Tag Archives: end of world

big houses

I am hell bent on bugging in. I spent 20 years close enough to the federal government to believe the dog was eating its tail at a terrific rate.  So I pulled the string and strategically relocated most of the family to a sleepy, creepy small town where I believed retirement dollars were maximized, churches were full and the locals were of similar mindsets and globally diverse.  Coming from the west coast, somewhere south of Los Angeles, we were used to 1500 square feet, ten feet from the next floor plan, and mortgaged for life after the bubble burst.  As normal consumers, we were memorized by our new towns housing market and what money could buy.

My strategery was first to have enough footage to provide for my two adult daughters and a son in law, who had decided to drop everything and journey with us. Second was to ensure the location was well hidden, protected by trees/forest and had natural water within walking distance, as in, “lake in the backyard”. At $90 per square foot, we ended up with 4500 square feet.

Everything was fine while the kids owned downstairs. It meant we only lived in about 2400 square feet. Then, all three kiddos found careers and bought (and built) their own homes. Exciting for parents to see moving trucks pull up for their kids when they are embarking on one of the last American dreams. Then it hit me, what am I going to do with another 2100 square feet for my husband and I and our three year old son named “holy shit, howd that happen!”

The extra space including a full kitchen, baths, great room, mud room and three bedrooms was perfectly empty. Heat it, cool it, maintain it, furnish it? We don’t even entertain (much) so do I rent it out for extra jack?

I’ve shared my recent discovery and enthusiasm for preparing and after weeks of walking through the vacant underbelly of our castle, it hit me. This space will become a fortified prepper’s Mecca. Not something you would expect to see on an episode of “Hoarders” rather a well designed functional living space with normal things that hide un-normal things like weapon systems, fortification, safe rooms, bulk food and water, radio room, solar backup station, etc. But first I had to lower the costs of monthly bills to bare minimums with the size of the property.

I did this by dumping cable and delivering content through WiFi and available tower bleed. I replaced all fixtures with single bulb, high efficiency, timed power delivery, heating and cooling has been difficult because the HVAC system was designed for high flow, meaning vents cant be closed without driving efficiency down.  Winter is not bad but summer is cash pit. I killed one of three lawns and changed irrigation for entire lot to the lake source with an efficient submerged pump system. Critical watering can be done with hand pump. All exterior lighting is solar. I reduced costs by about $380 per month which is re-invested in food and water storage.

How odd is this? My hubby measuring for things like theater screens and home brewing equipment and I’m looking for hidden space cavities, tactical rooms, escape routes, defensible positions and of course, evac routes.  So here’s the rough draft with future updates promised:

  • Main food and water storage room climate controlled at 58 degrees. One hidden entry protected by a ballistic hallway and one normal entry.
  • A cement safe room between then ballistic hallway and the main living space.
  • A guest master suite with closet fed evac route to safe room via the ballistic hallway.
  • A tribe quarters with wall mounted bunkers for 10.
  • A radio room with significant capabilities with grid and solid functionality off grid.
  • A normal kitchen primarily designed for brewing beer, yep, I said it.
  • A normal great room with excessive screen space, record player and most if not all the 1970-1990 classics on LP.
  • Exit through sliding storm doors to deck 1 which is two rocket stove stations and wood storage.
  • Deck 2 is raised bed planters for a host of grow prep’s and yes, a hop garden.
  • Weapons systems are in four tool segments
    • Pistols
    • Shotguns
    • M4’s
    • Sniper rifles
    • All weapons are identical set ups and calibers for user familiarity and ammo sustainability.

So there you have it. As this money suck starts in March, I will keep you posted.

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the discretionary bag

CONSIDERATIONS FOR A DISCRETIONARY BAG (DB)

There is nothing cooler and expensive than a well stocked bug out bag. But, as I continue to learn this prepping craft, I don’t see priority in the bug out concept.  I understand it from the, “I’m single living in an apartment in Burbank, CA”, but not from the mission of “bugging in”. The second coolest pack-crack is the “everyday carry” or EDC.  Here’s my problem with the EDC, I can’t stroll into a corporate environment everyday with an olive drab EDC and continue to get paid. Does this mean I’m out of the prepper culture? Somehow, I’ve just revealed I’m the antithesis of a prepper but still believe that the end is near and preparedness is the only insurance policy that will actually payout when the SHTF. Ironic because I’ve been paying into massive insurance policies for decades and probably won’t see it secure my family. Finger’s still crossed for retirement accounts!

I want to share my hybrid idea of personal functionality called a, “Discretionary Bag”.  The DB is a fully functional EDC but not carried everyday.  First, admission, I have already strategically relocated my immediate family to an optimal zone so some luxuries I’m afforded. I don’t need an EDC. I have designed my DB as something I grab when:

  • I’m going to be farther away from base than 10 miles
  • Uncertainty in daily Intel exists
  • I’m visiting a community event or location where people congregate
  • Severe weather is expected
  • Hair on my neck is up
  • Someone reported seeing a zombie

I won’t bore you with the norms like multi-tools, knives, a compact firearm and band aids, but I will share that my DB is more tech than weaponized. Some of the items I count on are:

  • Bland tablet to hack into any WiFi network I can find
  • Designed radio to ping my tribe leaders and geo locate each other
  • Stored power for all tech assets
  • Secured emergency channels to patch into regional Intel nodes
  • An MP3 player loaded with Led Zepplin II, headphones and a joint.

The last item is in case my DB has failed me and the zombies are closing in. I will be enjoying the best record ever produced with that joint lit when the final blow hits me.

The $40,000 Bet

TRYING TO INSPIRE A MILLENNIAL

My family plan was as abruptly authored as my decision to start prepping.  In hindsight, I should have worked on a marketing plan to deliver said plan to my millennial children and son in law.  I think my 23 year old daughter seriously thought I was joking as she read a well thought out plan filled with contingencies, zero day events and smoke signals.  Four days later, she and my son in law came over to check my temperature and give me season one of, “Doomsday Preppers”.

I laid out the basics; a 72 hour plan based on a normal emergency like an ice storm but then proceeded right to power grid failure. Oops. She refused to believe a word of it. My son in law was “All In” because as I was hammering on my oldest daughter, he was Googling words like, “prepper” finding plenty of reasons to buy guns and ammo. I lost him when I declared we would start with food and water storage.  Ultimately, my daughter realized I knew things she did not but even so, I could not put dates on any prediction. So she asked, “How long do we have and how much do you want to gamble on your nutty predictions?” I thought about it as I topped off my drink and returned to her with the following;

“Within the next ten years we will no longer connect freely to the internet, supply chains will be non existent, ATM’s will have stopped spitting out $20’s, power and heat will be scarce and the government will be incapable of helping us.”  She replied, “How much do you wart to bet?” I said, “a car.” She said, “how much of a car?” “$40,000 car”. She agreed to begrudgingly begin to assist in the acquisition of preps with the insurance plan of a new car if the shit has yet to hit the fan by 2024.

Any takers on the same bet?

dog eats tail

We Are The Expendables!

Our corporate culture is so ambitious that it would actually replace humans with robots if it saved cost and increased profitability. So, let’s ponder just manufacturing transitioning from low wage worker to robot that annualized in a way to drive Human cost down and the efficiency frontier up.  If I’m company A, a powerful, large company, publicly traded; a capital expenditure that is not humans is good.  What I require as CEO or BOD is “first to market”.  My advantage is speed to implement, driving cost down in relation to my competitors.  If I win, huge speculative stock binge. But, competition in America is as formidable as any enemy in any battlefield. At best, only quarters will pass before the rest of the market segment dumps everything into the same cyborg futures. But what of the worker just replaced by, “Annie”??

Some of them will be graciously allowed to demote to a call center or tech line to, holy shit, repair mis-firing “Annie’s” who have fallen off the corporate delivery goal.  The CEO’s know this but can’t be reached for comment because they just started the back nine at a course that is piloting robot caddies to improve profitability.  My question is, if you drive the middle and lower class out of payroll, who will buy your product or service derived by this ingenious notion?   Wait, I just realized, “Annie” has a slut sister named, “Alexis” who is a robot sex doll-American laid off worker ok with the transition…

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/16/upshot/as-robots-grow-smarter-american-workers-struggle-to-keep-up.html?abt=0002&abg=0