Admin – some recovery

Well, the database backup was a complete waste of time. But….what many of you don’t know is that I originally started blogging on LiveJournal (by the  by, thats how I met my wife.) Well, for quite a while I had a plugin for WordPress that would take whatever I posted here and copy it to LiveJournal. As it turns out, it’s a two-way street – I can import those posts back from LiveJournal. In effect, LJ was a backup.

Not perfect though. I lost April 2013 through now. But, that beats the crap outta losing everything. Formatting and images are going to be screwed but I can tinker with that since I managed to save most of the images elsewhere.

But…what really, really, really takes the black cloud from over my head is this: I can still point to these posts as my bona fides to being one of the oldest, if not the oldest, preparedness blogs on the internet. Eleven years.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have to go back the hell up outta this thing……

Article – Fake Silver Coins: 12 Ways to Spot Counterfeits

A friend of mine once told me that among the sage advice her mother gave her was this gem: “Always know your dealer”.

Our benevolent trading partners, the Chinese, have quite the industry selling fake silver and gold bullion. If you’re not careful you’ll wind up getting took. (Taken?) So, without further ado:

It is unfortunate that articles like this have to be written, but where there is money trading hands, there will always be fakes, frauds, and counterfeits.

If you have purchased some silver and can’t get rid of that little voice in your head that keeps saying what if they are fake silver coins …

Below are 12 ways on how to spot fake silver eagles, bars, and bullion. We’ve ranked them from the least to the most effective methods in detecting counterfeits. (Most of these tests can also be applied to gold as well).

Remember back when silver hit $~50/oz. a few years back? Thats when a lot of the fakes came into being….because it was worth the effort then. Being a somewhat durable good, those fakes are still out there. But its fake gold that will really land your wallet in the hospital. You just can’t take anything at face value anymore.

I buy my metals only form people I can trust. Usually, thats the Metals Pimp, or if I’m feeling obnoxious and like playing them against each other, the coin shop across the street from me. The Metals Pimp I trust in these matters unreservedly. The coin shop guys…well, if they sell me fakes I know where to find ‘em.

But…as I started this post with, Know. Your. Dealer.

One product that I’m going to have to invest in at some point is the Fisch. Fits in my pocket and should take the risk out of buying gold out of the back of someones car in the Safeway parking lot at 11pm. Interestingly, some folks are offering anti-counterfeit measures. The newer Silver Maples have some tiny detailed maple leaves on them  to make detecting fakes much easier…this is one reason I’ve shifted my silver purchasing to Maples. Sunshine has also added a security feature as well. The Sunshines require a ‘decoder’ to read the security feature, but you can usually find the decoder for about $15~ at most coin dealers. (Ok, yes, the Metals Pimp will sell you one of those as well.)

I’ve only seen one or two fakes, and I had to ask the guys in the coin shop to show them to me. Apparently they dont turn up all that often, but they do turn up. Where you really gotta watch yourself in regards to fake silver is when you get into 100 oz bars and that sort of thing. While there are bargains to be had on the internet, theres a lot of ways to get scammed too. eBay is notoriously full of fake silver auctions that use careful phrasing to sucker folks into thinking something is real silver and still not violate eBays seller rules.

Since I don’t have a heck of a lot of money to spend on gold, I buy mostly silver. At least if I get screwed on an ounce of metal it won’t hurt me as badly as if it were supposed to be an ounce of gold.

So…moral of the story: know your dealer!

 

Still working on it

Still working on it , guys. Be patient. One way or another, this is gonna be wrapped up over the next few days. The losses, though…..still working on that.

Not sure what exactly happened. As you guys know there was a problem with posting comments last week. In trying to get that straightened out I think I would up just making things worse and worse until finally there was nothing else to do but burn things to the ground and start over. I did make a database backup so there is the possibility that I didn’t lose 11 years worth of posts but I haven’t tried restoring it yet. Thats on tap for later tonight.

Expect things to still be flaky for the next couple days.

Now, in the spirit of “never let a crisis go to waste’. let me impart some advice to my fellow bloggers:

Do regular backups of content, images, styles, themes, and databases!

Kids, I can’t stress that enough. I didn’t do it and its gonna cost me big. Also, I’d like to mention that the open-source community at WordPress.org were totally unhelpful and of absolutely no use whatsoever. The Indian (thats Indian with a 7-11, not Indian with a feather) gal who was on Yahoo’s support line, however, was worth her weight in rupees. BUT…I blame Yahoo for this mess to start with so..zero-sum there.

As I said, still working on things, and that’ll be most of my weekend, but you may find things to be intermittent around here as I get things setup and try to recover from some salvaged files.

Food and edged instruments

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

:::carefully lights the candles and incense burner:::

:::consults the oracle [teh interwebtubes] and sees the signs look favorable:::

:::begins Gregorian chanting:::

OhBigBrownTruckOfHappinessArriveTodayyyyyyy……..

OhBigBrownTruckOfHappinessArriveTodayyyyyyy……..

OhBigBrownTruckOfHappinessArriveTodayyyyyyy……..

And…it works! What sort of goodies has pre-apocalypse consumer America deposited on my doorstep today? Well, lets take a look.

First up, a nice little collection of #2 cans of goodies from Augason Farms. Before I buy anything in a #10 can I try to get it in a smaller serving so I can see if it’s something I’m going to enjoy or did I just waste ten bucks on wallpaper paste? Sure, after the meteors hit and we’re living in Lucifers Hammer country, what with the murdering cannibal armies and all, we’ll be happy to eat wallpaper paste. But why if you don’t have to? Franklin said that hunger never met bad bread, but I’m sure hunger would prefer awesome bread if it had a choice. I’f I’m eating out of food storage I plan on eating more than just rice-n-beans (which I actually don’t like), or whole-wheat-everything. Man does not live on grains and legumes alone. Third World diets are for Third Worlders. I live in a country where I can make a world-class gourmet meal using nothing but a credit card and a cel phone…why wouldnt you take advantage of that? What did we get this time? Glad you asked:

  • Dehydrated Diced Red & Green Bell Peppers
  • Freeze Dried Banana Yogurt Bites
  • Freeze Dried Pineapple Chunks
  • Freeze Dried Sliced Strawberries
  • Freeze Dried Strawberry Yogurt Bites
  • Spiff-E-Whip Dessert Topping
  • Chicken Bouillon

Interesting choices, no? I’m sure the more drug-centric will make jokes about ‘Spiff-E-Whip’. Whatever. Ever go and do the MRE gourmet routine using the MRE components? There’s something about mixing the non-dairy creamer and the hot chocolate powder to make your own field-expedient chocolate mousse. I admire that kind of culinary creativity so I figured an instant ‘non-dairy desert topping’ would be a good base to mix with, say, orange drink powder or similar to achieve mousse-like results. Yes, the apocalypse is gong to feature shortbread with frosting…my end-of-the-world is not for diabetics and paleo freaks. After a long post-apocalyptic day of hanging quislings from lamposts, clearing roadblocks, and cheerfully relocating the contents of the local National Guard armory who wouldn’t want to relax with luxury food?

The fruits and ‘yogurt bites’ are mostly for grabbing a couple fistfuls, shoving them in a ziploc bag, and putting them in my cargo pockets for later consumption during those slow times as we repel looters and man checkpoints.

I’ll have some write-ups on these and some of the other Augason’s products down the line.

Next up, a box ‘o knives. The amazing irony was that I had nothing on me to cut open the box. :::facepalm::: I like the Glock knives for their utility, ruggedness and price but sometimes you need a big hunk of sharp steel for getting medieval on something that needs..uhm…medievaling. Anyway…another knife I rather like for sheer brutality is the Becker Knife and Tool (BKT) series of knives. With full-tang construction, 1/4″ thick blades, and somewhat-indestructible handles, these things have been moving up on my list. I have their ‘TacTool’ which is really just a sharpened prybar with a handle…and it looks like just the ticket for getting myself out of any situation where the things standing between me and safety are things like windows, doors, debris and the like. This trip I picked up:

What can I say? Knives are like guns…no one item does it all. I figure the BK7 is sort of a GP large fixed-blade knife…enough heft for chopping things, enough length for big tasks, amd if it had a bayonet attachment it’d be right at home on the end of my AR. But, for those quiet non-zombie-filled walks in the woods during fishing, hunting or geocaching trips something with a little less weight and bulk would be nice…hence the BK2 to try out. The little BK11 was just an impulse buy. I usually carry a Benchmade folder that was a gift from one of the LMI but an EDC little sheath knife might be nice to have. Cool part is if any of these wind up not really fitting my needs I can always give ‘em away as Christmas gifts or something.

Speaking of silver….

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

My metals-dealing buddy  stopped by the other day and handed me a silver Eagle. Not known for his boundless generosity, I inquired as to what I had done to deserve such a coin. He said that “one of your readers” contacted him to do some purchasing and said to send an Eagle in my direction. Of course, he won’t tell me who it was since that would violate the customer/metal-pimp confidentiality clause. So, whomever it was that put that Eagle in my pocket, mucho thanks! After the economy collapses and I use it to procure desperate coeds to work in the Lingerie Proving Grounds I will be reminded of your generosity.

Article – Panic in Greek pharmacies as hundreds of medicines run short

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

Greece is facing a serious shortage of medicines amid claims that pharmaceutical multinationals have halted shipments to the country because of the economic crisis and concerns that the drugs will be exported by middlemen because prices are higher in other European countries.

Hundreds of drugs are in short supply and the situation is getting worse, according to the Greek drug regulator. The government has drawn up a list of more than 50 pharmaceutical companies it accuses of halting or planning to halt supplies because of low prices in the country.

More than 200 medicinal products are affected, including treatments for arthritis, hepatitis C and hypertension, cholesterol-lowering agents, antipsychotics, antibiotics, anaesthetics and immunomodulators used to treat bowel disease.

Why would a drug company ship millions of dollars of product to a customer who apparently has no ability to pay?  Simple math…no one stays in business long when they give away the product instead of selling it.

The lesson here is that when an economy collapses (or comes close to it) those convenient modern miracles may not keep coming. Of course, anyone with hard currency (cough*gold*cough) shouldnt have any trouble getting their drugs since there’s always someone somewhere who can deliver for the right price.

Followup article – Allure of Mystery Helps Recluse’s Gold Net $3.5M

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

You guys remember this post: $7 Million In Gold Bars Found In Reclusive Man’s Home Month After He Died

Well, the followup is that a portion of it was sold for $3.5 million the other day. Here’s the article:

The tale of a mysterious Nevada recluse’s gold has reached a new chapter when a portion of the trove raked in more than $3.5 million at auction.

The allure of mystery pulled some bidders to the courtroom where the auction took place Tuesday. For others, it was the sheer value of a collection unknown to the public before Walter Samaszko Jr. was found dead in his modest ranch-style home last year.

Regardless of motivation, those who converged on the auction could sense the immense value of the treasure upon arriving.

Numerous guards were stationed at the entrance, more in the hallway outside the courtroom, and finally several with bulletproof vests and others with helmets inside the room holding the gold.

Five bidders diligently inspected the 11 lots of gold displayed in plastic sleeves, tubes and felt jewelry display boxes heavily guarded room before the bidding wars began.

As I said, the sad thing about this is that The State found this guy’s stash before someone more deserving did. The article goes on to mention that the gold had been purchased as far back as the ’60s…so someone basically bought a little gold on a fairly regular basis. Sounds like the subscription plan my buddy offers. I suppose the major takeaway from this story is that you should let *someone* know about your stuff so that if you die those fiscally responsible guardians of public interests at the state don’t get it.

Zombie wargaming epiphany

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

I’ve often said that preparedness fiction, and even zombie fiction, have some merit in our busy reading schedules because they may force us to think about circumstances or situations that we may not have otherwise thought about…and those situations may have more practical applications in ‘real world’ preparedness.

Lemme give you an example……

I’m walking back to the house from work today and I’m thinking, “Ok, zombie apocalypse. Ammo and guns are scarce. What can I do to find more?” And then I have a brilliant idea. Have the team members check the wallets of any zombies we kill and see if they have a concealed weapon permit. If they do, odds are good there might be more guns/ammo at that person’s address.

Started to pat myself on the back and then another thought occurred to me – if I lose my wallet with my permit in it, whatever goober finds my wallet will make the same assumption: theres lotsa guns and ammo at this address. Hmm..I dont need that kinda targetting.

So…I need to make sure my carry permit address isn’t my ‘real’ address. I should be able to have them use my business shop address or the PO box.

This PSA brought to you by an overactive imagination, a touch of paranoia and the letter Z.