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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2010-06-25 01:19pm
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Jedi Master
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Found a Reader's Digest article about food. The entire link is below, but the following were probably better suited for this thread:
1) Instead of gourmet frozen food, make your own
4) Boxed rice dishes (just use regular rice, and add spices)
6) Spice mixes (read the ingredients, make your own, with less salt)
14) pre-formed meat patties, vs ground meat
15) tomato based pasta sauces (vs cook your own)

http://www.rd.com/home-garden/15-foods- ... html#slide



Space Tycoon RP thread
Space Tycoon Rockets, Spaceplanes, Space Vehicles, and Landers
Space Station components and IASA rockets
Ground bases, Derivative tech, and Orbit Transfer Costs
Research chart
(Max of 5 links allowed)

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2010-06-26 02:08pm
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Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Today I am discussing when it makes sense to pay for convenience and services you would ordinarily do yourself.

During May and June I worked 2 jobs simultaneously. That meant at least 10 hours a day working seven days a week with some days running to 12 hours or even 14. Now, consider that I need 7-8 hours of sleep, and doing the math you'll realize that that leaves a mere 2-4 hours outside of work and sleep to get anything done, including food preparation, eating, personal hygiene, etc.

Now, I don't recommend that sort of schedule long term (in fact, I have currently cut back to a "mere" 1 job and 8-10 hours of work 5 days a week) but if you find yourself in those circumstances then time management becomes extremely important. One aspect of this is figuring out how the chores get done.

Well, the Other Half took over the grocery shopping. That eliminated one chore. The time saved was used for food prep, although we pretty much stopped cooking from scratch. We've been living on a lot of sandwiches, canned vegetables, and frozen entrees. Is this a particularly healthy diet? Honestly, no - but remember, this is short term. Sandwiches made at home can be inexpensive, particularly if you watch for watch meats/cheeses are on sale a particular week. What frozen dinners we ate were dictated by what was on sale and what my food allergies restrict me to eating. If you look you can usually find entrees for $2, even $1 (the Other Half has scored $1 dinners about 4 times over the past two months - he's good at finding sales). A frozen entree supplemented with a can of vegetables, or some frozen ones reheated in the microwave, can be sufficient. This is in no way as cheap as cooking from scratch, but remember - my time was being spent earning money. If shopping/eating in this manner for a couple months could draw us out of the dire poverty we were in then it arguably is an effective use of resources provided we were still cautious about cost. Of course, shopping in a cost-efficient manner for these things takes time - hence, the Other Half was sent to the store with shopping instructions after we had conferred on menu planning.

That left laundry. I don't own a washer. Laundry means 1.5 to 2 hours sitting in a retail establishment getting my clothes down. Keep in mind, most days I only had 2-4 hours outside of work and sleep to do anything, and those might not fall during business hours. Well, after confronting a pile of work clothes that were sweaty and muddy I finally considered something I never thought I would - I paid someone else to do my laundry! Here's the deal - I could drop off 8-10 pounds of laundry (that's about 4-5 kg for you metric folks) at the local laundromat and they would wash-dry-fold the items for $8-10 (this is all based on weight, by the way). Same day service. So... I could spend 2 hours to get a load or two of wash done... or spend two hours earning money. Hmm... that load of wash was $8.... two hours of work would bring in $26 dollars.

This is an illustration of assigning value to one's time.

Now, normally - working only one job 40 hours a week - I'd just go to the laundromat and catch up on my reading while doing the wash on a weekend or whatever but for two months I had no weekends and no real time off. So in these particular circumstances paying to have a load of wash so I could have clean clothes for work actually made fiscal and time management sense. I dropped the load off in the morning, picked it up on my way home from work.

Now that my work schedule is less insane I am back to doing my own laundry again, as it no longer (in my mind) makes sense to have it done for me.

The whole point of this, of course, is that sometimes it really is better to purchase a service - even if it appears a luxury to some - if it makes a marked improvement in your ability to get things done and manage your life. This is particularly true in the case of temporary overload. This overload could be due to crazy workload, a family emergency, or whatever. You do need to "run the numbers" and consider all factors, but there truly are times when such services are a very important of managing your resources, which include not only your money but your time and energy.

Oh - and by the way, after those two insane months we're no longer qualified for foodstamps (we're too well off!) and we've been ending months with more money than we started, rather than less. I am hoping that I can maintain this, preferably without having to work two jobs at the same time. However, on a temporary basis I'd consider two jobs/insane schedule again to provide some cushion for us.

On the downside - I did NOT start my garden yet. Well, my landlord does not accept zucchini for rent. While I will not have as an elaborate a garden as I had planned, or as elaborate as I had last year, I still have time to get some quick growing vegetables in. The improved cash flow is not only useful for those things requiring cash, but will allow me to make up for garden shortfalls.

More illustration of how life is a balancing act.



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2011-03-24 01:05pm
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Is it possible to necro a stickied thread? Oh, well. Someone asked about a recipe for hard tack a couple of pages back. Wikibooks has one here, and it's one of the easiest bread recipes I've ever seen.

Also, a useful fact I learned from a former landlady is that many older and simpler diesel engines will run surprisingly well on cooking oil mixed up to about 1:3 with regular fuel. I've heard it's not especially good for the lifespan of the engine, particularly in newer and more complex vehicles, but it might be worth remembering for emergency situations. (NB: This is actually illegal in the UK, albeit seldom enforced. Check your local laws before attempting this.)



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


The Gorgon's Mirror, featuring published work by me!

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2011-03-24 03:54pm
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In an emergency/catastrophe situation, however, that's useful information. As recent events in Japan have shown, even a sophisticated, developed area can find itself thrown into bare survival mode.



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2011-04-28 08:17pm
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Thought I'd try to revive some discussion in this thread, what with various catastrophes occurring all over the world these days. We may have covered some of this already, but what the hell, let's do it anyway.

How about - CANNED FOOD!

Although there are some downsides to canned food such as high sodium content and less than fantastic taste in most cases, it does have the wonderful virtue of lasting a long time. This makes it ideal for an emergency stash.

My current pantry includes the following:
Meats
2 canned hams
12 cans of tuna (they're sort of small - you'd want to eat 2-3 cans at a sitting, so it's really 3-4 servings)
4 tins of sardines
4 cans of salmon
6 cans of chicken
4 cans of chicken spread

Legumes
12 cans of garbanzo beans (a.k.a chickpeas)
4 cans of peas
4 cans of refried beans (pinto beans)

Vegetables
12 cans of potatoes
8 cans of green beans
4 cans of carrots
2 cans of beets ("beetroot" for some of you)

"Meals"
2 cans chicken n' dumplings
8 cans of spaghetti/chili mac/ravioli type stuff
8 cans corned beef hash

Other Stuff
4 cans chicken noodle soup
8 cans cream of mushroom soup
4 cans of gravy
4 cans of olives (we like olives, what can I say?)

Now, what I choose to stock the pantry with is determined in large part by what we'll actually eat. All of the above appear in our normal eating (some items are solely for my Other Half - the peas and pasta-in-red-sauce stuff is off-limits for me due to allergies. On the other hand, he doesn't like beets or the salmon.) This makes rotating the stock over time easy and practical. Don't put stuff in your emergency store you don't like to eat!

Canned food, assuming the can is intact and stored at room temperature, is reliable for at least two years. Longer storage is certainly possible.

Yes, some people stock MRE's. Personally, I don't have any experience them (and given that so much of their menus are off limits to me due to health reasons I'm unlikely to - but if someone else wants to discuss them please do so) but in many ways they're similar to canned food: they last a long time without need refrigeration.

Canned food can also be salvaged from flood situations, provided the cans are undamaged. In such cases you MUST clean the outside of the can thoroughly to avoid contaminating the food when you open it, but as long as the can is intact so is the food inside.

I would actually like to expand my canned vegetable stock, as I feel I have a reasonable store of meat/protein items. I am also considering adding canned fruit, but we don't eat canned fruit very often so the stock rotation might become problematic. I know from experience that in an emergency I do like to have canned fruit as an option, as meals tend to get somewhat redundant.

Now, a word about DRY GOODS
These would be things like pasta, from egg noodles to ramen, instant potatoes, and so on. Stuff that's dry, often powdered, and usually (though not always) quick to fix.

My current stock:
2 boxes of dehydrated potatoes
6 boxes of noodles (macaroni and rotini)
36 packages of ramen noodles
2 pounds of couscous
8 pounds of rice (brown - it does take longer to cook than white)
10 pounds of flour (all sorts of uses)
3-5 or pounds of sugar (we do use it, so the supply varies rapidly. Includes white, brown, and honey)
Powdered chicken boullion
Several boxes and varieties of crackers.

Now, this stuff also lasts a long time, and we also eat all of the above so the stock keeps rotating. The down side is that the packaging is not as durable as what's in cans, so it's vulnerable to water and damage.

The thing is, all of the above combined makes for meals that will keep you going, fill you up, and might even taste good. All you need is water and a means to heat it: stove, microwave, campfire...

CONDIMENTS!
This will keep you from going crazy from either a bland or repetitive diet. Ideally, you want stuff that doesn't need refrigeration, like hot sauce, salt, herbs, mustard, soy sauce, etc.

Now you don't want to spend more money than you have to, either for daily eating or your emergency stash. This brings us to a couple of points to keep in mind:

1) House brands: these are almost invariably cheaper than national brands, and usually of similar quality. They last just as long. When they go on sale stock up. Warehouse stores, discount stores like Aldi, and so forth may provide additional savings.

2) Size: I have a household of two. Therefore, I buy canned goods in sizes that two people can reasonably consume in one sitting. While a much larger can may be cheaper per unit of weight, once you open the damn thing if you don't have a working refrigerator you have to eat it all or watch it go bad. Keep that in mind. For an emergency situation smaller portions that won't go bad are actually a better choice than huge cans that will. Obviously, if you have a family with six kids and your in-laws/parents all under one roof buy the bigger can.

3) Extra stuff: Stuff can get damaged. You might wind up taking in a friend or neighbor. Don't skimp. If you decide to keep two weeks of food on store figure out how much you're likely to eat, then add maybe 50% on top of that.

OK, HOW THE HELL DO I USE THIS STUFF?
I do suggest you do some experimenting with cooking with these materials before all hell breaks loose. One easy technique is cook noodles or pasta, then add canned meat and vegetables and a can of cream of mushroom soup and heat everything up to boiling for a minute or two. It can serve 2-4 people, if more are coming add more cans of stuff.

Another thing you can do it add a can of vegetables to a pack of ramen noodles, and maybe a can of chicken or some other meat as well. Bring to a boil and serve. Add condiments to make the taste more interesting.

You can also mix a can of soup and additional can of vegetables, add crackers, you have something like a reasonable meal.

Serve pasta-in-a-can and vegetables-from-a-can side by side.

Then we have the "shit on a shingle" variations. The original shit on a shingle was a US army thing consisting of creamed chipped beef on toast. Very informally, this can be extended to anything pasty on anything bread/cracker like. So... chicken or ham or other meat spread on a cracker. Corned beef hash on a cracker. Mashed beans on a cracker. You get the idea. It's quick, it's easy... sometimes it even tastes good. Served with vegetables for something sort of like a balanced meal.

And, of course, you can just crack open a big can of beef or chicken stew, or some other sort of "meal in a can".

Needless to say, if you have fresh vegetables around you can use those, too - during the summer months, for instance, I have a garden with things like lettuce which can add variety to emergency stores. But even in the depths of winter you can eat reasonably well for a week or two on such stored goods. Gourmet? Well, maybe, if you're really creative... but even the average person will be able to assemble edible food out of the above.



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2011-05-01 08:51am
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Joined: 2007-09-14 11:46pm
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Location: SoCal
2x new cases of MREs replacing the two expired ones, cleaned the rifles and handguns (needed doing regardless) added another two pallets of bottled water, progressing on plans to install solar-electric+battery farm equipment, still trying to narrow it down to a suitable breed of dog, now thinking about a Standard Manchester Terrier. Keeping location cash on hand, aiming for 10K in mixed bills but it will take a while to get the rest of the way there. Probably most important is planning the garden, a task that is precisely 0% of the way to completion. Thinking about perhaps a half-dozen small battery-powered motion sensors to emplace around property until (or in lieu of getting) dogged up.

My prediction: Next major earthquake we had better be prepared to fend for ourselves. Also trying to arrange for our place to be meeting-point for local friends; this property is not nearly so defensible by two people, as the previous one.



I find myself endlessly fascinated by your career - Stark, in a fit of Nerd-Validation, November 3, 2011

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2011-08-17 12:05am
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is a laughing fool.
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Location: Painesville TWP, Ohio
Has anyone thought of metal scrapping besides Broomstick and myself? I save every food can and pop can so I can take them to the scrapyard for money.

I also watch the curb on garbage days to see if there's anything worth salvaging. This past week I salvaged copper, aluminum and scrap steel from two CRT monitors, a 20" (maybe larger, haven't measured) floor fan and a bike rack. Not many people realize that CRT monitors have a decent amount of copper and aluminum in them.

If you've got the time and patience then this is the way to go. If you can get one other person to help you out such as a spouse\S.O. or an older child with time to spare and willingness to help then you'll be able to make some money.

First things first. If you wish to take up metal salvaging\scrapping, you'll need tools. Here's what you need:

Hammer
Set of screwdrivers (flat, Philips, Robertson, star?)(If you have one of those sturdy ratcheting screwdrivers then that is even better)
Box Cutter
Pliers (needle nose and flat nosed types)
wire cutters (this is your best friend)
angle grinder with some cutting wheels (necessary if you wish to be in the "big leagues". lol More on that in a bit)
mouth\nose mask
safety goggles (if you plan to use an angle grinder)
a set of socket wrenches
Magnet (this is also your best friend)

I'm fortunate in that I didn't need to buy any of these tools with the exception of cutting wheels and the safety goggles.

You will also need an area to work in. Basements and garages are the best places since you will be making a mess and you will definitely have scrap pieces of plastic and so forth sent flying when retrieving any metals.

Easiest scrap you can get is basically (as I've already mentioned) are pop and food cans. Almost no waste from these and the scrapyard do not care if the food cans still have the labels on them.

If you've got any elderly relatives at one point in their lives kept collecting things thinking they'll sell them but never do are a goldmine for you. :) Really. In my case, my wife's grandmother and late grandfather loved to go to garage\yard sales and flea markets over the decades and bought a whole bunch of junk they planned to eventually sell but never do. They were also collectors of many things. This past year, year and a half, my wife's grandmother wanted to get rid of a bunch of junk and my father in law and I filled the bed of his pickup and the trailer full of scrap metal. Among them was a locker that contained about a dozen electric motors. A lot of copper were in these motors. Also from her, I managed to get a whole bunch of tools to make my job a lot easier. :)

Next is watching the curbs on garbage days. You'll be amazed at what you'll find. Metal chairs, lawn mowers, electric motors, T.V.s, CRT monitors, computers, satellite boxes (I managed to salvage a working 160GB harddrive from on of those boxes\DVR. :) ), etc...

However you find your scrap, you'll be making a lot of trash. If you've got a local dump, for a small fee you can just dump your waste there if it is too much to leave on the curb (I don't think this applies to any Canadians). If not then your only way to get rid of it is too put it in your trash bin, bt by bit until it is gone. :)

For the good stuff, you'll need an angle grinder plus some cutting wheels and a safety goggles. Do not use grinding wheels as you are just going to waste it and you'll be making a tremendous amount of sparks. Cutting wheels, while much thinner than grinding wheels and more expensive, will cut down on the cutting time by one half to one fourth compared to a grinding wheel. Plus they last longer.

When I say the good stuff, I mean electric motors (1/4 hp, 1/2 hp and so forth), fridges, freezers and upwards to cars. For these you'll need the angle grinder. Electric motors are an excellent source of copper and aluminum. The end caps are generally aluminum though occasionally you'll find that the case is entirely steel. Inside is the money maker. Most cores use copper wiring though a few use aluminum. Looks can be deceiving because cores using aluminum have come sort of coating that makes them resemble copper. Always scrape the wires to see which ones which. Anyways, most often then not, to access the wiring, you'll need to cut off the middle casing or else removing the wiring will be a lot harder.

If you have access to fridges, freezers and AC units, make sure they are drained of freon. How you remove it is up to you. Once empty, remove all electrical wiring, metal trays, doors and so forth. In short, take it all apart. Sort them apart using a magnet (of course no need when it comes to copper. :) ). The jackpot for these units is the compressor (for the AC units it is the compressor and radiator). These badasses have copper wiring similar to those in electric motors, in fact they are the same. But they are enclose in a thick steel shell. Not a problem if you have an angle grinder. Cut them open, toss the shell on the scrap metal pile and work on removing the copper wiring.

If you have a lot of time and patience, advertise in an online classified or on the freecycle website (or sites similar to them) and ask for any scrap vehicles for free. Let people know that you are willing to pay for towing (as long as those cars are not too far from your home.) You might end up spending $50 to $80 on towing but you'll make a lot more back from salvaging it.

Taking apart vehicles takes a lot of time and effort but it is worth it. You'd be amazed on the amount of copper and aluminum you'd get from a car. Wiring, transmission casings, radiators, AC tubes, alternator, top half of the engines (forgot what they are called), and so forth. You'd also make money off of the catalytic converter as they contain platinum. To scrap a car you'll definitely need a trailer. You'll be making a couple trips to the dump and several trips to the scrapyard. But it is worth it. For example, I took apart my car and overall I made about $500 compared to the offer of $250 from a guy that buys scrap cars. I'd go after more cars but I don't have a house of my own to do it and my inlaws won't approve of me of having a habit of scrapping cars on their property.

If you live in the city, I recommend that you stick to the small stuff. If you live in a more rural area and have a large property, then I'd recommend going after larger scrap.

Make sure you check with your local scrapyard for the latest prices they pay for scrap metals. In my area, the prices for different metals are:

Copper $3.50/lb
Brass $2.10/lb (brass has been going up quite a bit. Last year they were about $0.80/lb)
Aluminum $0.60/lb [i.e. pop cans](used to be as high as $0.80 but value has been dropping lately)
Aluminum Alloy $0.50/lb (used to be as high as $0.65 but value has been dropping lately)
Scrap Steel $0.12/lb (pretty much average in my area.)

Copper is the poor man's gold as many of you are well aware so make sure you keep any scrap copper safe. If you have a basement or a private garage then store them there. Same goes for any scrap brass and aluminum.

Tip: Leave all copper wiring with cladding for rainy days unless they are very thick like for example battery cables as you'll be spending a lot of time stripping the wires. If you've run out of scrap then start stripping wires.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. :)



ASVS('97)/SDN('03)

"Peppercorn Tomatoes slathered in broken guacamole sauce. Put it in the microwave and press puree. 5 seconds in the dumpster and it is ready to be cooked in the freezer at -350 degrees for twenty minutes. Apply pressure in various hamster spots and scream like a psychotic banshee." My reply when asked what was on my mind.

"Whilst human alchemists refer to the combustion triangle, some of their orcish counterparts see it as more of a hexagon: heat, fuel, air, laughter, screaming, fun." - Dawn of the Dragons

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2011-08-25 04:48pm
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Quick word of warning about CRT televisions or monitors. They can carry a static charge of up to thirty thousand volts and retain it almost indefinitely, so dismantling one incorrectly can be lethal. There are various ways of discharging the static, but the method I was taught is to use a screwdriver or mains tester -you know those things that look like a flathead screwdriver with an LED in the handle?- connected to an earth lead. You take the back panel off the TV and touch the earthed screwdriver to the top of the cathode tube.
If you're going to do this then make sure you wear gloves and eye protection, because discharging the static can occasionally cause the tube to shatter violently. Personally, though, I don't think the scrap value of the innards is likely to justify the risk of injury or death.



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


The Gorgon's Mirror, featuring published work by me!

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2011-08-25 11:02pm
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Zaune wrote:
Quick word of warning about CRT televisions or monitors. They can carry a static charge of up to thirty thousand volts and retain it almost indefinitely, so dismantling one incorrectly can be lethal. There are various ways of discharging the static, but the method I was taught is to use a screwdriver or mains tester -you know those things that look like a flathead screwdriver with an LED in the handle?- connected to an earth lead. You take the back panel off the TV and touch the earthed screwdriver to the top of the cathode tube.
If you're going to do this then make sure you wear gloves and eye protection, because discharging the static can occasionally cause the tube to shatter violently. Personally, though, I don't think the scrap value of the innards is likely to justify the risk of injury or death.


I'm careful when I dismantle them and have yet to blow one up. The closest is breaking the narrow end of a tube by accident and it only resulted in a hiss. I do check to make sure that it has been discharged before messing with it. I've learned that the hard way a few years ago but back then I wasn't taking it apart for scrap. I've found that CRT T.V.s and monitors that have been unused for quite a while do not have any charge compared to one that has been recently unplugged (the latter was the lesson I learned. lol)

It helps that those T.V.s and monitors that I do pick up are mostly from the curb and therefore been exposed to water and thus if it did have current, it no longer does.

But yes, one does need to be careful but then again, dealing with metal salvaging, there are many dangers if you do not know what you are doing.

On the topic of metal salvage, if you have any circuit boards that contain gold, remove some and have it checked out. If the gold checks out then that would be a better and safer route to make money. :)



ASVS('97)/SDN('03)

"Peppercorn Tomatoes slathered in broken guacamole sauce. Put it in the microwave and press puree. 5 seconds in the dumpster and it is ready to be cooked in the freezer at -350 degrees for twenty minutes. Apply pressure in various hamster spots and scream like a psychotic banshee." My reply when asked what was on my mind.

"Whilst human alchemists refer to the combustion triangle, some of their orcish counterparts see it as more of a hexagon: heat, fuel, air, laughter, screaming, fun." - Dawn of the Dragons

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2011-09-27 09:38pm
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Garden-wise:

I own 3.2 acres of GA. Piedmont. I put a total of 1.8 or so acres under cultivation: 8 rows of tomato, 8 rows for field peas, 1/4 row of summer squash, 1 row Zucchini, 1/4 row of Georgia(common) squash, 1/2 row of Tabasco peppers, 1 row of jalapeno peppers, 1/2 rows of Cubanelle peppers, and 1/2 rows of Habenero peppers.

If my math is off, well - fuck it - cause I wasn't precise in my garden measurements. My Pumpkins are, well, Zombie apocalypse victims. Same for my honeydew melon crop.

Hello, Drought!

Fertilizer: 1 Silverado truckload of horse manure, thoroughly-tilled into the dirt.
Mulch: 1 Silverado truckload of straw. Straw was fortunately full of spider eggs
Pesticide: See above spider eggs; Neem tree oil where necessary



I have come to the conclusion that my subjective account of my motivation is largely mythical on almost all occasions. I don't know why I do things.
J.B.S. Haldane

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2011-09-27 09:50pm
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So far:

12 cases p.1 qt. tomato sauce, caned
13 lbs. dried field peas
5 lbs. frozen sweet peppers
4 lbs. frozen eggplant
4 lbs. frozen common squash
3 lbs. frozen Summer squash
8 lbs. frozen Okra (pre-prepped with cornmeal)
7 lbs. Sweet corn (cob)

All-in-all, the drought in the Southeast sucked. Still, was we were able to put away a minor Apocalypse' worth of food away.



I have come to the conclusion that my subjective account of my motivation is largely mythical on almost all occasions. I don't know why I do things.
J.B.S. Haldane

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2011-09-28 03:02pm
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Miles Dyson
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Quote:
Still, was we were able to put away a minor Apocalypse' worth of food away.


My food contingency plan is ~80 kilos of Mountain House cans (the 25 year freeze dried stuff), which I picked up earlier this year and have stacked at the back of the garage. Croydon is not likely to get hit by a tornado or an earthquake, but it seemed like a fairly cheap bit of insurance in case of a major supply chain / oil delivery disruption, card payments system lock-up, a more serious round of riots etc.



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2011-09-29 08:15pm
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Starglider wrote:
Quote:
Still, was we were able to put away a minor Apocalypse' worth of food away.


My food contingency plan is ~80 kilos of Mountain House cans (the 25 year freeze dried stuff), which I picked up earlier this year and have stacked at the back of the garage. Croydon is not likely to get hit by a tornado or an earthquake, but it seemed like a fairly cheap bit of insurance in case of a major supply chain / oil delivery disruption, card payments system lock-up, a more serious round of riots etc.

Wow. You didn't pay retail for that, did you? The Mountain House stuff, that is.



I have come to the conclusion that my subjective account of my motivation is largely mythical on almost all occasions. I don't know why I do things.
J.B.S. Haldane

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2011-11-18 11:19am
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BOOK REVIEW: How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It, James Wesley Rawles

If you're in a hurry you can just read the underlined/bolded stuff to get the gist of things.

It's exactly what it says on the tin: how to survive the end of the world as we know it. A few cautions going in – first, he's essentially talking about civilization-ending catastrophes, or at least ones throwing civilization back to 19th Century tech levels. This is a book that talks about how to preserve wheat at home for 20-30 years. He's not talking about the power being out for 12 hours, he's talking about it being out for months, if not for good. Second, he's definitely Christian. Third, he's assuming the audience is mostly American (with a few nods to elsewhere) and thus discusses obtaining firearms and living in relatively remote locations, two things that may not be practical in some other countries.

That said, there's some food for thought and planing even for lesser catastrophes in here. Myself, at present I'm more interested in short-term survival for blizzard, tornado, temporary interruptions in life as usual, etc. I'll break things down by category as I go along.

Getting Started

If you look at the full list of what you should/need to do it may be overwhelming. Start small and work your way up. He starts with a “list of lists” and a discussion of readiness and mindset, half of which is contemplating what you'll need to do in an emergency.

Shelter

He addresses home security several times over the course of the book. While he gives instructions for building a mini-fortress, some of ideas could be incorporated into a regular residence, such as beefing up doors, making a “safe room” or “panic room”, and so forth. He also has some good advice about not advertising that one has a stash of stuff, as when the shit hits the fan having a stash might make you a target.

Food and Water
Gotta eat and drink. He talks about gardening, stock raising, purchasing long-term supplies, equipment for large-scale food processing, and how to preserve food for years at a time. These sections note more comprehensive references for further information.

Medicine

First aid kits, emergency childbirth, and suggestions on how to get advanced first aid training

Communications
Suggestions on what to use, how to use it, and how to power it, which leads to...

Fuel and Power

Fuel and power for vehicles, homestead, and when on the go, including batteries, solar, and generators

Firearms
This guy likes guns. Three broad categories here: food, defense, and barter (the latter mostly dealing with ammo)

Tools
Pretty much what it says – items to have on hand, as well as how to acquire quality items. This ranges from hardware tools to clothes, really. Contains a reminder that we may get thrown back to 19th Century tech so hand tools are emphasized.

Barter and Home Business
As he points out, if the shit hits the fan sufficiently hard, paper money is just so much fancy toilet paper. He discusses stockpiling of broadly appealing items (in several areas, pointing out that having extra essentials allows you to trade), how to dicker, investing in tangibles, and the advantages of a home-based business even before the shit hits the fan. This also ties in with having useful skills.

Getting Out of Dodge

How to be ready to get your ass elsewhere, from the “bug-out bag” to the “get out of dodge vehicle”, dealing with fuel needs, and so on. As he notes, you likely will get only ONE trip so you need to know what you are going to take in advance, as well as knowing how to get where you're going. Also where NOT to go, how to avoid areas and routes likely to be flooded with refugees.

Social Bonds
Being a Christian, he emphasizes church quite a bit in this, but he also has some words to say about charity, relations with other, and bringing new people into your group including how to quarantine newcomers if necessary (plague situation, for example)

Now, as I said, he's talking end-of-modern civilization here and for most occasions what he's talking about is over the top. That said, there is much here for the person interested in short-term weathering of catastrophe. How to increase one's home's security, store food and water, first aid kits/training, how to be prepared to get away from danger, and so forth are all applicable in the short-term as well as the long term. He also discusses how to live off-grid and provide your own power without doing entirely without modern luxuries, which may be of interest to some here. For most of us reading this thread, this book will likely provide some food for thought and ideas for our own planning. He also has ample links to various suppliers of items, which you might find useful.

But you don't have to buy the book. He does have his own website: Survivalblog.com.
Again, he's pretty up front about his religion, but hey, it's his website. Most of what's there is more extreme than what I'm looking for myself, but as I said, there is still useful information to be gleaned and certainly food for thought. The people contributing to the site have certainly put a lot of thought into these matters, and some of them have some interesting experience to draw upon. I also note that he takes pains to encourage people to abide by local laws even when inconvenient, and vigorously debunks urban legends like chemtrails. Aside from the religion angle he seems pretty solidly fact-based in his information.

Bottom line: It's for a more extreme situation than I'm currently planning for, but has valuable resources that make it worth at least a skim-read, though for those on a tight budget the website alone could probably suffice.



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2012-01-05 09:28pm
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first of the year,and I have put away:

110+lbs of smoked&salted venison(cost=time+license+ammo+oak)
30lbs - 5lb buckets lined with mylar:filed with long-grain rice; and dried via cheesecloth packs of the 'Do Not Eat' Shit(silica gel).
20-above of mixed beans(black, kidney, and lima)
15-above of dried field peas.
+800 adult 1-a-day supplements
9 lbs Hydrogenated Veg Oil
5 lbs Kosher salt
Various spices
Hand-pump water filtration.

So far, $117.89 dollars (sans hunting license @ tags)



I have come to the conclusion that my subjective account of my motivation is largely mythical on almost all occasions. I don't know why I do things.
J.B.S. Haldane

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2012-01-06 12:39pm
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How is the shelf-life on the supplements?



I find myself endlessly fascinated by your career - Stark, in a fit of Nerd-Validation, November 3, 2011

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2012-01-10 06:02pm
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Kanastrous wrote:
How is the shelf-life on the supplements?


Harvard.edu wrote:
Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military. With a large and expensive stockpile of drugs, the military faced tossing out and replacing its drugs every few years. What they found from the study is 90% of more than 100 drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, were perfectly good to use even 15 years after the expiration date.


From here.
Of course, there will be quite a bit of decay in several of the chemicals, especially the B-complex vitamins, but the same is true for the stored food, over time.



I have come to the conclusion that my subjective account of my motivation is largely mythical on almost all occasions. I don't know why I do things.
J.B.S. Haldane

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2012-02-16 08:23pm
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Jedi Master
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Starglider wrote:
Quote:
Still, was we were able to put away a minor Apocalypse' worth of food away.


My food contingency plan is ~80 kilos of Mountain House cans (the 25 year freeze dried stuff), which I picked up earlier this year and have stacked at the back of the garage. Croydon is not likely to get hit by a tornado or an earthquake, but it seemed like a fairly cheap bit of insurance in case of a major supply chain / oil delivery disruption, card payments system lock-up, a more serious round of riots etc.


I assume you have the required amount of water to prepare this stuff stocked as well, or some sort of purifier?

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2012-02-16 08:51pm
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Miles Dyson
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Aaron MkII wrote:
I assume you have the required amount of water to prepare this stuff stocked as well, or some sort of purifier?


I have the usual emergency essentials, water purifier jerry cans, gas heaters, marine medical kit, hand tools, solar torches etc. Basic contingency planning really isn't that expensive compared to say a family holiday, new computer, similar luxuries middle-class first-worlders think nothing of. More importantly plan 'get the hell out of Croydon' is now funded pending tax review.



Image
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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2012-02-17 10:51am
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Starglider wrote:
Aaron MkII wrote:
I assume you have the required amount of water to prepare this stuff stocked as well, or some sort of purifier?


I have the usual emergency essentials, water purifier jerry cans, gas heaters, marine medical kit, hand tools, solar torches etc. Basic contingency planning really isn't that expensive compared to say a family holiday, new computer, similar luxuries middle-class first-worlders think nothing of. More importantly plan 'get the hell out of Croydon' is now funded pending tax review.


Well yeah, I do it as a hobby so it's no big deal to me.

How urbanized is Britain anyways? And is there much in the way of medium sized game to hunt if required?

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2012-02-17 11:06am
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Miles Dyson
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Aaron MkII wrote:
How urbanized is Britain anyways?


Most of England is highly urbanised. Scotland and Wales somewhat less so.

Quote:
And is there much in the way of medium sized game to hunt if required?


Not really; just a million or so wild deer. For comparison there are about 850,000 gun owners and 62 million people.



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Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2012-02-18 02:24am
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Just as an aside, it isn't that a firearms permit isn't excessively difficult to acquire in the UK; all you need is a clean police record, a fixed address, two character references and a doctor's note confirming that you're of sound mental health. The reason so little hunting takes place in this country is that there's a very limited number of places where one can safely fire a high-powered rifle without fear of a miss hitting a passer-by, and many of the remaining places where you can do so are private property.

This is something to consider if you have any ideas about stretching your food budget by hunting small to medium game, even in North America. Not only are there licenses and other fees to contend with, but you may also need to factor in the petrol you use getting to and from the nearest place where you can hunt safely.



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


The Gorgon's Mirror, featuring published work by me!

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2012-03-01 06:57pm
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Trapping might be worth considering as an alternative and/or supplement to hunting. I don't have very extensive experience with either, but at least in principle the amount of time and energy spent stalking larger game might be better applied to setting and checking a series of traps for smaller game - if you're out there burning calories and taking time moving around, setting a bunch of traps might be more rewarding that chasing down one or two animals. Unless your situation favors hunting from a blind, in which case of course you aren't expending more than your usual rest calorie consumption, anyway.

Plus, using traps should help conserve ammunition for a firearm and lost/damaged arrows for your bow, which might be worth considering if we reach the point where most of us are running around hunting and trapping, for our suppers.



I find myself endlessly fascinated by your career - Stark, in a fit of Nerd-Validation, November 3, 2011

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2012-03-02 06:57am
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I would suggest taking a course on it, at least you'll be in the know if you have to do it. I know a few people who trap beavers but they stay near there dams. Trapping other animals may involves walking an actual trap line, in the winter with snow shoes. And it'll have to be done frequently.

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 Post subject: Re: Maximizing Your Personal Resources / Surviving the Futur PostPosted: 2012-03-30 05:17pm
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Since it's painfully topical over here in the UK, for reasons upon which I'll enlarge upon in N&P later, here's some advice from the UK Petroleum Industry Association in case you were thinking of keeping a few jerrycans at home in case of emergencies. Most of it's just plain common sense, but it's still worth reading. And check your local laws on how much fuel you can store on your property without a license; your local fire department should have some information on their website.

As for how much you might need in case of emergency, that kind of depends on where you are. Broomstick already pointed out that it's a good idea to keep the tank of your car at least one-quarter full at all times, but it's possible you'll end up needing to make multiple road journeys before you can fill up again so a couple of small jerry cans can't hurt. But always remember that the safest place to store fuel that you likely have access to as a private citizen is your car's fuel tank; top it up the minute you're in a situation where a fire crew might have trouble getting to your house.



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


The Gorgon's Mirror, featuring published work by me!

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