Archive for February, 2012
A couple of subjects before I start today’s show notes. This week I found out just how important it is to have the bug out bag in your vehicle. Secondly, I saw how inflation is really starting to increase prices on products that I thought would never go up in price simply because I did not think the value of the product justified the new price. And oh yeah, I went to the flea market this weekend and found something on the cheap. Watch the hell out zombies.
Okay, earlier this week I ended up working some overtime on my job. Overtime is way sparse these days so I jumped at the opportunity. The only problem is that I work security and depending on where I am posted, I might not have access to food. Well it just happens that my post is located in a position where I can not leave. I did not pack a lunch, because I only anticipated pulling an eight-hour shift. Since I am not allowed to leave my post, I had no way of obtaining food, with the exception of ordering out. That would have been pizza and the price would have cost around $13.00 dollars after the tip.
However, I had some food and it was located in my bug out bag. Where was my bug out bag at? In my vehicle. So, instead of paying $13 for pizza, I instead ate my food stashed in the bug out bag. That cost me around $6 dollars. I saved money. Yeah!
- Food prices going up, duh. Stock up now.
- 52 jars of peanut butter on the wall-that is 52 lbs of peanut butter folks.
- Apartment dwellers-top off your tanks if you cannot keep gas cans at home. If you cannot buy all of your gas at one time, just by twice a week and limit recreational driving until tank is full.
- Why it is still great to be an American.
- Rehash from a story that I heard from a preacher years ago.
- Flea markets
4 cans of beans were left over this week from normal food purchases, so I rolled them over to the lager.
This week I went to Aldis in addition to going to Wal-Mart to pick up food. Aldis has a great deal on dehydrated milk. One box makes 2 gallons and the price was $6.00. I think that I will add one box a month from now on for protein. The peanut butter, rice, noodles, and tuna were all purchased at Aldis. The paper towels were purchased at Aldis as well. Paper towels and toilet paper are new items that will be added every week because of theie low price. And I do not want to have to wipe my butt with my hand any time soon. Ewwww.
Oatmeal and toilet paper are Wal-Mart brands.
- 3lb bag or rice = 1.70 dollars
- (2 gallons) dry milk = 6.00 dollars
- 18 oz jar peanut butter = 2.30 dollars
- 2 cans Tuna = 1.20 cents
- ramen noodles = 2.00 dollars
- oatmeal = 1.60 dollars
- paper towels = .70 cents
- toilet paper = .85 cents
- Total For Today = $16.35 before taxes
Bug Out Bag Items:
- 3 trail mix = 3 dollars
- (2 boxes) 10 bags of peanuts = 2 dollars
- 1 bag of sunflower seeds = .50 cents
- 1 machete = 5 dollars
- Total For Today = $10.50 before taxes
Today is the first article that I have written about science fiction. To me, science fiction glimpses the possibility of future human potential. That future could bring to us to the pinnacle of human evolution.
Science fiction is sort of the dreamers paradise. Like a painters landscape, sci-fi writers use their creativity to design imaginative stories that cover a multitude of future possibilities. Let’s take a look at the science fiction genre to see how civilizations could be impacted by these concepts and how some of these ideas have already come to pass.
Quite a bit of our current technology was envisioned decades ago. Have you ever seen the Tricorder from Star Trek? Compare that with today’s smart phones. Heck, the iPhone 4s is even bringing us closer to artificially intelligence with Siri.
However, it could be a while before we see matter transportation that was also used in Star Trek. But the future does hold a massive amount of new technologies not yet developed. Science fiction writers are usually on the cusp of understanding how this new technology could possibly be implemented by humanity.
Presently, modern-day civilization could face a multitude of realistic problems. We could be facing energy crisis, nuclear war, war over diminishing resources like food and water, etc.. Science fiction provides us with a venue to view these dire circumstances from a present day perspective. That way we can at least think constructively about finding solutions before the consequences become dire.
There is also philosophical questions that sci-fi raises. For instance, what if humanity decided to create clones? With our past history of enslaving populations, it would seem that there is a high probability that our species could render clones as slaves. Of course, this is wholly a jaunt into the realm of the hypothetical, but that is what science fiction is about. Allowing ourselves to view the hypothetical through a unique perspective.
I personally enjoy science fiction, because I feel most sci-fi writers look at future societies through a libertarian perspective. People free to engage in a large number of practices that our current society has either outlawed or deemed as taboo. Sci-fi writers seem to throw most of that current convention back into our faces. Yep, as a reader of sci-fi, sometimes I come across material produced by a sci-fi writer that makes me cringe, but at least that material is there. And that opens up an avenue for me to at least think about what that writer is saying with their art.
In closing, I hope everybody at some point in their lives will have read a little science fiction. It is truly a genre that has blazed a path into the possibilities of the future. Someday in the future there just might be matter transportation. In that case, “Beam me up Scotty.”
Today I must confess, price inflation smacked me in the face. Not literally, but it might as well of. Call me old-fashioned, but there are some products that you would not think would go up in price. At least not a 100% increase. This has more to do with the return of value that the product offers in comparison to the new price. Sometimes the price is just too much.
The product that I am referring to is Little Debbie’s line of granola bars. Actually, the product is labeled under the Sunbelt brand. But both products, Little Debbie and Sunbelt are McKee Foods brands. For the purpose of this post I am going to refer to the granola bar as a Little Debbie product.
Anyway, the granola bar that I am referring to was very recently priced at .25 cents a bar. Now this product is priced at .50 cents a bar. That is a 100% increase folks.
A Little Debbie granola bar only weighs 28 grams. The damn bars are tiny. If have you ever been in a convenience store and actually picked a bar up, you would see what I mean. And now these granola bars cost .50 cents apiece.
My reaction when I went to pick up eight bars at the convenience store the other day was something like, “Really; you have got to be friggin kidding me.” There is simply no way in hell that a Little Debbie granola bar is worth .50 cents. But alas, that is now the current price.
I kind of look at the new price increase of these granola bars as a kind of, “line in the sand moment.” No one is forcing me to buy the granola bar and as a consumer, I simply will choose to purchase something else, or not buy anything at all. But, at what point in the future will there simply be no choice at all?
I hope everyone is doing great today. Today we are going to take a look at small towns across the country and see how the are dealing with the present day life in America. All of the stories that found today were located in the Midwest or the Northeast.
Today’s Show Notes:
- Local hardware making a comeback?
- Ouch; lots of debt for a town of only two hundred seventy-seven to pay for it.
- Fracking ban upheld by a local judge.
- Is fracking causing earthquakes?
- Did the Obama administration kill the Keystone Pipeline Project because of a possible earthquake caused by fracking.
- Wired news in your home town.
And problems in my home town with new conference center that was just opened. Well it is now closed until further notice due to conflicting engendering reports. Conference center cost 10 million dollars.
Update: unfortunately, I have still not attended a local town or county commissioners meeting. However, this weekend I intend to go through the recent meetings notes and see if I can find out anymore information about the closing the conference centers closing. This new center was supposed to be a huge economic plus for the town. I hope we do not end up like our fellow citizens in Schneider. Broke and on the hood for a lot of cash.
My trip to a local bookstore and my impressions.
- Will the small book store survive while the big box stores close their chains? Probably, at least for a while longer as they serve a specific niche books and convenience.
My Town-Gastoina, NC:
Conference Center Closed-Lots of money down the drain.
The Book Rack-Small franchise were I bought a couple of used books. Not a huge selection, but well organized. Nice management and very helpful. Worth checking out.
Crappy picture, sorry.
Warning: Expletive Language In Today Show-Yes, I Did Drop The F-Bomb
Today we are going to cover four topics. I am going to start the show off today with the, “Why we cannot forget segment”. This is the most important part of this show, as we can simply not forget what we have done as human beings and the potential of what we are capable of doing. I like to start the show off with this segment just to get it out of the way so that I can cover some topics that are not quite as dreary. Okay, on with show.
Today’s Show Notes:
Why We Can Not Forget Segment:
- Angel of Death Dies(February 7, 1979)-Dr. Josef Mengele
War is not the answer for dealing with Afghanistan:
- The last Soviet troops leave Kabal, Afgahanistan(February 5, 1989)
- Bosnian Pyramids
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-gets 10 Oscar Nominations(February 13, 2001)
- Why Ong Bak, starring Tony Jaa is the best martial arts film ever in my humble opinion.
- Angel of Death Dies(February 7, 1979)-Dr. Josef Mengele
- The last Soviet troops leave Kabal, Afgahanistan(February 5, 1989)
- Bosnian Pyramids
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-gets 10 Oscar Nominations(February 13, 2001)
Tech Notes/Side Note:
The web page over the next couple of months is going through some changes. I am going to try to do the work during the weekends late at night. I like the current theme, but I am way limited with what I can do with it. For right now though, I am going to be sticking with this theme for the next couple of months. The new theme that I am currently customizing will have more options and as the administrator that comes in handy. The newer theme should launch around mid-April to early May.
“The,” The History Channel website, http://www.history.com/ (accessed Feb 22, 2012).
Morning Ladies and Gents,
Okay folks, no reason to hide. It is not like we could anyway. If you have to go to work, or just get around, high gas prices looks like they are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Gas prices for Americans; well they suck. Keep in mind that this data is old, as there had not been an update over the last week. From Reuters dated Feb. 12, 2012.
The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose nearly 12 cents in the past three weeks to about $3.51, due in part to higher prices for North Sea crude oil, according to the nationwide Lundberg Survey.
Ouch. The full article is here. Hold your hats cause it gets better, errrr worse.
A war with Iran seems to be getting more likely everyday. If that happens exchange your hats for helmets. In the meantime Iran just sent a big F-You to Europe. Per Reuters again.
“Exporting crude to British and French companies has been stopped … we will sell our oil to new customers,” spokesman Alireza Nikzad was quoted as saying by the Ministry of Petroleum website.
According to the article the EU has already started to cut back consumption from Iranian imports in anticipation of future sanctions against Iran. The sanctions are aimed at persuading Iran to quit their nuclear power program. The rest of the article can be found here.
I don’t know what is going to happen between all the parties involved here. Looks like a lot of posturing for the time being and hopefully it says that way, as a war would be bad. Unfortunately, the markets are not taking kindly to this news. WTI(West Texas intermediate) prices are now at $105 a barrel and Brent prices are at $119. Here is a link, go check it out.
Think of all the exercise that is waiting for us. Hello smaller waist line.
Today I am going to cover what I have accumulated so far for this month. I went from having virtually nothing in my kitchen cabinets to actually having some food tucked away. Additionally, I am going to talk about a post from earlier this week in regards to nickels going the way of the dodo and why I am stocking up and you should too.
- Rolling over food that you did not eat during the week into your lager. I say 50% of the food that I have in storage now is from food that I did not eat during the week, especially beans.
- Going to the bank and asking for nickels, my experience.
- Putting just a little bit of cash away every week.
- An article from a website describing possible energy scenarios for the future.
- VP Biden charges us rent. Thanks Joe. NOT!
- My take on global warming/climate change.
Links for today’s show:
Basic Prep for this week(excluding rice-I did not eat the rice from last week so I just rolled it over into my lager. I only add prices to food that I specifically bought for prepping).
- 1 11oz can of beans = .44 cents
- 1 16oz jar peanut butter = 2.18 dollars
- 1 12-pack of Ramen Noodles = 1.10 dollars(I exchanged out the 6 packs from last week for 1 complete box. So, in reality I only added 6 bags of noodles this week, that is why the price is at 1.10 instead of 2.20 for the entire box. From now on I will just by them by the case to keep things simple).
- 2 cans of tuna = 1.28 dollars
- Total for today = $5.00 before taxes
Bug Out Bag prep for this week.
- 1 Toothbrush = 3.00
- 1 container toothpaste = .94 cents(got a screaming deal on this-2 for 1 sale)
- toothbrush container = 1 dollar
- cue tips w/ container-no price for the cue tips as I have had the container for years and I just grabbed some tips from the bathroom and placed in the container.
- Total for today = $4.94 before taxes
Total invested for today = $9.94
Total Food Prep For This Month:
- Keep in mind some of the food added here was rolled over to the lager because I did not eat it during the week. Also I had a little food start with(2 bags of noodles, 2 cans of tuna). As you can see I do not eat that many beans during the week, lol. Four cans were added specifically to the basic prep and the rest are just rollover items.
Total expenditures for month:
- Basic Prep = $16.29 before taxes
- Bug Out Bag = $15.43 before taxes
Total for the year: $31.72
Tim Thomas is a hockey goalie for the Boston Bruins. Last year the Bruins won the Stanley Cup and Tim Thomas was an instrumental part of the Bruins’ success. Now a modern-day custom, professional sports teams travel to the White House and visit the president after winning a championship. Mr. Thomas decided not to accompany his fellow teammates this year to the White House. Mr. Thomas released a statement describing why he did not take part in this years celebratory event.
I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People
This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.
Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.
I came across this statement a couple of weeks ago through Zero Hedge. Mr. Thomas sir, I commend you for your courage to make a stand. I have been inspired by Tim’s leadership and decided to write using his statement as a springboard for my thoughts.
There are a couple of keywords in this statement that I am going to expand on. The first word is choice. As humans we make choices everyday. Those choices define who we are as individuals. Having the ability to choose is the ultimate expression of freedom. As our choices become limited, that freedom is restricted in turn.
Okay, the last paragraph seems like a commonsense statement. Of course anytime an individual’s ability to choose is restricted, than that person’s freedom is diminished as well. That leads me to ask a question. Why have Americans chosen to relinquish our ability to make decisions for ourselves?
The answer is simple. The citizens of this country have chosen to surrender our individuality for the comfort of complacency. We have accepted societal norms as the definition of what our culture wants us to be. Any deviation from normality is usually considered an abomination.
Stories of people wanting to drink unpasteurized milk are usually viewed with disdain. The majority applaud the decisions of bureaucrats who raid farms that offer such a product to the populace. As long as we are allowed to make decisions that are accepted by society as normal, we do not care. For instance, choosing what types of clothes we like to wear.
The walls of complacency that we build around ourselves seemingly protects us from the reality of truth. The warm glow of our televisions comforts us and our favorite celebrities entertain us. Our lives continue to be pleasant, even as our walls that we so ardently love slowly diminish. Gradually, our choices as individuals are slowly taken away from us until the simplest of decisions are made for us. Like what we can and cannot wear. And at that point my friends, it is too late.
The second keyword from Tim’s statement is vision. American society has decided to place mental blinders around ourselves and pretend that the reality of life does not affect us. As a consequence, we have decided to allow a few to guide our lives instead of trusting ourselves to choice the correct path to take. Since we abandoned our vision, the communities, families, and the individuality of our souls have been neglected. Instead, our society has pursed a false vision constructed by our elected officials and implement by a legion of bureaucrats.
My friends, are we not capable of basic comprehension? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no. Each year legislators pass new laws that inhibit an individual’s right to choose. By allowing this travesty to continue the subjection of our society has been taking place in earnest as we have voluntary darken the vision of what this country could have been. As usual, parts of our society complain. At least those that actually pay attention.
All is not lost as we still have time to peacefully correct the errors of our ways. Mr. Thomas has shown exemplary courage by making a stand against tyranny. However, Tim Thomas is not the only leader amongst us. We are all leaders and that is because we have not completely relinquished our ability to make a choice.
But, to be true leaders one must accept the concept of individuality. That means coming to grips with the person that stares back at us in the mirror everyday. We might not like the person that we see in the mirror, but that is who we are. It is where our soul resides. The consciousness of the individual.
There is a reason why the U.S. is the strongest country in the world. It is not the principles of freedom that this country is founded on. Nor is it our propensity for capitalism where commerce is encouraged as a means for prosperity. Both of these ideals are most assuredly important building blocks for the foundation of America and both ideals helped to make this country unique like no other nation on Earth.
But, that foundation had to be protected. Foes from abroad could not be allowed to land on our shorelines and endanger our freedom. American exports to far away nations needed to be safeguarded so that we could expand economically. One force has fulfilled the before mentioned tasks and that force is the U.S. Navy.
Currently the U.S has the strongest navy in the world. As a result, no foreign power can match us on the open seas. And that my friends is why the Suez Canal is so important.
On this date in 1867 the first ship passed through the Suez Canal. Strategically, the Suez Canal is probably one the most important pieces of land in the world. The canal connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Constructed between the continents of Africa and Asia through the Sinai peninsula, the waterway allows shipping to pass through without circumnavigating around the southern tip of Africa.
Without the Suez Canal, ships would have to waste a significant amount of time sailing around Africa. Precious time lost while traveling through dangerous waters. More ocean that a nation’s navy has to patrol to ensure commerce is protected. More resources needed that could be used elsewhere.
The Suez Canal has been instrumental to the success of the United States. The canal has allowed our navy to be far more efficient with performing its duties. Without the Suez Canal, our growth as a nation would not be as great and our nation would have not of become a bastion for freedom.
Until Next Time,
Several weeks ago I heard a recorded interview between James Rawles of Survival Blog and George Noory at Coast to Coast AM. The entire interview centered around survival and preparedness as those two topics are what Rawles covers extensively. As the interview progressed, the conversation shifted to saving common day nickels as an investment.
Rawles points out that nickels are composed of nickel and copper. Nickles are currently composed of 75% nickel and 25% copper. Both of these materials combined are currently expensive in comparison to past prices. Smelting the material and turning it into coinage means that the face value of the nickel is less than the actually material residing in the coin.
As a suggestion, Rawles states that anytime a person goes to the bank, that person should exchange a $20 bill for $20 dollars worth of nickels. Rawles feels that this is the best investment that he can think of. One of the few exchanges today were a dollar can purchase an item at face value, but that item is actually worth more than the dollar. As a harbinger to future events, Rawles warns it will not be much longer before the U.S. Government acts to change this dilemma.
Apparently the future has arrived. I found two articles yesterday describing the possible demise of the nickel. Not surprisingly, one of the articles is through a link at Rawles’s Survival Blog. The other link is at Mish Shedlock’s blog.
The first article is written by Joe Weisenthal at the Business Insider, titled: OBAMA: Let’s Save Money By Making Coins With Cheaper Metals. Here is an excerpt from the article.
The Mint’s primary cost driver is the price of metal, a factor over which it has no control. Daily spot prices of copper and zinc, the Mint’s two main metallic materials, have fluctuated in excess of 400 percent, and the price of nickel by 500 percent over the past 10 years.1 This contributes to volatile and negative margins on both the penny and nickel: recently, the penny has cost approximately 2.4 cents, and the nickel approximately 11.2 cents to produce.2
I have placed the citation for this paragraph at the bottom of this post, as Mr. Weisenthal cited other sources to help form the previous paragraph.
To be honest, I am most definitely going to start collecting nickels. I remember as a child how I always looked for junk silver coins that might have been still in circulation. I also remember being informed at the time that silver was almost worthless and not to waste my time. Well today silver is over $33 dollars an ounce. I do not want to miss out again. Especially when prices are so favorable.
Citations from Mr. Weisenthal’s post.