Prepping Goes Mainstream, Or: Maybe We Weren’t So Crazy After All?

Now that the Ebola virus is garnering all types of media attention– it’s hard to separate the truth from the hype.

As it stands, only three people in America have contracted Ebola whereas something like 15,000 people die from influenza every year.

But could you imagine the amount of hype and sensationalism if Ebola killed 15,000 people?

Hang on to your hat, Skippy!

From The Daily Beast:

Apocalypse Now: Preppers Are Gearing Up for Ebola

It’s showtime for the Doomsday set. As the lethal virus crosses America’s doorstep, prep kits and gas masks are flying off shelves and fringe survivalists are going mainstream.

Read more, here:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/17/apocalypse-now-preppers-are-gearing-up-for-ebola.html

How to Butcher, Slaughter, Skin, Gut Your Meat Rabbits Humanely

Looks like an interesting product. This video shows how to humanely dispatch a rabbit for human consumption.

From one of the testimonials on their site:

I had a litter ready for slaughter this morning and finally got to try out the Wringer: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! The way my husband taught me to cull rabbits was to hit them over the back of the head with a hammer and then chop off their heads with a hatchet. I’d like to think I’m a strong woman but with all the missed hits and general pain and suffering I knew I was inflicting on my rabbits, I used to cry like a little baby when it came time to slaughter. But now I can do it all by myself and know that they truly feel no pain. One second they’re alive, next second they’re dead. And the processing station makes it so much easier to clean and dress the rabbits. It’s much more maneuverable than hooks in the hocks.

Thank you so much for inventing two wonderful products; you really are a god-send for me and my rabbits.

Crystal MacMillan

Turner Valley, Alberta”

A Few Of The Things On My List To Pick Up This Week, April 14th 2013

Here are few things on my list to pick up this week:

Nesco FD-80A Square-Shaped Dehydrator Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging – My plan is to primarily use this to make jerky, but will probably also use it for drying fruits and veggies since that tends to fly more toward my wife’s pallette.

Certified Organic Alfalfa Sprouting Seed- 2.5 Lbs – Handy Pantry Brand – High Sprout Germination- Gardening, Growing Salad Sprouts, Planting, Food Storage & More – My mother picked up a different package of alfalfa sprout seeds from Whole Foods that she never used, so she gave it to me that last time we visited.  It’s a small package though (nowhere near the 2.5 lb bag they’re selling on Amazon at the link above) and since I haven’t used it yet, I really have no idea how long it will last.  I found this bag (above) and figure that it would be a prudent investment.  Seeds will typically store for 4-5 years if stored in a cool dark place.

Sprouting Strainer Lid – I haven’t grown sprouts since I was a kid, but I’ve been reading about the incredible benefits of sprouts being a “super food.”   And since you can grow sprouts indoors in about 4-5 days, it seems like a perfect food for preppers, especially since we might find ourselves in a situation where getting vitamin C and E can be difficult– the ability to grow something edible quickly and easily is a major “plus” in my book.  And it’s a great supplement to stored grains.  At $6, it’s not going to break the bank but if I can find some cheap screen or cheese cloth at ChinaMart and then wrap it over a Mason jar with a rubber band… I might just go that route as it’s considerably cheaper.

Expatriation As A Survival Option?

Expatriation as a survival option?  Not at this time.  I’ve spent the past ten years looking and haven’t been able to find any place better than America.  That’s why I came back: For all it’s warts, it’s still the prettiest girl at the dance.

You can find countries that have individual things that are better than we have (better weather, friendlier women, less expensive restaurants) but when you factor everything in… America is still hard to beat. Plus, there’s so much stuff culturally that we take for granted. Once you get away from the inner cities in America, our culture is actually pretty strong.

For example: There was a pot hole in the sidewalk in front of my house and the neighbor’s house. Both the neighbor and I got together and said, “This needs to be fixed before somebody gets hurt. I called the city, but they told me it would take two weeks before somebody could come out and fix it. So, my neighbor and I fixed it ourselves, out of our own pocket. That’s culture. I just haven’t seen that type of thing living overseas (at least not in Latin America).

Another example: We were living in a high-end, wealthy area in Bogota, Colombia. But our condo was a house or two down from a cute commercial area: Bookstores, coffee places, sushi, etc… Guards/doormen standing around, delivery guys running around, cops, military, etc… And some low life stops and squats down on the sidewalk and takes a dump. WTF? Nobody says anything. Could you imagine that happening here? Maybe in some areas, but not typically.  If there were people standing around… especially cops… he’d get arrested.

American culture is something we frequently take for granted but it matters.  Most of the web sites hawking the benefits of expatriating are secretly run by real estate agents and land developers– so don’t be fooled by their descriptions of the high life on a budget: Nothing in life is free.

Imagine Seeing Your Bank Account Balance Reduced To Zero, Overnight!

As if the shenanigans in Cyprus weren’t enough to freak everybody out (“Deposits of €100,000 or less would be subject to a 6.75 percent levy, and any deposits greater than that could be taxed at a rate of 9.9 percent”) but now this:

“Millions of Chase Bank customers were affected by an unfortunately timed glitch which resulted in their checking and savings accounts showing a zero balance for several hours yesterday, prompting many to take to Twitter and express panic that their money had been stolen.”

Link: Chase Customers See Bank Balance Reduced to Zero

Yes… all in one week!

If that’s not enough to make you question whether digital assets are real or not… I don’t know what will.  As more of these kind of stories become common place, I can easily see physical assets (precious metals, real estate, collectibles, etc…) becoming more popular among investors.  I predict that after the next flash crash you’ll see a rush into such physical assets.  Might be wise to get ahead of the game, now… although that would require a tremendous amount of both courage and conviction at this point in time.

How To Make Your Own Super Pails

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Start with 5 gallon buckets.  They don’t have to be special buckets, just the typical five gallon buckets you might get at Home Depot or Lowes.  Some people like to use food grade buckets, but since we’re using mylar bags it’s not going to be an issue.

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Mylar bags

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Put mylar bags in buckets.

 

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Pour rice/wheat/whatever food you’re storing in mylar bags.

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Write contents and date on the side of bucket

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Put 2,000 CC oxygen absorbers into bucket

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Squeeze as much air from bag.  Then place board over bucket and put edge of mylar bag on board.  Then use a standard clothes iron to seal the edges together.  Edges will melt and stick together forming an airtight seal.

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Mylar bag after sealed.

 

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It can take 2-3 days before the bags seal up tight.  If there is still gas in the bags and you’re sure the oxygen absorbers worked and there is no puncture in the bags, the remaining gas may be nitrogen I’m told.

Not pictured: The final step of putting gamma lids on the tops of the buckets.

 

 

Powerful New Gun Rights Ad Invokes Jim Crow

As far as I can tell, Star Parker, a Black Conservative and media personality, either created this ad or is in some way associated with it.  I applaud her.  I’ve always been impressed with her eloquence and ability to argue against the Left on TV.  Unfortunately, a web search for “Never Again Project” doesn’t turn anything up.  I think the ad does a good job and hopefully will reach across the aisle with it’s message and convince some of the more open minded liberals (are there any left?) to reconsider their hopolophobia.  What do you think?

Here’s How To Insure Your Gold Coins (Hint: Don’t Use Your Home Owners Insurance Policy)

If you own a decent quantity of gold bullion, it’s a good idea to get it insured regardless of how safe you think you’ve stored it.  Even with a safe deposit box at your local bank– if you have enough of it, you’ll definitely want to insure it.

And if you really have a lot of gold, it would be prudent to split it up between two different safe deposit boxes.

Am I worried about the government confiscating gold? I don’t find it to be any more likely than the government confiscating anything else, and I think there’s a much higher probability that the government would take real property or just raise taxes before exposing it self to the hornets nest that confiscating private property– especially precious metals– would create.

Sure, it could happen again.  And a giant meteor could crash into Los Angeles causing a massive death cloud of dust that blocks out the sun.  But I’m not too worried about either of those scenarios, personally.

But if I had a lot of gold coins stuffed into a safe deposit box, I’d be worried– despite the low probability– of the gold being stolen.  Stranger things have happened.  Unfortunately, calling up the guy who sold you a home insurance policy is not going to get you what you’re looking for as their rates will typically run and insane 2-3% per year.

There was an excellent thread over on Craig Rowland’s Permanent Portfolio discussion forum on insuring gold with Hugh Woods.  I encourage you to read through the entire thread yourself (and check out Rowland and Lawson’s excellent book on the Permanent Portfolio as well as Harry Browne’s Fail Safe Investing if you’d like more information on the Permanent Portfolio approach to investing.  I use it myself and feel it is the best all-around investing approach to dealing with a Black Swan event while still beating inflation and matching the S&P!).  Here are a few select quotes from that thread:

Going through a speciality insurer (like Hugh Wood) seems to be the way to go. I should have known that my homeowners plan wasn’t going to cut it when I had to explain to my insurance agent how one values a non-numismatic gold coin! I’ll report back if I make progress.

I received my quote from Hugh Wood. They are quoting an annual premium of 0.31% of the total value of the bullion coin collection while in my safe deposit box, and a $250 deductible. I can change the value of the coverage as the price of gold fluctuates. Raising the deductible significantly did not improve the premium very much. Overall, it’s far better than getting a rider on my home insurance, and it was nice to have an agent that understood how bullion actually worked.

The coverage is offered through “XL Speciality Insurance Company.” I am told they have a very good reputation, and an “A” rating from Standard and Poor’s and A.M. Best. Though, I must admit that I have never heard of them. The price is what I was expecting, and it’s comparable to a typical expense ratio. Seems worth it to me for peace of mind.