Saturday, August 28, 2010

Balance is the governer of the world

I thought that I would share something with you that falls in line with all of my ramblings about reoccurring patterns and learning to pay attention to them. 

Well my last post was about killing those damb pesky rodents that are invading my home.  While out this afternoon I was chopping wood in my front yard to prepare for the coming winter.  My wife said that she had seen a snake and I ran over there to discover what looked like a rattlesnake.  It even moved like a rattle snake.  I grabbed a rake pinned its head down and cut the head off of it.  When it was dead I realized that this snake didn't have a rattle but it sure looked like one.  As it turns out is was a Pacific gopher snake.  It was one of my best allies in my war against the rodents and I killed it.  So for the two mice that I killed last night now I have saved at least that many more.  It is a strange world that we live in when it can balance itself out so perfectly every time. 

I just thought that I would share that with you.

Build a better mousetrap

It is once again the time of year that the rodents come out of the forest and invade my home.  For years I have invested in glue traps and various other contraptions.  Poisons are not an option as I have five children three dogs and a cat.  Poisons also have a bad habit of leaving dead rodents in the walls which stink and attract other critters. The only reason that I have the cat is to help with the mice but I think that my wife keeps her to well fed to bother with chasing rodents.  Now the other day I found mouse scat in my pantry, and this is unacceptable.  So I figured that it is time to build a better mouse trap.  So rather than run to the hardware store and ask for the latest and greatest in rodent traps or "YIKES" pay an exterminator I did my homework.  What I found was a simple device that seemed to me to be flawless.  So I built one.

The materials are a tin can, 5gal bucket, water, bleach, some kind of dowel,  a little peanut butter, and a couple of sticks.

Drill a hole in each side of the bucket near the top.  Then cut the top and bottom out of the can and insert the dowel through the bucket and the can.  The can should be suspended on the center of the dowel.  Spread a row of peanut butter around the center of the can and put the sticks up on the ends as an access ramp.  Put a few inches of water in the bucket and a little bleach to keep the smell down.

It doesn't hurt to put a little peanut butter on the ramps to draw the rodents in.  They move up the ramps and out on the can.  They will start licking the peanut and when they get out a little off center the can turns and dumps them into the the bleach water.

Some may not approve of this method and to them I say tufshit.  I am protecting my investment and securing a better future for my family.  I cannot have a rodent infestation nor can I have my dry goods decimated by the little pests.  This may not be the type of information that you would think of when you think of survival but you must protect the investment or why even bother to do the work.  I hope that this helps you all out a little.  I built it before bed last night and found two dead mice in the morning.  That is the most efficient trap that I have ever used.  My brother just pointed out that one advantage is you never have to reset it, just add bait occasionally and scoop out the rodents and toss them in the trash.

I used a square bucket and a piece of copper pipe but whatever you can find should work out just fine.

Here are the little swimmers in all their glory, good riddens!
"Tell your buddies to stay the hell out of my pantry."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Winning hearts and minds for barter and trade

In the world of personal relations there are a few simple truths that I though that I would let you in on.  For starters remember this; people naturally think that everybody else is like them.  That means a kind hearted person thinks that everyone else is deep down kind hearted as well.  The thief and the liar will think that everyone else is like them also.  So far starters put aside who you are, and  figure out who you are dealing with, it may not be the person that you think it is. 

Once you have decided that this person is someone that you may want to continue to associate with either personally or professionally you can proceed to the next step.  If this is a person that you do not fully trust but must do business with anyhow then you can get that done also using the next few tips.

To gain the trust of most people remember that they will initially think that you are like them.  Use this natural tendency to your advantage.  If they create distance and keep their hands in their pockets when talking with you do the same.  If they are the kind of people that are a little too close for comfort then you must resist the urge to create space.  If they are the type to touch your shoulder or arm during conversation then you must do the same.  If they are the type that talks a lot with their hands, try to do the same.  Take caution not to mimic their exact actions but to be that type of person.  It takes practice to do this and it can even be pulled off in small groups but do not attempt that until you can use this skill on a one to one basis.  They key is learning how to remain emotionally detached and pay attention to the person that you are dealing with.  If you can initially get them taking about themselves you will get a good opportunity to observe them.  People enjoy talking about their own accomplishments, if they do not give up the information willingly do not press it or they will be put off.

What this does is create familiarity with the person and they are quicker to let their guard down and feel comfortable with you.  This allows you to manipulate your interaction to you advantage.  This is not hypnosis and they will not hand over their wallet, it is not for scams.  It is a communication technique that allows you to connect to people on their level and build a better relationship for mutual gain.

Pay attention to the type of verbiage that they use in conversation and attempt to use the same types when speaking to them.  This is really tricky when talking to groups because you have to be able to direct your conversations at the individuals without making the others feel left out.  It takes alot of practice but it will help to make you a person that people enjoy dealing with and will become a very useful tool when the time comes to barter goods and services instead of trading useless currency like we do now.

The ability to barter for goods will be a  very useful skill and while you may get away with the occasional scam the word will get around quickly that you are not to be trusted.  The better way to approach a barter situation is be willing to give up some ground and the barter should be mutually beneficial.  No one wants to walk away from a trade feeling that they have just been taken for a ride.  Remember this,  because every bridge that you burn will not be available for use in the future and if you burn all the bridges you are left alone to fend for yourself.  Now is the time to develop these skills before you have to rely on them for your own survival.    

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Do it yourself for independence

One tenant of Survivology 101 is doing things yourself as much as possible then using those lessons to enhance other disciplines until it all comes together in a blanket of know how.   I am a machinist by civilian trade and I have a hobby machine shop in my garage.  This allows me to stay current in machine technologies as well as perform basic maintenance around the house.  Having that ability comes with a general knowledge of metals and their properties.  This can be used to gravitate into forging or casting replacement parts and then finishing them in the machine shop.  My artistic abilities as a tattooist, airbrush artist, sculpter and carving ability allow me to conceive and carve the blanks for casting.  Along with being a machinist there is a fair amount of mechanical ability that accompanies it.  This provides me the opportunity to trouble shoot problems and determine the faulty part in the first place.  Perhaps all this will come together and I may find a better way to make the part to limit wear and future breakage.  All of these seemingly unrelated skills combine in a package that allows me to step away from the normal support systems and provide for myself. 

The ability to do these few things provides one with a confidence to overcome problems and I will always attempt to fix things before I would even consider hiring a "professional".  Even in areas that I know very little about, I can usually make due because other skills bridge the gap and give me some room to figure it out.

I am not putting out a resume here I am just trying to make a point.  What we do for ourselves has a much greater value than just the money saved or the resource recovered.  It has a value in that there are always lessons learned that will relate to other things in our lives.  As an added bonus, in these times we can usually avoid the critical mistakes by researching our projects on the Internet. You must be cautious when doing this because I have made many a things work because I didn't know the rules and therefore had no preset boundaries in doing so.  Many great things have come from the imagination and ingenuity against the odds and against the rules according to the "experts".  So go forth and do great things and if you mess them up at least there was a lesson to be learned if you stop occasionally and reflect back on the experience.

I have included a couple of resources in the side bar to help you get a leg up on some future projects.
The web sites "Instructables" and "WonderHowTo"  are great resources from everything from crafting your own solar dehydrator to making a para cord bracelet.  Anything that you create will enhance your survivability in uncertain times.  You just might need an off the wall skill to get through a sticky situation.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Suspending disbelief.

For many people it is very frustrating to watch movies and TV shows about topics which you have intimate knowledge.  For me, when I watch survival shows or military themed movies I spend most of the time shooting them down.  At least that used to be the case!  I have discovered the secret to enjoying media entertainment. 

When you sit down to watch a program what you may not know is that there is a contract that you are entering into.  The contract is one sided and the responsibility lies entirely with the viewer.  Your role in this contract is to suspend your disbelief.  If you can put aside the deeper knowledge of the subject matter and effectively suspend your disbelief in the dialog, contents, methods, and story of the program it will become enjoyable.  Evidence of this is the popularity of the prime time cartoons and especially SciFi programming.  Horror films can accomplish the same if the production company does not try to be to serious.  When the entire premise of the program is absurd from the start it is easy to suspend disbelief.  The simple act of sitting down to watch this is a willingness to put logic aside.

The other side of the coin would be a serious film about a topic which you know well.  Do not enter into that contract expecting to gain new information on the topic.  If you do, you will almost always walk out disappointed.  In my case I would rather watch a bad show about survival than a good one about a boring topic.  I realize that it is a form of entertainment not a resource for education.

How the hell does this relate to survival?  Well, referring back to my earlier posts on patterns. If you observe the sort of ques that let you know it is time to suspend disbelief, you will find that those same ques appear during cons and scams.  Do you have shallow or no knowledge of the subject?  Is it unlikely or unrealistic to expect the desired outcome? Is the advertised reward much greater than the risk?  All of these are desensitizing techniques to ease you into suspending your disbelief.  When that is complete the scam is over and you may not even know that you were conned as you walk away with the euphoria that you felt the first time that you watched your favorite movie at the theatre.  Be warned, patterns repeat themselves in all of life's functions and even sitting down to watch a bad TV show is training; in Survivology 101. 
I have been doing some updating at Survivology 101, you may have noticed the new color scheme to make it easier on the eyes.  My most recent updates include a resource bar on the left that includes the following links to help you with your disaster planning.  There are many many more but to many people these few links represent possible immediate threats to your health and well being.  I am hoping that it will help you get started making a plan to keep you and yours safe and secure no matter what momma nature throws at you. 
FEMA Disaster Prep, NOAA Geothermal Activity, NOAA Tsunami, FAA Flight delays, DHS Threat Level, FDA Recalls, NOAA Weather, NOAA Volcanoes, NOAA Floods, NOAA Hurricane, NOAA Tornado, NAVTEQ Traffic, USGS Eearthquakes, NIFC Wildfires, CDC Vaccines and immunizations

I have also included a few sidebar links to some sites that will provide you with an immeasurable amount of information on all aspects of survival.  Keep in mind that these are not sponsors or paid adds, these are people and companies that I know personally and do business with or communicate with quite often.  There will be more as we progress in this project. 

I hope this information gives you a leg up on your planning and personal education, after all Survivology is a never ending search for all things related to surviving and thriving in uncertain times, because after all, Survival is not mandatory.

Monday, August 23, 2010

UPDATE: (Salmonella outbreak egg recall)

UPDATE: (Salmonella outbreak egg recall) I received a call this afternoon Monday 8/23/2010, from an automated message telling me that they have a record of my buying Cal Egg Brand eggs from Cosco in a five dozen pack. These are now subject to recall and any unused eggs should be returned to the store for a refund.

Survival is not mandatory!

For sarters visit and listen to Jack.  He has his finger on the pulse of modern survivalism and his advise is Sage.  We differ in some opinions and agree on most it is well worth your time to give him a listen.      --Norseman

From the beginning of man on this planet we have sought better ways to provide for our needs and still leave enough time to enjoy the gift of life.  Hunters turned to ranchers and foragers turned to farmers throughout the evolution of man. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Salmonella outbreak egg recall

I guess that its time to build that chicken coup and once again bail on another part of the normal support system. Honestly, I don't think that we can continue to maintain at this rate. Eventually we will all have to be self reliant or we will be dead. It is disturbing the manner that these people do business.

The Journey

Here is a poem that I originally wrote years ago for another purpose but I have recently modified it to relate to this blog.  ENJOY!

"The Journey"