Sunday, September 18, 2011

Patriots, practicing, and privacy

Army daughter and son-in-law have now read three chapters of Patriots.  They told me they found their first mistake in the book.  They are at the part where one person was shot and they were going to do a transfusion.  The room is set up and they get prepared by finding an artery.  Wrong.  You find a vein.  I was impressed with daughter and son-in-law.  Not because they know this but because they are thinking about what they are reading. 

Son-in-law commented on how much detail was provided.  I explained that not only is it a fictional story it is also a how-to manual.  I did tell them as they read further they will find some ridiculous things.  After all, don't we all have ultralight planes and 1,000 gallon fuel tanks hidden in the barn?  And enough money to pay cash for our house...I wish.

They made the comment that they couldn't imagine having a group of 20 close friends in college and not only would they sit around and make plans for an end of the world scenario but that they would actually follow through and purchase and prepare. 

I'm hoping that one of the things they do get out of the book is the need for practice along with the need to purchase.  It could be as simple and trying your hand at gardening, which all of us who garden know it isn't that simple.  Some years I get an over abundance of tomatoes with 10 plants and other years I don't get enough to put up when I have 50 plants.  Army daughter is to the point of wanting to put provisions away but still under the impression that nothing else needs to be done until such time when things are falling apart. 

We had our normal weekend chores to do.  It was boy's turn to clean the hall bathroom.  Four people use that bathroom.  I use mine - they all stay out of it.  Boy was about half way done with the bathroom and Army daughter came in and told him that he didn't have to finish cleaning it because she would.  So he started on his room.  Then Army daughter and son-in-law left to go to the gym.  She didn't clean the bathroom before she left so boy had to finish the job.  Had to teach the lesson that it was his job and his responsibility.  Even though someone else said they'd do it, he is the one responsible for it being done right.  He did a very good job too. 

When Army daughter and son-in-law came home they said they'd like to do one of the chores.  I told them which one.  Get rid of the goat's heads (a horrid weed) seed pods that are in the dirt of a front lawn.  They tried but couldn't figure out how to do it.  I offered a suggestion.  That way didn't work out well either.  Girl and I left for the evening so I don't know if they ever figured out a way to do the chore that I was asking for.  We'll see how creative they got. Or perhaps they just gave up.  I have more ideas on how to accomplish this task.  Since a rake didn't work maybe a broom will.  Or a blower, or a match!

Sometimes I come up with a list of chores and really have no idea how to accomplish some of them.  But in a SHTF situation you may be in the same situation.  You just have to figure it out.  Figure things out rapidly, without panic, but sensibly.  You have to be able to convey what you want to accomplish and perhaps even how to accomplish the task.  Other times you just convey what you want for a result and let others determine how to get that result. 

Last week while I was working I had this happen to me.  I got up in front of the group and said I know certain things are out there.  I don't know where.  I have nothing to tell you and nothing to show you.  But be aware because it's there just because I know it is and I will have more information for you tomorrow.  That gave me less than 24 hours to figure out what the problem was, solve the problem, and convey the information.  Last year there was a poisoning and I was told to figure out where additional sources of the poison may be.  This had nothing at all to do with my job.  In fact, the person who ordered me to do this didn't ask his own employees.  Instead he tracked me down to take care of the problem.  I had no expertise on this topic but somehow figured out how to find the answer he needed.  It took a lot of phone calls and emails and promising people that they would get paid for the day since that was on a holiday!  Within 24 hours he got his answer.

I've now been approached twice about being interviewed about emergency preparedness.  One for an internet radio show and another for the local tv.  I sent an email back to the radio show asking some questions, including do they have a basic set of questions they could give me in advance.  I haven't heard back.  For the tv news I said no but suggested one of the local surplus stores, GI Jims.  The reporter wanted to know if they could interview me if they promised to keep both me and my location anonymous.  I don't know.  Do they want to see my storage stuff and yard?  Or just want to talk?  I've given out quite a lot of personal information but not where I live (ok, the Great Central Valley), my name, what I do for a living (work, hike, play with maps).  Yes we live on five acres, have chickens and other animals to eat, a lot of fruit trees and a garden, and a well.  How much information is too much?  How much desire for privacy is paranoia?  Going back to Mr. Rawles, he refuses to state what state he lives in.  His property is under a corporation and not his name so he can't be traced.  He uses only cash and has a go between for mail delivery.  Me?  Our phone number is listed.  You can find the address and phone number on the internet.  I have a facebook page and am friends with 100+ relatives and friends.  I don't put much on mine but it's good to see what other family members are doing.  The grandkids go to public school.  The lifestyle we live and the practicing that we all do is just our normal way of living.  The grandkids don't know that it's called survivalist or prepping.  To them we have a lot of supplies because I don't like to go shopping.  The tasks they do are just because we live in the country.  They don't know any different and I'll just keep it that way. 


  1. not "no", but "Heck no" to the TV interview. You simply can't trust them, or how things will be edited together. The next thing you know the SWAT team will show up to confiscate you weapons and HHS will show up to confiscate the grand kids.

  2. I agree with you Matt on the TV interview. I try to avoid the media, even at work. I once got interviewed on ABC and left my dark sunglasses on. I got repremanded. I suppose they'll pick someone else to be interviewed next time! Work also wanted a little personal bio on the work website. I said absolutely not. Everyone else can, mine won't have a personal bio link.

    It always makes me wonder when I watch survival shows where families show what they have, how it's stored, where they live, etc. Why would someone put their lives on display like that? I don't want to be paranoid about my privacy but I certainly am not after my 10 minutes of fame.