Its getting to be downright cold in the mornings these days. I have to run the heat in the mornings, and the air conditioner in the afternoon. Montana has a very warped sense of humour when it comes to weather.
So, the Cold Weather Module goes back in my bag. Pulled the parkas out of storage and put them back in the closet. Next up is getting the kerosene heaters out of storage and making sure they’re ready for another season. The part of Montana I am in tends to be the warmest part, but it can still get cold sometimes. I think it was a year or two ago we had about two weeks of solid below zero weather. That can get to be just as annoying as weeks of 100+ degree weather.
Someday Im going to have a very thermally efficient house. Something with a foot of insulation and enough mass to hold temperature for days.
I’ve been playing with the new fuel cans I picked up and I am, so far, fairly pleased. All of them have spots of rust here and there but that’s mostly cosmetic. For giggles, Im going to try stripping one down, wire brushing it, degreasing it and then repainting it with some heavy duty Rustoleum or other such protective paint. My goal is to have about six of these things loaded up with long-term storage fuel. Unless, of course, I wind up getting a generator in which case I’ll need to keep a bit more onhand.
Saw Resident Evil: Extinction last week. First off, Milla Jovovich had a lot to make up for after the godawful ‘Ultraviolet’ that came out ayear or so ago. Zombie movies are fairly predictable and this one was no exception. I was more entertained by life-after-doomsday adaptations and behaviors by the survivors. An entertaining flick and I never get tired of watching Russian-born Milla running around sweaty and sexy.
The news seems to be nothing but dire commentary and predictions on the economy. Makes me glad that Im not carrying crushing amounts of debt, that I don’t have an adjustable rate mortgage, and that Im not in danger of losing my employment. (Although, to be fair, when you’re self employed you can become virtually unemployed if your sales drop to zero which is always a possibility.)
I remember reading somewhere that there are very few businesses that are recession-proof. I believe the list was food, medical, weapons, sex and fuel. As long as you were in one of those businesses you were pretty much guaranteed a customer base no matter what the situation. Im not sure I agree with it but certainly if you think of some of the most horrible hellholes on the planet right now, anyone in those businesses would still have customers.
I’ve been gradually adding to the stockpiles of food on the new shelving that was acquired a few weeks ago. When I’m grabbing a few groceries I’ll check the in-store sales flyers and see if theres anything on the list that fits into my (well, really ‘our’) needs. Bring it home, put it away on the selves, update the clipboard on the shelf and the spreadsheet on the computer, and then sleep well.
Discounting the ‘normal’ foods and sticking to just the MRE’s and freezedrieds, we’re looking at approx. 264 days of food on a 2-meal-/2000kal-a-day plan. Factor in things like stored rice, pasta and the normally rotated ‘everyday’ foodstuffs and we’re probably at the one year mark. Factor in inventory of unsold freezedrieds and its probably another three months. That’s a bit comforting.
It is, I think, worth pointing out that in addition to laying away foodstuffs theres also a large quantity of other items that get put away as well…toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning agents, soap, toothpaste, detergent, etc. These things aren’t necessarily put away against a time when they are unavailable, but rather because often a) it convenient to not have to worry about buying TP for a year at a time and b) when you buy in enormous bulk quantity you realize a pretty healthy savings. That savings, of course, helps offset the expense of other preparedness goodies. And when it comes to buying in bulk CostCo becomes a real nice place to spend your time.
If you bop around the various preparedness forums everyone goes on about pistol skills, knife fighting skills, etc. I think probably the most usefull skill anyone with an interest in being prepared could have would be ‘resource management’ or, for lack of a better term, ‘homemaking’. If you can draw up a buying list, draft a budget, stick to it, organize your purchases, rotate them as needed and show the discipline to bide your time for sales and closeouts then I think you’ll find that skillset seeing a lot more usage than your ability to shoot your Glock weakhanded. Not saying that gun thing isn’t necessary, just saying its probably going to be a lesser used skillset.