Archive for November, 2008

Why I Prep

by on Nov.18, 2008, under Home

This is a response to Ekim’s question of Why We Prep over on UtahPreppers.com.

Why am I what my in-laws call “A fanatic”?  Actually, I see it as the more normal station in life.  I grew up in a family of humble means.  My mom brought with her a family legacy from pioneer times, and depression era struggle.  She had grown up in a family that knew how hard life in a depression was.  My dad was the consummate woodsman, nothing could keep him out of the wilderness, or from figuring out how to do anything himself.  With this combination, my siblings and I were brought up “the old fashioned” way.  We had clothes that our mom had made, we ate food that was part of the rotation of our storage, we fixed things that broke, we grew and raised quite a bit of our food.

I meet people nowadays that can only see these activities as quaint, something not done anymore.  And can you fault them? Who really does that at all?  My family is far from fully realizing all of the things my parents managed to have us do.  Why would we after all, I make a much higher salary than my parents did, we have a world of products at hand that were barely dreamed of just those few years ago.

And yet for the last several years I’ve felt the need to somehow bring my life back into line with many of the values my parents gave me by their example.  And never has that need been so apparent as it has in the last couple of years.

Food storage has been a prime example of what I’ve needed in my life.  Several times my wife and I have striven to hold some food reserves in our home for whatever the need may be.  Several times we’ve had to rely on that food, which always seemed to be just enough to get us through whatever tight spot we were in.  Layoffs to “tough times” seemed to always happen, bringing our reserves back to nil, but thankfully keeping us from getting into any serious trouble.  Looking forward, with the tough economy, it’s nice to know that I have some food planned out that will sustain my family in any times of need, as well as enough to provide a buffer around food inflation, given a 16.3% annualized inlation cost this year alone (and a one-month amount that hit 72% on some items.  Layoffs are my worst experience in needing to use this reserve, but what about any kind of disaster situation?  I have family members that comment that nobody in the USA will *ever* need any kind of long term food reserve, that it’s unecessary in our world today.  Yet people like this cannot see the disasters that have happened for the warnings they were.  My faith has long taught of the importance in a food reserve, and I fully believe in the divinity of that council.

But simply having some cans of food is not all that is necessary.  Knowledge is the most important thing.  With food, what good is a sack of wheat without knowing all of the options it provides for feeding your family?  You must be aware *ahead* of time how to use any food, tools, gadgets or whatever you have put in place.

I am glad that I am at least familiar with the things I think my family might need in the worst of cases, to the best.  From some sci-fi end of the world situation, to just being strapped for cash because of a medical emergency.  And while I take comfort in what I know, I am smart enough to realize that I have only started, and there is a world of information that I must learn to apply.  As my parents taught me, I must teach my kids, by given them a lifestyle that is sustainable, and teachable.  At worst, my kids become adults that are well rounded individuals.  At truly worst, they are alive, and able to take care of themselves.

Sure, I’m odd, but people think that about me even if they don’t know I’m a “Prepper” (not, not a preppie 🙂 ).  Yes, I can be as fanatical about a bullet caliber as I can about a programming language.  I may discuss gardening tips vs SQL tips.  I like to be who I am, and I try to have that person be ready for *whatever* may come.

Hope for the best, Prepare for the worst.

Oh, and check out Utah Preppers for upcoming information on how you to can begin to get ready for anything.

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RIP Phoenix

by on Nov.10, 2008, under Geeky

It lasted far beyond when expected, but it’s finally kicked the bucket.  RIP Phoenix Lander you taught us much.

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seq on osx

by on Nov.04, 2008, under Geeky

I was trying to mirror down a set of zip’s (CD3WD a pretty amazing resource) and I didnt’ want to just mirror, because of other data.  So I was trying to do a simple loop, but was thinking too Perlish and trying to sprintf somehow the numerical formatting (files are cd3wd401 to 444, so needed the 0).  Perlhoser corrected my attempt, by pointing me to the seq command, with the -w flag, which pads the width to the largest amount, with leading zeros, perfect.

Until I tried to run it on my mac, which had the drive I wanted it on, instead of a linux box.  Seq wasn’t installed, and I couldnt’ find it with macports.  However I did find via google that the ‘coreutils’ port has a ‘gseq’ tool. Drop in replacement for my script.

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Finished Spider

by on Nov.02, 2008, under Home

A shot of how I finished up the spider for halloween:

I wound up spending my time up on the roof, basically inside the spider.  I could control the legs and have the spider shake, or lurch out at people (though not far, enough to freak people out).

Next year I hope to have more time to build it better.  Actually delivering the candy through one of the pipe legs would work well, having a speaker/megaphone or something would be nice, as I got rather hoarse by the end of the night from “hissing”.

The webs really added to the effect, I had a nice spolight on it, with a red bulb in the ‘mouth’ of the spider.

Several kids, and even a few parent refused to even approach the house.

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