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Monday, August 30, 2010

Makin' A List, Checkin' It Twice

Food Preps - A few days back, I told you about my feast on some trout that was 3 years old ("Of Fish and Fungus").  Well, I've got a replacement for the fish.

A buddy of mine went fishing up at Eagle Lake.  This lake is only open 6 months out of the year, and the fish are a unique species or genus or something.  They're a big deal in the fishing community.

He landed a couple of nice ones, and dropped one off for me.

In the picture, it sure looks kind of skinny and scrawny.  Hey!  I ain't a photographer, OK?

It's a nice 18 inches or so, and quite plump.  It has pink flesh like a salmon.  I'm going to try and eat it sooner than 3 years this time around!

Survival Preps - Have you watched the new survivalist show, Man, Woman, Wild?  It's about some former Special Forces guy and his former TV anchor wife being dropped into survival situations and them having to rough it until they get rescued.

The first couple of shows almost lost me.  It was all, "Sweetie" this and "Honey" that.  In the first episode, the wife refused to eat a turtle they caught because she had bonded with it - turtles were her favorite animal ever.

I must say, the show has somewhat grown on me.  For lack of a better term, the wife has started to "Cowboy Up" - getting a bit of a thicker skin about what it would take to survive if you found yourself in such a situation.

I don't know if the producers said something to her, of if she's starting to realize what it would take in such a situation, but I'm liking it more.  When you see her truly savoring the alligator tail she's eating - whose head she just cut off - the show seemed to be more realistic.

I won't be buying the DVD package for Christmas, but it has an occasional decent idea.  I'd give it a 6 on a scale of 10.

Income Redistribution Preps - 50 million Americans - one in six - are on Medicaid.  40 million are on food stamps.  10 million are getting unemployment insurance payments.  4.4 million are on welfare.

Where does it stop?  I am truly not against government "assistance" programs, if those programs are at the state or local level.  I think private charities do a much better job, but if the people of the state decide to elect people to spend their money, so be it.  Unlike the federal government, states technically have to budget their money.  When they get out-of-balance, they have to do something other than print up money.

Their plan may be to beg for alms from Washington, but at least their incompetence is brought to light, and the fed could say 'No'.

When you get to the federal level, you totally lose control, and you end up with the mess we're in.

Is this "the plan"?  To keep paying the bills of people?  How long do they think they can do this?

The Medicaid numbers are up 17% since 2007.  The welfare numbers are up 18%  The food stamp numbers are up 50%.  The unemployment check numbers have quadrupled and have been extended by the fed to 99 weeks!

This simply cannot end well.  You can't keep giving people an incentive to NOT provide for themselves.  You MUST set limits.  If people are kept fat, dumb and happy - literally and figuratively - they won't change their behavior.

Accept The Challenge

This federal government behavior won't be changing soon.  Even if the country can get a stalemate by the Repubs controlling the House and Senate in November, nothing will change.  If the Repubs take control of Congress and the White House in 2012, we'll be screwed again - we'll just be serving different special interest groups.

Honestly, I wish it would all collapse, so we could actually start the re-building process.  Have something to look forward to.  This protracted, "Death By A Thousand Cuts" is getting old.

But, chances are that this drip, drip, drip will continue.  Plan for it.

The dollar will weaken - get gold and silver if you can afford it.  Silver in particular, is very well priced.  Buy durable equipment and as much long-term food as you can store.

Become as self-sufficient as you can.  What things do you have to pay people to do?  Oil changes?  Home repair?  Knife sharpening?  Small engine repair?  In addition to saving you money, you may be able to make a couple of bucks as well, or have a skill that can be used in a barter.

The friend of mine who gave me the trout told me how the lady he stayed with (an old friend) has a nice little side gig going.  It seems that a large percentage of the men in the area (Lassen county) hunt deer, boar and elk.  When they get the animals home, their wives go nuts.  Get that mangy beast out of here!

She has some out-buildings that she has turned into butcher shops.  The guys drop of their kills, she cuts up the meat into steaks, roasts and sausage.  She then keeps half the meat.

She hasn't bought meat in 10 years!

I did something similar with my next door neighbor a couple of years ago.  I canned up all of their excess peaches, and got half in return for my trouble.

And for goodness sake, learn how to prepare your own food from scratch.  Understand proportions by feel - how dough feels when making bread.  How it feels when you're making pasta.  What a brine should taste like.  How much fat, flour and liquid you need to make a gravy.  Understand the science behind cooking so you can get the biggest bang for your buck.

Learn how to "recycle" cooking mistakes or inefficiencies.  Old bread becomes stuffing or croutons or thickens a soup.  Bones and veggie scraps are turned into soup stock.  Extra veggies go into the soup pot.  Scraps of meat and fat are turned into sausage.

Learn how to store food for future use - canning, pickling, dehydrating.  Take advantage of the bounty when it's available!

Learn to defend yourself.  This is going to be huge in the not too distant future.  Last week, I talked about learning to shoot one-handed and from your weak side with a pistol.  You need to do this with any firearm you may be using.

I'm in the process of increasing my proficiency in using a shotgun from my weak side.  Accuracy isn't much of a problem (I'm left-eye dominant), but re-loading quickly is problematic.  I'm working to correct this.

Make a list, and start marking off your weaknesses while time and finances allow.

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Copyright 2010 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Andrea said...

Fun post, Chief. I like it when you get all worked up ;)

Ditto on the 'learn to cook' stuff. It's amazing what people don't know...but their mamas never taught them and they don't teach squat in Home Ec. Best hope my generation has is Rachael Ray...and she doesn't even cook from scratch...she just combines and heats.

Regarding self-defense...I took my concealed carry class this weekend and did surprisingly well, at least up to the point that a hot casing went down the front of my shirt and lodged itself in an area that is only meant to treated gently. They didn't cover that in the book. I checked :)

We practiced one-handed, weak side shooting...and I found it fairly easy. But I shoot rifles left-handed, handguns right-handed and my left eye is dominant. My dad says I'm all confused. I say I'm cunning.

Anonymous said...

Unlike a movie my gut tells me if I get in a firefight with someone or a gang the odds are I'm going to die. Being prepared, that is beng able to shoot from my weak side or reload quicker my indeed improve those odds but not enough. The point is that if our society collapses and hoardes of people are coming to your house to take what you have or ambushing you on the road then you are going to die. Don't get me wrong, I favor being prepared and defending yourself but I am concerned that most epople will think this is a viable option. It is not. It is the precursor to death. It would be far smarter to move to a place where you can survive without a gun and improve your odds.

Chief Instructor said...

Andrea, it's funny about food. When we were kids, my mom had all of us cooking at a very early age. We did the same with our kids.

What has helped me the most was my first job in high school. After my stint as a dishwasher, I became a prep cook then full cook. I learned how to make all the foods from scratch, and on a large scale. It was a great job!

Regarding hot lead: For my firearms classes, I put in the pre-class material a suggestion for everyone to wear high-neck shirts. In my last class, I had a college student who wore a VERY low cut shirt. Since she was the only one dressed that way, I was able to put her in the far left shooting bay so the other shooter wouldn't "rain" brass down on her.

Keep up the practice!

My dad says I'm all confused. I say I'm cunning.


Anon, I teach in all of my classes - the emergency prep and all self-defense classes - that "The best way to not be harmed in an emergency is to not be there."

Still, there are times when you MUST take a stand to protect you and yours. The Korean shop owners in the LA Riots are a classic example of being able to successfully use firearms against large numbers of angry folks.

If you're targeted by a trained, disciplined group, yep, you're probably toast. But for most instances, you know "the terrain" - you know your home/property and they don't. By thinking through scenarios before you need to employ a defense, you can significantly increase your odds of success.

And most bad guys don't expect resistance. Our society has been taught to NOT resist.

Moving is a dream for most folks, but not much more. Sometimes the only options are to resist or be put out on the street.

I'll resist.

Andrea said...

A wise man once said there are 3 types of people: sheep, wolves and sheepdogs. If you choose to be a sheep, you'd better hope there's a sheepdog nearby.

suek said...

"50 million Americans - one in six - are on Medicaid"

One reason for this is that if you receive SS, Medicaid is mandatory. Payment is taken from your monthly SS check. Most health insurance companies won't insure you over 65 (or 66 these days) because of that - or at most, will insure as a secondary.

"Old bread becomes stuffing or croutons or thickens a soup."


Grease a baking pan with butter, add broken up stale bread. Add milk/egg/sugar combination until you can see the fluid through the bread. Add 1-2 cups of chocolate chips - or more -(depending on your personal taste and the quantity of bread) Allow to sit for a couple of hours to absorb the liquid. Bake at 325* for about an hour - knife should come out clean. Add cream or not as you and your diet prefer.

Milk/egg/sugar solution. One egg per cup of milk plus about two tablespoons of sugar. Quantity of fluid depends on quantity of bread. I have a two quart pot that I fill with bread, and it takes one quart of milk plus 4 eggs plus 1/2 cup of sugar.


Go here to find an excellent article on the wolves, sheepdogs and sheep thing. Maybe the source?? Bill Whittle is an excellent writer. His blog is "EjectEjectEject". It used to be an independent blog, but now is a Pajamas Media blog. I lost this post a couple of times, so eventually, just copied and pasted into my Word program. It's that good.

Chief Instructor said...

Andrea, it's a great saying. I use it a lot when I do speaking engagements, and some folks get a bit PO'd. "I'm not a sheep! I'm just a regular citizen."

I tell them they may not think of themselves as sheep, but the wolves do! Unless they can convince the wolves otherwise - by knowing how to defend themselves - they can end up as a nice meal...

Sue, I forget where I first saw the sheep/dog/wolf deal. I think it was at Viking Preparedness a couple years ago. Not sure.

Medicaid: When my mom hit the mandatory age, she was offended that she HAD to sign up - she already had insurance. Still does, but now Medicaid gets into the act somehow. It makes no sense to me, but then little about Washington makes sense to me...

I like the bread pudding idea. Maybe I'll leave some bread out... by mistake, of course... ;-)

suek said...

Psst...haven't found the outside limits on chocolate chips storage time yet. Seems like they're _always_ good!

Also Jello - which is nothing but flavored sugar. I bought some _ages_ ago, and it still seems to be good. No noticeable change in flavor...

Just in case you want to pack up a sweet thing or two...

suek said...

Here's an interesting article...(tiny url is same one...just shorter)

Chief Instructor said...

Sue, I have LOTS of instant pudding from Walmart in our preps. 50 cents or so per box, and doesn't even need to be chilled for it to firm up.

I have some jello, but not as much as the pudding. Lots of hard candy as well. The whole "comfort foods" idea for emergency times.

Great article, I used it in my newest posting. Thanks!