Friday, January 30, 2009

Free As In Beer: CCleaner

CCleaner is a registry cleaner and optimizer. I have used it A LOT. It works very well, although I do suggest you follow the prompts and backup the regestry entires you will be removing. I did have ONE PC act funny after I cleaned the registry and I had to restore from the backup CCleaner made (restore worked perfectly). I have literally used in 100 times with no issues but I always backup in case you are in the 1% of the machines that has an issue. This is a great program and it is freeware.

Here is a blurb from their website:

"Over 240 million downloads!!!
CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less than a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware! :)"


...that is all.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Am Not A Hardcore Survivalist...What Do I Do Now?

Listen most of you, myself included, are not hardcore survivalists. As much as I would love to move to retreat in Idaho, be able to whip up a gourmet meal from a bucket of flour and beans, or slaughter a pig utilizing everything right down to the teeth...I have to face some facts:

I have a wife...she is very tolerant of my paranoia and even agrees with some stuff but living like Little House on the Prarie does not appeal to her.

I have a house in the suburbs...that about sums that up.

I have a job that requires me to be a part of civilization....

I kinda like where I am at right now and what I am doing with my life.

So what is a normal non-hardcore prepper to do?

Well there are several things you can do to get a leg up on 99% of the clueless masses.

1.) Stockpile food - This sounds simple but most people go about it the wrong way. They buy shitload of food that they have never eaten before because it is freeze dried or "that" guy recommended it. The correct way to stockpile food is actually a seven headed dragon to be honest.

Buy MORE of food you normally eat. Your goal should be to be able to live out of your pantry during time of crisis. Trips to the store should be only to replenish what you have used. If you use tomatoe sauce...buy enough for six months, not all at once of course, but by picking up an extra can every time you go shopping until you have six months worth. Always make sure you rotate by move older cans forward and putting newly purchased stuff in the back. This is the single best way to stockpile food. BUY MORE of what you NORMALLY EAT.

I have chosen to suppliment this apprach several ways. I have several cases of MRE's and Mountain house cans - all of which I HAVE eaten before and know I like and can live on if I had to.

I have a garden and I know how to can stuff. I have a nice stash of stuff that I have canned and set aside.

Love it or hate it I believe this is the only way MOST folks will be able to develop a plan and stick to it.

2.) Stockpile water - there are many ways to do this I chose the large barrels with a bit of bleach added to them. I have several cases of bottled water and I plan to implement a rain water catching system in the very near future. Make sure you have some method available to purify water should you have to drink from a questionable source. Bleach, iodine, chlorine, water filters...they all work, some better than others.

3.) Have at least one weapon that you can use effectively and store several hundred rounds for it. The minimum I would recommend is a defensive sidearm. Add a rifle or shotgun and your situation just got a WHOLE LOT better. If you are NOT armed you will most likely be a victim when the SHTF.

4.) For everyday life, get OUT of DEBT and start an emergency fund. Keep some of that cash readily available. To protect against job loss try and build up three months living expenses to get you through a job search and that meager unemployment check.

5.) Build a BOB (Bug Out Bag) containing everything you need to live for a week in case you need to hit the road. Make sure it includes a well stocked first aid kit. This bag should always be ready and never in an unpacked state. It should be something you are comfortable carrying and have been able to carry successfully for a distance. Listen when the SHTF it isn't a good time to figure out that the 60lb you packed is too heavy to go fifty paces with.

More to come...

...that is all.

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New Blog To Check Out

We have a new friend please check out The Conspirator...

...that is all.

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Fantastic Article You Should Read...

Here is well written article that covers the biggest scam in modern history....global warming. Please read.

Here is the link and the story is below...

The Amazing Story Behind The Global Warming Scam

By John Coleman
January 28, 2009

The key players are now all in place in Washington and in state governments across America to officially label carbon dioxide as a pollutant and enact laws that tax we citizens for our carbon footprints. Only two details stand in the way, the faltering economic times and a dramatic turn toward a colder climate. The last two bitter winters have lead to a rise in public awareness that CO2 is not a pollutant and is not a significant greenhouse gas that is triggering runaway global warming.

How did we ever get to this point where bad science is driving big government we have to struggle so to stop it?

The story begins with an Oceanographer named Roger Revelle. He served with the Navy in World War II. After the war he became the Director of the Scripps Oceanographic Institute in La Jolla in San Diego, California. Revelle saw the opportunity to obtain major funding from the Navy for doing measurements and research on the ocean around the Pacific Atolls where the US military was conducting atomic bomb tests. He greatly expanded the Institute’s areas of interest and among others hired Hans Suess, a noted Chemist from the University of Chicago, who was very interested in the traces of carbon in the environment from the burning of fossil fuels. Revelle tagged on to Suess studies and co-authored a paper with him in 1957. The paper raises the possibility that the carbon dioxide might be creating a greenhouse effect and causing atmospheric warming. It seems to be a plea for funding for more studies. Funding, frankly, is where Revelle’s mind was most of the time.

Next Revelle hired a Geochemist named David Keeling to devise a way to measure the atmospheric content of Carbon dioxide. In 1960 Keeling published his first paper showing the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and linking the increase to the burning of fossil fuels.

These two research papers became the bedrock of the science of global warming, even though they offered no proof that carbon dioxide was in fact a greenhouse gas. In addition they failed to explain how this trace gas, only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, could have any significant impact on temperatures.

Now let me take you back to the1950s when this was going on. Our cities were entrapped in a pall of pollution from the crude internal combustion engines that powered cars and trucks back then and from the uncontrolled emissions from power plants and factories. Cars and factories and power plants were filling the air with all sorts of pollutants. There was a valid and serious concern about the health consequences of this pollution and a strong environmental movement was developing to demand action. Government accepted this challenge and new environmental standards were set. Scientists and engineers came to the rescue. New reformulated fuels were developed for cars, as were new high tech, computer controlled engines and catalytic converters. By the mid seventies cars were no longer big time polluters, emitting only some carbon dioxide and water vapor from their tail pipes. Likewise, new fuel processing and smoke stack scrubbers were added to industrial and power plants and their emissions were greatly reduced, as well.

But an environmental movement had been established and its funding and very existence depended on having a continuing crisis issue. So the research papers from Scripps came at just the right moment. And, with them came the birth of an issue; man-made global warming from the carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.

Revelle and Keeling used this new alarmism to keep their funding growing. Other researchers with environmental motivations and a hunger for funding saw this developing and climbed aboard as well. The research grants began to flow and alarming hypothesis began to show up everywhere.

The Keeling curve showed a steady rise in CO2 in atmosphere during the period since oil and coal were discovered and used by man. As of today, carbon dioxide has increased from 215 to 385 parts per million. But, despite the increases, it is still only a trace gas in the atmosphere. While the increase is real, the percentage of the atmosphere that is CO2 remains tiny, about .41 hundredths of one percent.

Several hypothesis emerged in the 70s and 80s about how this tiny atmospheric component of CO2 might cause a significant warming. But they remained unproven. Years have passed and the scientists kept reaching out for evidence of the warming and proof of their theories. And, the money and environmental claims kept on building up.

Back in the 1960s, this global warming research came to the attention of a Canadian born United Nation’s bureaucrat named Maurice Strong. He was looking for issues he could use to fulfill his dream of one-world government. Strong organized a World Earth Day event in Stockholm, Sweden in 1970. From this he developed a committee of scientists, environmentalists and political operatives from the UN to continue a series of meeting.

Strong developed the concept that the UN could demand payments from the advanced nations for the climatic damage from their burning of fossil fuels to benefit the underdeveloped nations, a sort of CO2 tax that would be the funding for his one-world government. But, he needed more scientific evidence to support his primary thesis. So Strong championed the establishment of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This was not a pure climate study scientific organization, as we have been lead to believe. It was an organization of one-world government UN bureaucrats, environmental activists and environmentalist scientists who craved the UN funding so they could produce the science they needed to stop the burning of fossil fuels. Over the last 25 years they have been very effective. Hundreds of scientific papers, four major international meetings and reams of news stories about climatic Armageddon later, the UN IPCC has made its points to the satisfaction of most and even shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

At the same time, that Maurice Strong was busy at the UN, things were getting a bit out of hand for the man who is now called the grandfather of global warming, Roger Revelle. He had been very politically active in the late 1950’s as he worked to have the University of California locate a San Diego campus adjacent to Scripps Institute in La Jolla. He won that major war, but lost an all important battle afterward when he was passed over in the selection of the first Chancellor of the new campus.

He left Scripps finally in 1963 and moved to Harvard University to establish a Center for Population Studies. It was there that Revelle inspired one of his students to become a major global warming activist. This student would say later, "It felt like such a privilege to be able to hear about the readouts from some of those measurements in a group of no more than a dozen undergraduates. Here was this teacher presenting something not years old but fresh out of the lab, with profound implications for our future!" The student described him as "a wonderful, visionary professor" who was "one of the first people in the academic community to sound the alarm on global warming," That student was Al Gore. He thought of Dr. Revelle as his mentor and referred to him frequently, relaying his experiences as a student in his book Earth in the Balance, published in 1992.

So there it is, Roger Revelle was indeed the grandfather of global warming. His work had laid the foundation for the UN IPCC, provided the anti-fossil fuel ammunition to the environmental movement and sent Al Gore on his road to his books, his movie, his Nobel Peace Prize and a hundred million dollars from the carbon credits business.

What happened next is amazing. The global warming frenzy was becoming the cause celeb of the media. After all the media is mostly liberal, loves Al Gore, loves to warn us of impending disasters and tell us "the sky is falling, the sky is falling". The politicians and the environmentalist loved it, too.

But the tide was turning with Roger Revelle. He was forced out at Harvard at 65 and returned to California and a semi retirement position at UCSD. There he had time to rethink Carbon Dioxide and the greenhouse effect. The man who had inspired Al Gore and given the UN the basic research it needed to launch its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was having second thoughts. In 1988 he wrote two cautionary letters to members of Congress. He wrote, "My own personal belief is that we should wait another 10 or 20 years to really be convinced that the greenhouse effect is going to be important for human beings, in both positive and negative ways." He added, "…we should be careful not to arouse too much alarm until the rate and amount of warming becomes clearer."

And in 1991 Revelle teamed up with Chauncey Starr, founding director of the Electric Power Research Institute and Fred Singer, the first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, to write an article for Cosmos magazine. They urged more research and begged scientists and governments not to move too fast to curb greenhouse CO2 emissions because the true impact of carbon dioxide was not at all certain and curbing the use of fossil fuels could have a huge negative impact on the economy and jobs and our standard of living. I have discussed this collaboration with Dr. Singer. He assures me that Revelle was considerably more certain than he was at the time that carbon dioxide was not a problem.

Did Roger Revelle attend the Summer enclave at the Bohemian Grove in Northern California in the Summer of 1990 while working on that article? Did he deliver a lakeside speech there to the assembled movers and shakers from Washington and Wall Street in which he apologized for sending the UN IPCC and Al Gore onto this wild goose chase about global warming? Did he say that the key scientific conjecture of his lifetime had turned out wrong? The answer to those questions is, "I think so, but I do not know it for certain". I have not managed to get it confirmed as of this moment. It’s a little like Las Vegas; what is said at the Bohemian Grove stays at the Bohemian Grove. There are no transcripts or recordings and people who attend are encouraged not to talk. Yet, the topic is so important, that some people have shared with me on an informal basis.

Roger Revelle died of a heart attack three months after the Cosmos story was printed. Oh, how I wish he were still alive today. He might be able to stop this scientific silliness and end the global warming scam.

Al Gore has dismissed Roger Revelle’s Mea culpa as the actions of senile old man. And, the next year, while running for Vice President, he said the science behind global warming is settled and there will be no more debate, From 1992 until today, he and his cohorts have refused to debate global warming and when ask about we skeptics they simply insult us and call us names.

So today we have the acceptance of carbon dioxide as the culprit of global warming. It is concluded that when we burn fossil fuels we are leaving a dastardly carbon footprint which we must pay Al Gore or the environmentalists to offset. Our governments on all levels are considering taxing the use of fossil fuels. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of naming CO2 as a pollutant and strictly regulating its use to protect our climate. The new President and the US congress are on board. Many state governments are moving on the same course.

We are already suffering from this CO2 silliness in many ways. Our energy policy has been strictly hobbled by no drilling and no new refineries for decades. We pay for the shortage this has created every time we buy gas. On top of that the whole thing about corn based ethanol costs us millions of tax dollars in subsidies. That also has driven up food prices. And, all of this is a long way from over.

And, I am totally convinced there is no scientific basis for any of it.

Global Warming. It is the hoax. It is bad science. It is a high jacking of public policy. It is no joke. It is the greatest scam in history.

John Coleman
1-29-09

...that is all.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Here Is Some More Stupidity Out Of Washington...

If you have lived under a rock or have been in a coma the last 5 years you may not have heard they are switching from analog to digital broadcast television signals. Fear not, our government is not only subsidizing consumers buying digital to analog converter boxes (which many people don't need - if you have cable or satellite or a new TV you are fine)...but it is also going to delay the inevitable until at least June...nothing to see here you can go back to sleep...

"DTV Switch Delay Approved By Senate

The move pushes the deadline to June 12, giving federal agencies more time to prepare the public for the move from analog to digital television broadcasting.

By W. David Gardner, InformationWeek
Jan. 27, 2009
URL: http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212902838

Postponement of the nationwide transition from analog to digital TV broadcasting was virtually assured after the U.S. Senate Monday unanimously approved delaying the switch until June 12. With President Obama and the House of Representatives already signaling their approval of the delay, the measure should be settled this week.

The switch, originally scheduled to occur on Feb. 17, will affect several million Americans who still receive television broadcasts over old analog sets, typically through the use of rabbit ear or rooftop antennas. The Neilson rating company has estimated that at least 6 million Americans won't be able to get digital broadcasts with converter boxes. Some Americans -- there are no accurate estimates of how many -- won't be able to receive analog or digital reception after the switch. To get reception, they will have to buy satellite or convert to digital cable.

"This is a big step toward ensuring that consumers can adequately prepare for the DTV transition," Sen. Amy Klobucher, D-Minn., said in an e-mail. "Delay allows federal agencies to adequately prepare." She said the current capacities of federal call centers can handle only 350,000 daily calls from consumers of the 1.5 million who are expected to call in the days immediately following the switchover. The campaign to delay the switch was spearheaded by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., and Klobucher in the Senate.

The FCC has already auctioned the old analog spectrum for nearly $20 billion, most of it going to AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Government officials decided the 700-MHz spectrum could be vacated, because most consumers had moved to cable and satellite reception and weren't using the spectrum anyway. A portion of the 700-MHz band was set aside for use by public safety agencies, but there were no serious bids for that section of the spectrum. FCC officials have said they want to schedule another auction to sell spectrum that can be used for public safety purposes.

Sen. Klobucher, who said 21% of Minnesotans still use analog broadcasts, noted that the analog spectrum serves an important public safety role. "Consumers who do not successfully make the transition," she said, "will lose access to the Emergency Alert System and Amber Alert messages."

The federal program to assist consumers in making the move from analog to digital broadcasting ran out of money recently, interfering with the flow of coupons consumers can use to purchase converters that will enable their old analog sets to receive digital broadcasts."

...that is all.

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I Wrote My Senator....

I felt compelled to write my Senator, Lindsey Graham...

In a nut shell I begged him to vote against the 800+ billion dollar "stimulus package"...if you want to call it that.

The only stimulus I feel is one in the region of my backside as I am bent over a barrel...

This will make your eyes bleed....
Did you hear Citigroup is spending 50 million on a brand new, FRENCH no less, corporate jet after getting 45 billion of our money. Couldn't even buy American...sad just sad.

EDIT: Surpise , surprise...appears Obamas folks called Citigroup and said this was probably not a good idea.


...that is all.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

DTV Transition: MAKE Your Own DTV Antenna

Pretty cool project from the great site MAKE...


Maker Workshop - DTV Antenna & Steadicam on MAKE: television from make magazine on Vimeo.

...that is all.

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Keeping Your House Plants Alive

Everyone knows it is good to have house plants. Plants in your home take stale carbon dioxide and turn it into fresh oxygen...American as apple pie...right? That is if you don't kill the buggers...I have the "death touch" when it come to house plants, and my wife is only marginally better.

You have all seen the commercials on TV for Aqua Globes...well son of a gun the science is sound as I soon found out searching on the net. Seems these globes existed well before the one sold by the folks from "As Seen On TV". The wife and I picked up a box of them at Wally World without our hopes being to high. I got them home and filled them up. I used a small stick to make a hole in the soil of the traget plant and gently inserted the Aqua Globes. We apparently don't water our plants enough as the NEXT day they were empty! I filled them again...this time the globes didn't empty completely for about 3 days. Filled them again and we are up to 5 days! I highly doubt their claim of 2 weeks between refills as I seem to have to refill consistently now at 5 days...still that ain't bad! Not only that our plants are doing great...lot of new growth and as green as the grass on a mild summer day.

There are only a few things I have found that the folks on those infommercials sell that are really worth the money (if you can get them somewhere else - the TV always sells them with a ridiculous amount in shipping an processing)...this is one of them. I certainly would not buy them from the website or the commercial...Walmart has them as well as Amazon.com and they are cheaper.

The science behind the globes is the fact that as the plants soil dries out gas is released which triggers the globe to release a bit of water. The process is real science and is well documented all over the net. Popular mechanics actually tested a bunch of the TV products in their latest issue. They gave a positive review of the Aqua Globes, along with another product I have used and recommend Shamwow!...I will do a review of those in the coming weeks...was able to obtain a set for FREE...can't beat that with a stick.

Here is a tibit from the Popular Mechanics Blog on Aqua Globes.

...that is all.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Survivalists Update (2nd)

Just a quick update on "The Survivalists", we are up to 25 Sites!!!

I wanted to thank everyone who has joined and brought valuable information to the table...and hell, giving everyone a little traffic boost certainly doesn't hurt!

Once again THANK YOU!

And...

If you haven't added your survival related website to our ranks...what are you waiting for JOIN NOW!

...that is all.

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Surviving A Cold Spurt Down South

I live in the south, South Carolina to be exact. They DO NOT build houses in an energy efficient manner down here. I am basically living in a large, expensive card board box...complete with all the drafts.

We have had a pretty good cold spell down here and it has really opened my eyes to how poorly they build houses down here. Here are some good examples.

I can stand three rooms from my front door and SEE daylight all around my front door.

My hot water heater is in an UNHEATED garage - I mean how damn stupid are you to do something like that....I mean AT LEAST insulate that thing with a jacket!

When I stand or sit next to a window I can feel the cold air seeping in.

My outside faucets don't have a shutoff inside the house! I can't drain them for the winter so the pipes freeze everytime it dips below 32 degrees. This is just moronic in my opinion. When I lived up north the shutoffs where in the heated portion of the house so cold exposed pipe could be drained in the winter.

My siding is right over the house wrap...NO DAMN styrofoam insulation at all!!!

I could go on but to continue would just piss me off even more and ruin my day...SO here is what I am doing about it!!!!

1.) I installed a insulated jacket on my water heater - not ideal but better than nothing. Ideally the water heater would be in a heated portion of the house. I am actually looking at replacing it with an "on-demand" water heater.

2.) I installed weather stripping around my front door. I also plan to install a storm door as well this should drastically cut down on the draft coming in the front door.

3.) I installed that plastic sheeting insulation on the windows. I hate this but it was the best I could come up with.

4.) I have plans to replace my sheetmetal garage door with an actual insulated one...my garage door up north had 1-2 inches of styrofoam between the layers of sheetmetal. My current door is a piece of garbage....just don't have the funds to replace right now.

5.) I put pipe insulation and tape on all exposed copper in my garage to try and help with the pipes freezing. I may have a plumber come in and install shut off valves in the garage in the future.

This is my meager plan so far...if you have any ideas, please pass them along...I am all ears!

...that is all.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Humor - Dayton Hamvention 2006

Most of my regular readers know that I am a Ham radio operator. In 2006 the wife and I drove to the Dayton Hamvention. For those who have no idea what that is...it is the largest gathering of Ham radio operators in the world, a type of flea market/convention. It is the biggest event in Ham radio every year. If you are a Ham you should try and get there at least once in your life.

The Hamvention is famous for the colorful characters who show up there. The wife and I arrived in Dayton Ohio and pull into the arena parking lot to pick up our tickets and what is the very first thing I see? A car with so many antennas on it that it can only be called one thing..."the porcupine". I included the pictures I took below.


I must say to be entertained that quickly...I had only just arrived; it was very promising and I was not disappointed. The show is well worth the price of admission. The real purpose of the the Hamvention is for vendors to show off new products and for people to sell all kinds of commmunication related stuff. Like I said if you have never been to the Hamvention and are interested in communications you should try and check it out. The "colorful" characters are a bonus!!!!

...that is all.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Survival Links: Angel Food Ministries

My wife heard about an outfit called "Angel Food Ministries" that partners with Churches across the nation to try and provide affordable food for anyone who wants it.

Here is the link: Angel Food Ministries

They have a monthly "box" for $30 bucks, you can order as many boxes as you want ($30 per) and there is no requirements to qualify. I have never done this before but me and the wife may try it for the February box. The church right down the street from us is part of the program. The February Menu is:


I have been too lazy to sit down and do the math to see what kind of deal this is, it is also hard to judge without seeing what you are getting...BUT here is a tidbit from their FAQ:

"Who qualifies?

Everyone, there are no applications or qualifications to order Angel Food.

Where does the food come from?

Our food is “restaurant grade” meats, frozen vegetables, fruits, dairy products, etc. which we acquire through our involvement with only the best producers/vendors of high quality, “name brand” foods. Never “seconds” or “day old” type products are involved."


Like I said this is the first I have heard of this but I am willing to take one for the team here. If anyone has any info on the program or has used it before please let us know by posting a comment.

Otherwise wait for February 24th, that will be when I pick up my box and at that point I think I will be able to see if it was a good value or a ripoff.

EDIT: So far the the sentiment has been this is a great program...so I would advise folks to check it out if you haven't already!

...that is all.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

...I Will CRUSH You...

No I am not having flashbacks to Rocky IV....I am talking about aluminum cans. You may think I am nuts but one of my "hobbies" has been keeping all the aluminum cans we generate and find and when I think we have enough take them to a metal recycler and sell them. My state does not have the deposit refund so I get a straight per pound price. I just checked yesterday with the recycler I usually go to and it is about .30 per pound at this point.

Now you won't get rich doing this but me and my wife usually take whatever we make and buy something for the house or our preps. I currently have 100 pounds in my garage (which is 3 large contractor bags - crushed and full) waiting to be sold - about $30 worth BUT I usually wait until I can fill the back of my pickup before going (usually twice a year for about 100-150 bucks.) If aluminum ever goes up again it becomes much more profitable.
I recently purchased the Easy Pull Can Crusher which I installed in my garage. I have to say it has made the job of crushing the cans considerably easier on my feet :)

It mounts to the wall with two screws (studs) and I placed a bucket underneath it to catch the can as they fall out after being crushed. The device is made of very heavy plastic and uses the leverage generated from the long handle to make quick work of aluminum cans. I HIGHLY recommend this bad boy as most of the can crushers I have seen are complete garbage.

There are a few things to keep in mind when recycling cans: I would highly suggest that you rinse the can out with water and let it completely dry before you crush it. A recycler who feels there may be a lot of liquid weight in the cans may reduce the payment you get. Another things to keep in mind is that most states that have the deposit return require the can NOT be crushed so make sure you check with the state you live in before you crush any cans.

I always crush mine because the recycler prefers it and I can store the cans more easily. Uncrushed cans take up a hell of a lot of room!!!

Lets face it you will never get rich doing this but I have always found it an enjoyable hobby that costs me nothing more than my time and the gas to drive 3 miles. Take the proceeds and put them in an emergency fund or use them to supplement your preps. Whatever you do have some fun, make it a game and a challenge!

...that is all.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Baking Soda, Oh Baking Soda...How I Love Thee

Baking Soda, sodium bicarbonate, is one of the natural wonders of the world. I have had a love affair with it for a long time and have posted many times on uses for it...

Making Your Own Laundry Detergent (I haven't purchased detergent in 2 years)
Making Your Own Soft Scrub (Works better than "Soft Scrub")
Taking Care Of Your Teeth (Baking Soda and water make a great toothpaste)

It is used in cooking to make dough "rise".

It is an effective cleaning agent.

It can be used as an antacid.

It can be used to keep your refrigerator and drains smelling fresh...just keep and open box in the fridge and dump some down the drain to get rid of odors.

The wikipedia page on baking soda.

The Arm & Hammer webpage.

Baking soda is dirt cheap and has WAY to many uses for you not to stockpile some of it. Keep some in your pantry in case you need it for anything. It really is one of the most amazing natural substances to occur on our planet.

...that is all.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Having A Garage Sale

Almost everyone one I know is surrounded by crap. We, as Americans, absolutely love our crap. Sometimes the crap takes over in an unhealthy way. We judge ourselves and our loved ones and friends by what they have and not what counts. The healthy thing to do is reduce the clutter in your life by getting rid of crap.

The alternative to getting rid of stuff is to become organized. My wife laughs at me because I am so anal about being organized...everything really does have a place. It makes my life easier to know what I have and where it is and I rarely have to buy something because I either could not find the one I had or I forgot I even had it. Organization is key in that respect.

That being said there are people who still just have way to much crap. The easiest and most productive way to reduce crap is to sell it at a garage sale...let someone pay you to haul your crap away.

ADVERTISE:
The first step in having a successful garage sale is to advertise. Craigslist and the local newspaper are favorites for checking when garage sales are for most folks. Get your ad up as early as possible and post it again as the day approaches.

COLLECT & SORT:
Gather all your crap and organize it. Clean it up and test it to make sure it all functions properly. Decide on how much money you want to charge for it and build in a bit of a discount because garage sales are all about haggling on price. Make sure you label everything with price tags!!!

BE PATIENT:
The day of the garage sale "early birds" will be there trying to talk you down on prices...don't cave, the day has just begun. If they really want it they will either pay or come back later on. Don't mark something $30 bucks and accept $20 from an "early bird". Make sure you specify in your ad NO EARLY BIRDS because if you don't...people will be at you house an hour before the sale even starts trying to buy stuff already....tell they to wait or come back. It is really annoying when your trying to setup and these people are already there trying to negotiate.

HAVE CHANGE:
Make sure you have adequate change! Have plenty of singles and fives as well as coins to break 10's and 20's for people. ATM machines usually only dish out 20's and higher so expect a lot of people with those denominations of bills.

BE FIRM:
I have had people offer me ridiculous amounts for items...like 5 dollars for a mountain bike, etc...I have actually told people I would rather set the bike on fire and dance around it as it burns then sell it you for 5 dollars. People will try and take advantage of you...if they can't bargain realistically ignore them and move on.

If you don't sell everything consider donating what you have left to Goodwill.

...that is all.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Powerful Solar Storm Could Shut Down U.S. For Months

Interesting story on Fox News...here is permalink.

"Powerful Solar Storm Could Shut Down U.S. for Months
Friday , January 09, 2009

By Robert Roy Britt

A new study from the National Academy of Sciences outlines grim possibilities on Earth for a worst-case scenario solar storm.

Damage to power grids and other communications systems could be catastrophic, the scientists conclude, with effects leading to a potential loss of governmental control of the situation.

The prediction is based in part on a major solar storm in 1859 that caused telegraph wires to short out in the United States and Europe, igniting widespread fires.

It was perhaps the worst in the past 200 years, according to the new study, and with the advent of modern power grids and satellites, much more is at risk.

"A contemporary repetition of the [1859] event would cause significantly more extensive (and possibly catastrophic) social and economic disruptions," the researchers conclude.

'Command and control might be lost'

When the sun is in the active phase of its 11-year cycle, it can unleash powerful magnetic storms that disable satellites, threaten astronaut safety, and even disrupt communication systems on Earth.

The worst storms can knock out power grids by inducing currents that melt transformers.

Modern power grids are so interconnected that a big space storm — the type expected to occur about once a century — could cause a cascade of failures that would sweep across the United States, cutting power to 130 million people or more in this country alone, the new report concludes.

Such widespread power outages, though expected to be a rare possibility, would affect other vital systems.

"Impacts would be felt on interdependent infrastructures with, for example, potable water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; immediate or eventual loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, transportation, fuel resupply and so on," the report states.

Outages could take months to fix, the researchers say. Banks might close, and trade with other countries might halt.

"Emergency services would be strained, and command and control might be lost," write the researchers, led by Daniel Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

"Whether it is terrestrial catastrophes or extreme space weather incidents, the results can be devastating to modern societies that depend in a myriad of ways on advanced technological systems," Baker said in a statement released with the report.

Stormy past

Solar storms have had significant effects in modern time:

— In 1989, the sun unleashed a tempest that knocked out power to all of Quebec, Canada.

— A remarkable 2003 rampage included 10 major solar flares over a two-week period, knocking out two Earth-orbiting satellites and crippling an instrument aboard a Mars orbiter.

"Obviously, the sun is Earth's life blood," said Richard Fisher, director of the Heliophysics division at NASA. "To mitigate possible public safety issues, it is vital that we better understand extreme space weather events caused by the sun's activity."

"Space weather can produce solar storm electromagnetic fields that induce extreme currents in wires, disrupting power lines, causing wide-spread blackouts and affecting communication cables that support the Internet," the report states. "Severe space weather also produces solar energetic particles and the dislocation of the Earth's radiation belts, which can damage satellites used for commercial communications, global positioning and weather forecasting."

Rush to prepare

The race is on for better forecasting abilities, as the next peak in solar activity is expected to come around 2012.

While the sun is in a lull now, activity can flare up at any moment, and severe space weather — how severe, nobody knows — will ramp up a year or two before the peak.

Some scientists expect the next peak to bring more severe events than other recent peaks.

"A catastrophic failure of commercial and government infrastructure in space and on the ground can be mitigated through raising public awareness, improving vulnerable infrastructure and developing advanced forecasting capabilities," the report states. "Without preventive actions or plans, the trend of increased dependency on modern space-weather sensitive assets could make society more vulnerable in the future."

The report was commissioned and funded by NASA. Experts from around the world in industry, government and academia participated. It was released this week.

Copyright © 2009 Imaginova Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed."

...that is all.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Finding Free Stuff - Craigslist, ETC.

I am a big fan of free stuff always have been. I am sure there are many folks besides myself who appreciate getting stuff for free. You have many options for obtaining things for free in your area - legally, no shennanigans here.

There are several websites, namely freecycle.org and Craigslist.org. My favorite is Craigslist, the website has gotten a bad rap due to some of the fraud that goes on BUT in my area it is a great resource for finding free stuff and for finding out about estate and garage sales.

I have gotten a lot of stuff in the free section of Craigslist, namely fire wood and scrap wood for burning in the fire pit. Many folks post about downed trees in their yard, companies post regarding scrap wood in their lots, etc. It is a great resource for getting stuff on the cheap or FREE! Friends have gotten free baby clothes and toys on the site as well as many other items...most which just need a little TLC to be usable again.

The biggest issue is getting to the place before everyone else...although in the case of wood there has always been a large amount available to grab (along with other folks).

That being said as with any portion of the Internet one does need to be careful and use common sense when dealing with stangers...I for one would never let my wife go alone to pick anything up, I would go with her. If you are careful you will be fine and to be honest I have never had any issues myself and have used the site many times.

The recycling centers (nice word for town dumps) in my area have swap areas where people can leave usable items for others to take, with the expectation the favor will be returned when you have something you no longer need (but may be useful to someone else).

The good old fashion newspaper classifieds have a free section in my area where people can post items they have and want to get rid of, so I check there from time to time.

Our neigborhood is good about keeping items in the area or offering up items no longer wanted to the folks in the immediate area first before posting them somewhere else.

Another tip is visit garage sales just as they are scheduled to end, you get STEEP discounts and sometimes people will be happy to give you items just so they don't have to bring them back into their house. I have done this as well and it does work!!!

All in all getting things for free can be challenging but we look at it as a game. I only take things I would use and let other folks claim the rest. There are many items out there for the taking, it just requires an little time and effort on your part to get some good stuff, very cheaply or even for FREE!!!

...that is all.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Taking Care Of Your Teeth

Should the SHTF there will most likely not be a dentist available, that is why it is even more important to take good care of your teeth now. Nothing is more debilitating than a toothache; not only that but any resulting infection could possibly be fatal if not treated properly.

Normal daily routine:

Brushing - this should go without saying. AT MINIMUM twice daily, preferably three times a day (morning, Noon, night). Use a baking soda based toothpaste. Brush gently in small circles and be sure to BRUSH YOUR TONGUE (Most bacteria hides there).

Flossing - should be done once a day, realistically I do this about 5 times a week. If you don't floss and you have continual bad breath, you need to start. Most of the reason for bad breath is people not flossing.

Antiseptic mouthwash - I use it after I brush, but I would use it a minimum of once a day. Use it after you floss to flush out all the crap the floss loosens up.

Yearly routine:

Dental appointments - You should get a cleaning twice a year; once a year is the absolute MINIMUM. They should do x-rays to check for hidden cavities and do a thorough cleaning. Do not skimp on visiting the dentist as it will cost you more in the long run when things start to "hurt".

Supplies to have on hand for the SHTF:

Extra toothbrushes - you should change your toothbrush at least every six months.

Plenty of toothpaste - Baking soda can be substituted, just make sure you stockpile some.

Plenty of floss - has a myriad of uses beside dental so keep plenty on hand.

Some type of painkiller - like Tylenol or Advil, you'll thank me when the toothache starts. If you can stock some topical anesthetic like Ambesol or something...it will help.

Dental wax - have some on hand to use a filling replacement should a filling fail. Place and form the wax to keep debris out of the sensitive area of your tooth.

...that is all.

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Be A Survivor: 10 Best Posts of 2008...

Well 2008 has faded into the sunset and now I bring you my 10 favorite posts on this blog for 2008. I selected these posts because I enjoyed writing them the most. Sometimes coming up with content for a blog is work and these particular posts just flowed forth naturally.

1.) Equipment Review: Smith & Wesson M&P 9c

2.) BATF Bound Book Requirement And Getting C&R Process

3.) 30 Tips That Will Save Your Life...Maybe

4.) How To Use A Map And Compass Part I

5.) How To Use A Map And Compass Part II

6.) How To Survive A Bear Attack

7.) 15 More Simple Ways To Save Money

8.) Be Prepared: Morse Code

9.) Towing Safety

10.) RANT WARNING: People - Wise Up Please

If you have a post you liked I did not include let me know in the comments...

Happy New Year to you and yours!!!

...that is all.

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