Archive for January, 2012
Today I am going to talk about about recycling as an alternative way of getting rid of your extra stuff. Stuff is another way of saying all of that junk that you bought years ago that has been sitting around your home and collecting dust. Last week I wrote about selling your stuff at a flea market and gaining a little extra cash as result. That post can be found here. But the unsold stuff could use a new home too and recycling is the solution.
Recycling is the practical alternative to throwing material possessions away. Gastonia has several ways for a person to recycle. Recently the city of Gastonia has dropped recycling bins at every residence within city limits. Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, and a plethora of other items can be deposited in these new bins. Gastonia picks up these bins on a bi-weekly basis.
Of course, this just covers the basic waste materials that collect in your home during the week. What about metal clothes hangers? Any person who goes to the dry cleaners on a regular basis will eventually have a large supply of extra metal hangers in their closets. Well, that same store that cleaned your clothes would gladly welcome back any extra metal hangers that you do not want. Take the extra clothes hangers with you the next time you go to the cleaners and give them to the merchant.
Recycling bins have also been placed in shopping mall and convenience store parking lots. The bins are universally painted red, so they are pretty hard to miss. Clothes and shoes can be deposited in these containers. I have used these bins a couple of times to get rid of old shoes and shirts(the white Ts that have the sweat stains in the armpits, EWWW).
Goodwill and the Salvation Army are additional places to unload stuff as well. I have dropped off old books, clothes, and other materials at Goodwill. However, the Goodwill in Gastonia does not accept the metal coat hangers that I mentioned earlier in the post, so take the hangers back to a dry cleaner.
Certain items like used motor oil really needs to be disposed of properly. Most communities have recycling centers were motor and vehicle fluids can be deposited. Please do no discard any type of vehicle fluid on the ground or in a storm drain.
Latter on this week I am going to do a quick follow up post with pics to show the various recycling bins and recycling centers in my community. That will be a great representation of just how easy recycling is today. I might throw some additional links in as well.
In closing, recycling is a practical alternative to get rid of all of your stuff. Trash is for the landfill folks. Trust me, in these days and times there is a need for the unused possessions sitting around your home. Please consider throwing away your stuff as a last alternative.
This is what I added today to my basic prep.
What we have here is a pretty piss poor picture. I will work on that next time. Lighting could of helped. LOL.
Anyway, 4 of the items I already had on hand and will not be counted in today’s cost. Those items are the two bags of noodles and the two cans of tuna. What I did add for today is as follows.
- 1 11oz can of beans = .44 cents
- 1 16oz bag of rice = .78 cents
- 1 16oz jar of peanut butter = 2.18 dollars
- Total for today = $3.40 before taxes
Today I also added some items to my bug out bag.
This pick is not quite as crappy as the other.
With the bug out bag I added.
- 2 bags of banana chips – 7oz per bag = $2
- 2 boxes of peanuts(5 .8oz bags per box) = $2
- 1 soap holder = $1
- Total for today = $5 before taxes
Total investment for today: $8.40
The lighter in the picture will be going into the soap box. The soap box will act as a water resistant container. Eventually I will add some type of tender to this kit as well.
Most of the basic prep material will be taken to Virginia the next time I return home. I will continue to take supplies home as long I live in North Carolina. This is just the first steps that I am taking on the long road of preparedness.
Hello Ladies and Gents,
I have decided to add a new page and category on my site. I named the page Poor Man Prepper and the category is simply Prepper. I added this page and category to help document my efforts with trying to prep. My income is limited. However, I feel that prepping for potential disasters is important and guess what. I have barely started. This is mostly because I have a lot of debt that I have been paying off over the years and that is where a considerable portion of my disposable income goes to. Unfortunately, I am still deleveraging and will be so for some time to come.
So, on this new page there will be photos of what I am putting away on a weekly basis. Also, I will post how much I am spending on my lager. I want to prove that a person who is on a limited budget can prep over time. This also leaves me with no excuse to start stockpiling. This effort will be documented for all to see.
Today I am going to wrap up our little mini-series on how to keep tabs on your local community. I have used the Internet primarily as our tool of choose to accomplish this task and so it will be today as well. Also, I want to highlight a phone conversation that I had with a county official.
Okay, so here are to more websites that I used during my research. The first site is for Gaston County and the second if for the City of Gastonia. Both of these sites have a wealth of information that can be accessed at the touch of a button. I found a meeting schedule for the county commissioners, with archived video, minutes, and agendas. The website did not state whether the meetings were open to the public, so I called. The lady who I talked to said the meetings were open to the public and she encouraged me to attend. I was impressed.
Everything appears to be out in the open. I could spend days just watching archived videos and reading the minutes of the meetings. Better yet, I could go to one of the meetings in the future and in fact I will probably do so.
This concludes my research on this subject for now. I have barely scratched the service. To recap, I have highlighted today that I am allowed access to local meetings held by the Gaston County commissioners and have pointed out two additional websites. Also there is media and bloggers like me that try to get information out to the public. In case you missed my previous post on this subject, you can find them here, here, and finally here.
This leads to me recurring question that I have asked every week. Why did the citizens allow the public corruption to happen in Bell, California? Why do citizens in general choose not to play a larger part in their local communities?
I think people for the most part simply do not care what happens. As a society we are just happy to just go home and watch TV and live in contentville.
“Oh, look at what happened in downtown wherever. Glad it did not happen here.”
Maybe this is simply human nature to keep the mental blinders up. Honestly I don’t know. What does infuriate me is when some type of corruption is discovered, but only years after the first incident happened. More than likely there were signs before the crime(s) was discovered, but people decided to not pay attention. And when that crime is discovered everybody is pissed.
“Look at what these government bureaucrats have been doing. All of our tax payer money is wasted.”
Even though your community was being robbed in plain sight. Yep, by the same people who you trusted to look out for your best interest. I guess this is just the society that we live in today. Maybe some day in the future we will wake up and open our eyes.
This quite possibly could of been one of the most significant events during the twentieth century. Soldiers from another land traveled thousands of miles over the Atlantic Ocean and were able to find a safe harbor. Just miles away from German occupied lands.
Without the British Isles as a base of operations, the U.S. would of been forced to stage at Iceland, Greenland, or southern Africa. Iceland was not particularly sympathetic to the Allies, as the Icelandic people were more favorable to Germany at the time. Also, as a possible base of operations, southern Africa would of been problematic at best.
Lets take a look at possible scenarios were the U.S. and the remainder of the European allies would not of had access to Britain as a staging area.
- The invasion of Europe would of occurred at a much later date.
- Virtually the full weight of the German war machine could of been unleashed on the USSR.
- North Africa would of fallen to the Axis powers, opening the door to the Middle East oil fields.
- Germany would of had more time to build its surface fleet.
- Axis infrastructure would of been largely undisturbed from any type of Allied long range bombing for a longer period of time.
- Germany would of had more time do develop newer weapons like long range rockets and jet fighter planes.
- Without the British Isles, any Allied invasion might of suffered substantial causalities before troops could actually of landed on European territory controlled by the Axis.
- The U.S. might of had to sue for peace with Japan, even after the attack on Pearl Harbor. This would of allowed the U.S to solely focus on Germany.
Finally, millions of people could of faced possible extinction in addition to the large numbers of people that did perish during the war. Imagine if the German death camps continued to function. The Chinese would of had to endure the cruelty of their Japanese conquers for an even longer period of time.
I understand this entire post is merely an excursion into the realm of the hypothetical. I also understand that Hitler was a complete lunatic. However, without the British Isles the allies would of been at a significant disadvantage during the war. Fortunately Britain never succumbed to the German onslaught. On June 6, 1944 the Allies launched their invasion of Europe from Britain and began their long march East.
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
I thought during our little mini-series about woman leaders that we take a look at a woman who is most decidedly not a leader. I feel that we need to take a contrasting view of our past leaders. Whether they be a woman or man, history judges us by our actions in the present. This will probably be the last post on such a dour character for this segment in a while. This segment is after all Morale Wednesday.
The women leader that I wanted to take a look at is Marie Antoinette. After talking about Louis XVI last week, I became interested in his counterpart, Marie. Their reign marked the decline of the French monarchy. This decline was not an overnight process, but happened over a protracted period of time.
War debts led to higher taxes on the people of France. Poor harvests led to nutritional shortages for the people. The treasures and granaries were beginning to empty. However, our doomed monarchs were seemingly blind to the pain being suffered by the commoners. Unfortunately for Marie, she been accustomed to this life of luxury her entire life. This entitled mindset probably made Marie unable to help the monarchy change their luxurious lifestyles. The French monarchy continued posh lifestyle was a substantial drain on France’s treasury.
In closing Marie Antoinette was royalty from birth, that through an arranged marriage, became the counterpart of another inept monarch. Marie was placed in the role as a leader and she clearly was not suited as such. Ultimately, the lowest class in French society made the final decision for Marie and Louis, as both of them were sentenced to death and beheaded.
Friedrich Nietzsche. BrainyQuote.com, Xplore Inc, 2012. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/friedrichn107506.html, accessed January 25, 2012.
At one time I had a lot of, well, for lack of a better word “stuff”. So during this post I am going to refer to all of my possessions to be sold as such. One example of this stuff was a PlayStation 2(PS2), an old item that had laid dormant under my bed for years.
Well you know I tried to get rid of my PS2 through Craigslist, but with no success. As I was trying to sell my PS2, I realized that I had a lot of other stuff just sitting around and not being used. I looked at all of this excess material as an opportunity to.
- Make a little extra money by selling it all.
- Open up some much needed free space in my apartment. Reduce the clutter factor.
So, with no luck moving just one item through Craigslist, how was I going to move all this other stuff that I wanted to sell as well? Yard sells were out of the question. I live in an apartment.
However, at a flea market consumers already know were the store front is. This way your stuff has a far greater chance of being sold as more eyes will have a chance to see your merchandise. Even if I had the ability to have a yard sale, the number of possible people who would actually stop by would be limited in comparison to a flea market.
In my area there are two flea markets. One was much larger then the other. I choose the smaller flea market for a couple of reasons at the time. Easier to get my vehicle in and out and secondly the price for renting tables was less expensive. Here are some more ideas if you decide to sell your possessions at a flea market.
- Check to see if the flea markets in your area has a website. If they do, great. Table rent pricing, table sizes, when renters have access to the facility; and the location of the flea market will probably be posted on their website. Here is the websites to the local flea markets in my area. Dallas Flea Market and 161 Highway Flea Market. I choose the 161 Highway Flea Market.
- Take a weekend and head out to the flea market(s) in your area. Plan to stay most of the day and scout for the best table locations that would suite your purposes. Observe how vehicles get in and out of the market.
- Look at how many people are at the show. Is there a large crowd? And if so, how long are those numbers maintained throughout the day. At some point as the crowd lessens you will want to pull up stakes and go. There is no reason to waste your time.
- If you rent a table(s), take a second person with you. This allows for the trifecta of benefits. Bathroom breaks, help with managing sells, and an extra set of eyes to ward off “five finger discount” purchases.
- Talk to the vendors at the flea market. Some of the vendors at flea markets rent a booth every weekend and they could offer valuable advise.
On a final note, all of your stuff that you want to sell. Well it is probably crap now and you should sell it as such. Price your inventory to move. Let loose of any sentimental value that you have with your material possessions as you do your inventory of what needs to be sold. If there is a strong attachment with an item, leave that item at home. Remember, your mission here is to get a little extra money in your pocket and free up some extra space in your home. Please do not be afraid to cut some deals to get merchandise sold.
And of course have fun! When you are done, pack up and walk around the flea market. Treat yourself to some food at one of the food venders. But try not do spoil all of your earnings on a car load of 8-Tracks.
Evening Ladies and Gents,
Tonight I am going to continue our little miniseries on how to keep tabs on what is happening in our local community. Last week I wrote about my hometown’s local newspaper the Gaston Gazette. Or more specifically the Gazette’s website. From the Gazette’s web site we identified a wealth of information about my local community. Also, we pin pointed the Gazette’s Facebook and Twitter homepages as additional ways to inform readers.
That leads us to tonight’s post dealing with social media. There are many social media platforms that are currently on the net right now. But Facebook and Twitter are by far the most prevalent and important. Facebook has over 800 million active users. That is a staggering number. However, Twitter will probably capture the news market like no other technology in history.
Word of mouth has always been an old standby for passing along information. With Twitter word of mouth is now on steroids. Make that with HGH, testosterone, and every type of protein supplement imaginable. Okay. So I am exaggerating, a little.
Lets hop into our way back machine and go back about 50 years to small town America and look at how word of mouth spread. Someone in this quaint, little American community gets sick. Lets say with a broken finger. By the time word has spread throughout town, that broken finger has turned into an amputated arm.
Okay. So I am exaggerating, a little. But this poor example shows how information can be distorted through verbal communication. Twitter takes all of that verbal nonsense and condenses it down to only 140 characters. Additionally, that message can be sent to all of the account’s followers instantaneously. No more fictionally created amputated arms.
Twitter is an incredible innovation. Coupled together with Facebook, local communities have invaluable tools that can be used to gather current information. With today’s technologies there really is no excuse to not be informed. So, why did the corruption take place in Bell, California?
Join me next week as I conclude this miniseries. I will give you my opinion on why modern society tolerates public corruption. Also, I will cite additional resources that can be used to stay informed.
This is an updated post in regards to the recent passing of the NDAA by Congress and singing into law by President Obama. I found some information about the indefinite provision portion of this years NDAA. This information is from the ACLU and they are not pleased with this legislation.
The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. In addition, the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.
Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director said, ”We are incredibly disappointed that President Obama signed this new law even though his administration had already claimed overly broad detention authority in court.”
You can find the rest of this ACLU release here. Also the ACLU has a pledge on their website to fight indefinite detention that can be found here. I encourage you to read the release and sign the ACLU pledge to fight this provision.
This is pretty scary stuff people. A person could be detained by the military and held indefinitely without the protection of American civil liberties. More on this outrage to come.
This is a bill that is passed annually by Congress. But this time provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA) will allow American citizens be detained indefinitely without a civilian trial. Go directly to jail, to not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars.
This piece of legislation is probably one of the most horrid laws passed by our U.S. Congress. What is left of our Constitution? Do we, as American citizens actually have a Bill of Rights anymore?
Our rights as citizens have been deteriorating for the last decade at a rapid pace. When Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen was killed last year without a trial, it should be no surprise that we get followup legislation like the NDAA. Sure, the case can be made that Anwar al-Awlaki was a terrorist, but he was also an American citizen at the time of his death. Now trial by peers and no due process.
This piece of legislative crap is a nightmare. Imagine walking down the street minding your own business and out of the blue several people abduct you. No these people are not street thugs in the classic sense. No these people who are abducting you work for our government. They are the government.
So what do we do as citizens? First we need to educate ourselves on the specifics of this draconian law. Secondly, we need to get the word out so that other American citizens can be informed about their loss of rights. I will continue my own research on this legislation and continue to post updates on this site.