Friday, September 3, 2010

Trash and Weapons and I don’t know why these two are on my mind at the same time

I fired the trash service.  In town you are required to have trash service.  They charge about $20 a month and each week you have one 90 gallon can for recyclable trash and a 60 gallon can for other trash.  I don't live in town so I don't have to have trash pickup.  For the privilege of the trash being picked up from my place it costs $50 a month.  We do get one 90 gallon can for trash and one 90 gallon can for green waste.  We don't have green waste.  That's called food for the animals, compost for the garden, or wood for the wood stove!  It takes me a month or two or three to fill up a 90 gallon trash can.  We just don't make that much trash.  I asked the trash company if I could get a once a month pick up for a cheaper price.  They said no.  So I said I don't want your service. 

We do generate trash but like I said, in town you are required to have trash service.  A family member has trash service in town and always has space for our little bag of trash.  Why am I writing this?  It certainly isn't to brag about not having to pay $50 a month.  It's because in a not so perfect world there may not be trash service.  I know the trash companies have gone on strike in some of the big cities although it hasn't happened in this part of California. 

Once or twice a year the local city holds a big junk pick up day.  All the residences have to do is stick big stuff in the street and it all gets picked up.  Couches, construction materials, yard furniture, tree branches, appliances, whatever.  It's interesting because you can put stuff out and the scavengers come and pick it up before the city does.  This service is part of the property taxes charged in the city.  There's nothing like that where I live.  On the other hand, I don't generate junk that needs to be gotten rid of.  Most everything can be reused, and is saved for another time. 

We have a policy around here.  We don't buy junk that will break and get thrown out in a couple of days.  There's nothing more irritating to me than people bringing their kids to the dollar stores to buy things.  Most of the stuff is junk and breaks in a day.  But since they only spent a dollar they don't care.  I have images of the freighters crossing the ocean to bring us two cent plastic junky toys that are sold for a dollar.   What a waste. 

Many years ago garbology was a hot topic.  What did you say you threw away compared to what you actually threw away?  What do you throw away?  We have a 3 gallon trash can in the kitchen.  It takes anywhere from a day to a week to fill it.  Realistically, I can fill a 13 gallon trash bag each week.  That's for a family of 3, 4, 5, or however many show up.  How many rolls of paper towels do you use each week?  I do use them.  About 2 or 3 rolls per year, from Costco with 90 sheets per roll.  On the other hand, if the world changed, I may use them more rather than having to wash rags.  What about the rest of the junk you throw away?  What can be reused, given away, recycled for money, or ?  

The kids generate a lot of trash but it is all paper that can be reused for some other purpose.  They bring home a mountain of papers from school.  They take any scrap papers they can find around the house and fold them, cut them up, tape them, staple them, and do anything and everything they can think of.  Lately, I've been shredding paper and putting it around the trees as a mulch just to do something with it.  On a side note, I do have lots of tape, staples, etc. stocked up so they can do this "creative" activity.  If needed, I could curtail the paper use if a situation happened where we'd need to conserve.  But, I do have a case of computer paper.  5000 sheets should last them a while.

What if trash service ended tomorrow?  I could burn combustibles although in this area they discourage burning due to air quality issues.  If trash service ended, I don't think I'd be worrying about air quality issues.  There is a hole in the ground in the back of my property that was used as a trash dump many years ago.  All that's left is burned out cans and bottles.  If needed, I'd start using that trash dump again.  It is far enough from the house and any water source because even the cleanest of dumps have critters and can leach things.  How overrun with trash would your home and property be if your trash service stopped?  Test yourself.  Reduce, reuse, recycle.  No, I'm not an environmental wacko, just trying to be self sufficient, self sustaining, and safe.

Since this is our site about how we as a California family are in the process of becoming able to survive anything I suppose there needs to come a time where I speak about weapons and other forms of self protection.  I pray that society stays healthy and instead of becoming a "survivalist" or "prepper" I'm just preparing our family to just live a better, safer life. 

We woke up each day this week to the sound of gun fire.  I guess we would be panicking if we lived in town.  No big deal here though, it's dove hunting season.  I own guns although not very many compared to most people I know.  Some of my friends own dozens, others hundreds.  I can not rattle off information about guns like my friends do.  I can rattle off information about gardening, children, medical care, animals, construction, and other things.  Not guns.  I know how to take mine apart and put them back together.  I know how to use them.  I can hit my target, usually.  I know what size weapon to use for different scenarios.  If you want to talk only weapons go somewhere else.  This is California after all and we aren't allowed to have the good stuff.  I will not keep any weapons that have been deemed illegal.  I'm trying to teach the kids honesty and integrity.  I also teach them that I don't agree with all the laws.  It's my choice to obey the law or not, but if I don't then I have to realize that I will pay the consequence if caught.  At this point in time I have too many other responsibilities to pay the consequences of choosing not to obey the weapons laws.  There are enough types of guns that I can own for protection and pleasure without having to skirt laws.

I think I may pick up another handgun.  Also I may get a rifle or two for the kids.  They should have their own as far as I'm concerned.  I probably need more weapons in order to provide for others that I will allow to stay here.  The drawback is the ammunition, not the weapons.

Each week I purchase ammunition.  I don't know how many rounds I have, not that it's anyone's business.  I just know it isn't enough.  I mainly use the .22 because I shoot squirrels, rabbits, and whatever creatures try to invade my garden.  The kids also make paper targets (see I knew their paper activities were of some use!) and I shoot at those.  It's so cheap to shoot this gun that I don't even think about the cost. 

On the other hand, the other ammunition is expensive.  It's hard to practice a lot at those prices.  I do have dummy rounds and can practice stance.  It's not the same as real ammunition. 

The last time I used one of the handguns was to kill a possum.  I really should get more practice on it.  I will soon, as it will be a requirement for my upcoming concealed weapons permit.  You see, in my county, the sheriff encourages CCPs.  Amazing for California! 

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