaced immediately. I want to always have five years on hand. My razors I stocked up on while they were ten for a buck at the dollar store. I have at least thirty years worth, and that is even if I don't resharpen them. For the accursed heartburn, I have at least five years of apple cider vinegar. I don't know how many dozens of bottles of antacid I've stocked, but it should outlast the vinegar. Yes, most of this is just for the apocalypse. But I can, once my income drops, also live off this if I must.
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I have so many books, both reference and mass entertainment paperback, that I could go the rest of my life without buying another. That calculation might get skewed if circumstances change, such as if I'm bedridden or in a hermitage without a TV signal ( I think I have enough movies I'd only have to repeat each one once a year ) snowed in. But I keep going to the library book sales for nickel/dime paperbacks ( the repeats can be barter or worse case, toilet paper-although it seems sacrilege even for romance or Tom Clancy ghost written books ).
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None of this was done expensively, obviously. Most is stuffed in one bread van and a small sixteen foot RV. I don't organize, I pile. I can get exponentially more in my limited dry storage. That might offend you more anal compulsive stockpilers, but as needs must. I never gave much thought to retirement, focusing on generations long dark age. Now, as my strength and stamina take a beating ( still exercising six days a week, I just can't dig ditches. At least not in a reasonable time frame ), and the economy honest injun this time looks like its almost toast, retirement takes on new urgency. And it worries me naught.
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Now, granted, I'm preaching this to the people supporting my writing. Don't think I ever forget that. But I'm not pissing away that income on hookers and blow. I keep investing towards the day that income follows the economy, so I can go on writing far past the adequate compensation point. You know me-I'm going to write until the moment it becomes impossible. I did spend seven years writing with all profits going to reference books only. All I need is enough food money, worse case.
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I don't have much money, but I need hardly any. Alpha Strategy stocking goes a long ways making that happen. When I start finally pressure canning meat, even the food money need goes away, or at least drastically reduces. Yes, granted, you need to replace what is used. But that is in good times. Just like my “use one, buy two”. The day you'll need to start drawing down the Alpha Strategy goods, at least you'll have that, as scary as it is not being able to replace items. But isn't that what you'd do with retirement money in the bank, anyway?
( .Y. )
( today's related Amazon links click HERE )
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note: free for today books.  Not PA, just a damn fine writer HERE 
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39 comments:

  1. re:
    today's linked author

    High five for Phil M..
    I'm on the editorial crew, a position I hold dear.
    If you meet him, ask about my 'Summer' character.

    *****

    I grew-up on a farm.
    All four grandparents lived next door.
    Working the orchard with granpa Jack, I could barely keep up with him.
    I was 8, he was 88.
    Folks were tougher then.
    I'll be 68 in a few weeks, and I am amazed at the endurance of the old folks of my childhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really looking forward to his next book. I won't even read his e-mail sample chapters, so I can savor the whole thing at once. Very few authors earn my "open wallet, no questions" rating as he does.

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  2. “As a kid, I hated clothes.”


    Yeah, there’s nothing quite like having had two sets of grandparents that grew up during the great depression, that have to give “practical Christmas gifts” :D

    Thrift stores and Sportsman’s guide military surplus, are great places; if you’re Tom Thumb. Though you do get lucky from time to time and find larger sizes at both. I did manage to find two pairs of 100% wool dress slacks in my size, for $7 each.

    Indeed, if you plan on cycling around much, you’re not going to get far with standard tires/tubes.

    I’d say the writing on the wall, what with the recent Iran fiasco, has never been more clear. Regardless what anyone has been conditioned to think (Ignore the state run media, and just remember who it is, that’s actually been screwing with who, over the past several decades, destabilizing the region far more than it already was) the execution of this top general, isn’t going to sit well in the long run. This is actually one of those rare times in which I agree with those lovable, white male hating folks, the democrats :D Some dude over at another site (ex-military) mentioned that the US military could easily lay waste to Iran in a matter of hours. Well, let’s go with that theory. There’s gonna come a time when the rest of the world gets cheesed off at the US, and forms alliances (Many already think that the Iran, China, and Russia, will do just that, on an even greater level). Was listening to Canadian prepper the other evening. I seem to recall that he’s a bit of a lefty, so I don’t take anything that he says too seriously, but he made the case of the situation with Iran. If Iran were to fall, it would effect the world economy quite drastically. China relies on them heavily for petroleum imports, and in turn, reselling the refined product back to Iran, and this would in turn, effect Chinese manufacturing, thus effecting the world market. It’s really a fragile system, not taking much to have a dramatic ripple effect.

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    1. Agreed, BUT! I'm of the mind this was a price increase move by the US, and we won't escalate ( "the red line is HERE! No, I mean, THERE! Yeah, over there, far away. Call me Orange Obammy" ). However, I thank you for the reminder. I need to go ahead and get two of those bike tires. After a very generous minion December, I have the $100 to spare. If I'm wrong, oil becomes uber dear, and goodbye tires.

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  3. My car has problems and is too expensive to fix but I've decided not to get another car but to get an electric peddle-assist bike. I work at home and I only live in a small town and don't really travel so it would be perfect for me. If I need to drive out of town, I can rent a car (at least until the economy fails). I'm going to sell the car for junk and that will help offset the bike cost. Plus, no more car insurance payments. Win win.

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    1. Bravo! Deluxe Minion With Oak Cluster award for you.

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  4. If world travel is only to see the sights, google or bing maps will get you there and save your ass a fortune !

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    Replies
    1. Google Street View - I can visit all my old places (except for one; it's probably worth a few million now and has been "cloaked") and old streets, old beaches, it's not ideal but it's hard to beat the price.

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  5. World travel is about gluttony and peacock feathers. And punishing the kids with no inheritance :)

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  6. I've done a little travelling. I wouldn't mind going back to Japan for a visit. But to be quite honest, if I never left my little corner of the world again it'd be to soon.

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    Replies
    1. Right, better to avoid the glittery unicorn traps outside your wire.

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  7. Retirement you say...how will that be any different from your life as it is now?

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    Replies
    1. I'm just speaking of a fall in income, as it would impact anyone that retired. As far as work, nothing will change.

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    2. It will for Lord Bison. He will be leading an army of minions, laying waste to his enemies, while servicing his harem of buxom ladies!

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  8. I can't figure out the whole tp situation. I hate spending money on something that gets used once and thrown away. I have grown mullein leaves and they work but I'd rather do something else. I don't like having a bucket of used cloth squares sitting around soaking, then your supposed to rinse out and then launder. That's gross and not how I wish to spend my time. I guess I'll have to start collecting phone books if they even print them anymore. Wonder if I could buy a bulk order of Obama or Pelosi next autobiography so they could be put to use.

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    1. I collected bundles of newspapers. One guy was throwing them away instead of delivering them ( or some similar reason ) and I got a bunch before he stopped. Do you know anyone who delivers papers? Offer to "recycle" for the neighbors?

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    2. Years ago I had a neighbour who backed up the unit complex sewage by flushing paper. Luckily it was neighbouring block of units not the one I was in so I could laugh (on the inside) from my balcony.

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    3. supposedly in India they get by fine with a jug of water by the loo ... my question is, how do you deal with having a wet ass afterward, even if you are mostly just washing the "starfish" you're gonna end up with wetness that'll get on your pants, and your washing hand, well, I guess you're supposed to wash your hands after you go, anyway.

      It might be worth trying with something in the water like a dash of witch hazel and a drop or two of perfume/cologne.

      Scott single-ply is THE TP, that fluffy stuff that cartoon bears on TV wipe their asses with is just gross.

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    4. Dingo-Hear the stories about San Francisco having to add millions to the sewer budget as people start using those "flushable" wet wipes? This country to chock a block full of idiots. Want some? We'll take the Chinese in exchange.

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    5. With a bidet , you use it and then jump in the shower. The old three SSS. It helps if you're regular of course lol

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    6. How I did my dish rinsing off grid-a thick 20 ounce soda bottle, a hole or three drilled in the cap, I'm thinking might be a bidet. Squeeze bottle with one hand ( above and pointed down crack-ward. If needed, finish rubbing with the other hand. I always assume I contaminated my wiping hand and touch nothing before picking up the bar of soap. One day I'll try it-I just am not ready to have that conversation with the NOL yet LOL. I'm just thinking, this has got to be better than current designs that blast contaminated water about. I imagine this is similar to what Turd World'ers do

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  9. Also they say a person uses 100 rolls of TP a year. How much area would 500 rolls take up? I might need another shed.

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    1. Family Dollar offers the best value, with compact rolls. One 12 pack last me and NOL one month. The janitor supply place in town offers really crappy, fluffy industrial size rolls. So no love there.

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    2. I have a roughly a years worth of date paper for my household. I'm now rotating that stock with longer rolls which decreases the amount of storage space required even though this is a little more expensive. I am ever watch full of change in size or qty.

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    3. We only use perhaps two rolls a month...
      Females need the blotter factor lol.
      She has it easy, most women do with no hair on the butt.
      As I've stated before. I'm one of those dudes that it'd be like cleaning oatmeal outta the shag carpet !

      Bidets are great ! Not only that , the roids are pretty much a forgotten thing since converting to water.

      I tells ya , fear not the TP storage. When ya use water.
      A couple cases of TP will last a long time, if you go that route.

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    4. Saw a hilarious riff on extra-powerful bidet's, the guy was killing me! I lost the title, alas. It was spoofing a "Seen On TV" product.

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    5. Dingo-I do the same thing. Every time I visit the same store and get the same brand, I'm checking to make sure it is still 2-ply, still 122 square feet. Next, they'll change to metric to fool me.

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    6. I'd guess 8 rolls would be a cubic foot. Approximately. 8' ceiling, 64 rolls. 8 sq' 8' high, 512 rolls. The cubic foot estimate is ball parking.

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  10. You've outlined absolutely the best strategy for creating a great return on investment in uncertain times - stock up on crap that you use on a daily basis. I might have to steal this for my own post.

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    1. Since I stole it myself, who am I to complain? :)

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  11. I guess a great example of Alpha Strategy was when Ralph Nader bought a lot of pairs of US military dress shoes for cheap at what used to be called an Army-Navy store, and thus had good shoes (he was a lawyer) for the forseeable future.

    A variety of the Alpha Strategy, I call "Looking For Deals". For instance, my local Asian market had Farmer John "uncured" bacon for 99c a package, normally in the $7 or $8 range. I bought the five they had, put them in the freezer, and did some reading. It turns out "uncured" bacon doesn't mean it's missing those great nitrites, they're just derived from celery like it was done 200 years ago and as par USDA law, that makes it "uncured". It's actually cured just fine.

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    1. Mmmm, bacon. I always loved Ralph. Perhaps a dirty hippie commie, I don't know. But, damn, he could get a righteous anger going. Had to respect his passion.

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  12. We've been canning meat for years, it's easy, the meat is fork-tender, moist, and delicious. No worries about refrigeration, either. I highly recommend it.

    Tractorguy

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    1. Do you raw pack, or pre-cook? I'd like the "fork tender" option. Of course, in the future I could go back to be concerned with husbanding fuel, so I like the raw option. Although I guess I could pressure cook, prior to pressure can, if pre-cooking is best.

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  13. It depends on the meat. High-fat meats like sausage and beef should be browned first to get rid of most of the fat, then put into the jars and filled with boiling water to the correct headspace. Skinless boneless chicken raw-packs REALLY well, it makes its own broth and is the tenderest, juiciest chicken you will ever have.

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