Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Book Bonanza

By Flea - Be A Survivor

I am a big proponent of reading, almost everything I know I have picked up from reading books. I never really had anyone that could show me anything. My dad was a great father but wasn't really particularly great at anything. He gave me attention, love and advice when needed which is more than some folks get. My grandfather was hard man who showed little emotion and even less interest in me. I never met my fathers dad as he split when my dad was 17. So I never had anyone take me out back and show me how to fix the car, build anything or any of that kind of stuff.

Don't cry for me Argentina because things have worked out just fine. I am what Mayberry would call a "resourceful feller". I got that way by reading a shit load of stuff about a shit load of things. The one thing reading did for me was get me a good career. I only just graduated from college but have made quite a nice 14 year (and counting) career in IT by reading, studying, and getting vendor certifications in a crap load of stuff.

I have always been good with money but people laugh when they talk to me because I am so cheap when it come to certain stuff. I learned many techniques on being said tightwad by, you guessed it, reading. There are a ton of book on that subject in particular and I have a few more on the way that I just ordered. I will try and review them for you guys when I finally get to read them. One book I can recommend if you are in debt is Debt-Proof Living: The Complete Guide to Living Financially Free (Debt-Proof Living (Paperback)),it is a great book and changed my life when I read it about 5 years ago. I was hardly in substantial debt but I did have some, it provided some basic guidance on how to move forward and get out of a hole.

I will give a whirl at fixing most things before I break down and call a professional but I also know when I am out of my league. Reading opens a lot of doors, even if it just peaks your interest, it may direct you towards a path where more substantial learning can occur. It all starts though when doing that initial research in the form of reading.

There is nothing better than cracking open a book on a subject you are interested in learning about and digesting the first few chapters. It is almost like a flood of information has been released and to use a common analogy you almost feel like you are drinking from a fire hose. The key is to slow down and approach everything with the expectation you are not and may never be an expert in that given subject BUT knowledge is indeed power.

I feel a bit guilty because I have a bunch of books calling me to read them but I have been so busy. No excuse I need to get back to basics and dedicate some time each day to reading. IT IS that important. You do the same.

BTW I picked up a CASE (12) of Rayovac Industrial Flashlights (the kind that use 2 D batteries) for about 30 bucks on eBay, about $2.50 a piece...not too bad. The deals are there, but as they used to in Hill Street Blues, "Be careful out there."

...that is all.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Some Random Thoughts And Updates...

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Sorry I have been quiet, we had to make an unexpected trip to NJ because of a death in the family on my wife's side. I have also been extremely busy with work, I recently joined the ranks of middle management and I now have about 20 people I have to babysit on a daily basis. Truth be told I have a pretty good crew of IT folks but it is amazing how many fires you need to fight on a daily basis as a manager. That is no excuse of course for not communicating with the loyal folks who follow this blog!

I have been prepping a bit, I recently put up some shelves in our pantry so we could utilize the area better for storage. I now have all my cases of MRE's in an area where I can actually get to them. All in all I can't believe I waited as long as I did to finally put shelves in that closet.

I went on eBay and went on a bit of a buying spree I purchased a Cold Steel Machete, some jumper cables, and a boatload of flashlights. I really learned my lesson when the house was hit by lightning, having a nice LARGE torch is a great thing when the power is out. I did have one plus several smaller flashlights but I quickly realized that three large torches would have been great to have.

We have a few new advertisers here on the blog and I wanted to point them out if you haven't already noticed their banners on the side bar. The first is SunFlowerAmmo.com and the second is ReadyMadeResources.com. These are regular Joe's running these businesses, not huge corporations, so if you want to keep the money in prepper hands show them some love and use them to buy the stuff you are going to buy anyway.

The wife and I have been really been getting into couponing. She is amazing and recently bought $180 of groceries and only paid $90 bucks! Not bad for a beginner. Our best score has been spending $27 and saving $48 at Publix which astounded me to cut the bill by almost 2/3's just blew my mind. I am thinking of having Mrs. Flea do a post on couponing and some of the resources she has identified on the web to help save money when shopping for groceries.

...that is all.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Equipment Review: Stanley 1.1 QT Vacuum Bottle (Thermos)

By Flea - Be A Survivor



Few things have been around as long as the Stanley Classic Stainless Steel Vacuum Bottle,in fact a variation of this bottle has been around for over 90 years. That right there should tell you something about this product, it is extremely popular and it works. Several companies have had the right to manufacture this particular design of vacuum bottle, the latest being PMI.

The design is strange as it is an inner and outter bottle separated by a vacuum and the bottle is insulated with ground charcoal dust. It is basically the same design from 90 years ago because it works.

Anyone who has any issues with this not keeping beverages hot or cold is either not following the instructions or has a defective bottle (which could happen if the vacuum were somehow compromised). The directions are simple: before filling the bottle with a HOT beverage fill it with boiling water and let it sit for 30 minutes or so, this will prevent the bottle from becoming a heat sink when you pour in your HOT beverage (which would make it get cold very quickly). If you want to place a cold beverage in it I would stick in in the freezer till it is completely cold before filling.

When the directions are followed I have easily had this keep a beverage HOT for 8-12 hours and still be WARM as long as 16 hours later. Follow the directions and you will be able to duplicate my experience with the product.

I have 2 of these and have had my oldest one for about 5 years or so, I just recently picked up the second one because the wife and I do long cars trips and coffee is not an option for us to go without.

I can recommend anyone who needs a beverage container to pick up one of these timeless classics, you can even get some vintage ones on eBay for a reasonable price if you spend some time doing some research. Go out an get your Stanley Classic Stainless Steel Vacuum Bottletoday!

...that is all.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Well I figured it was time for one of those fun type, learn about me posts that I toss out there every once in blue moon. I figured I will share some more of my favorite stuff with you guys so you get of flavor of the craziness that makes up the very fiber of my being.

You may think I am insane but I really do enjoy cleaning stuff. My wife things I am mentally defective in this regard.

I am a Sherlock Holmes fanatic. I have pipes from the UK, books out the wahzoo, Holmes and Watson bookends, every Basil Rathebone movie & Jeremy Brett episode on VHS (working on DVD), had a Sherlock related website for years and recently saw the Robert Downey movie and loved it (Jude Law was a great Watson).

I have a touch of OCD. I frequently check and recheck things like locking door and shutting off appliances to the utter amazement and amusement of my wife.

I have tickets to see "The Bold & Fresh" tour (Beck & O'reilley).

I read Consumer Reports and Make magazine whenever I am at Barnes and Noble sipping coffee.

Speaking of coffee I drink a lot of it.

My garage is so organized even the power companies meter reading guy shook his head to indicate I am a mental patient.

A few of my favorite actors are: Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and Edward Norton.

My favorite actress is Helen Bonham Carter.

My favorite flavor of ice cream is vanilla.

Fold or crinkle? - I am a crinkler.

My favorite animal is the pig because it is utterly DELICIOUS.

I have not yet begun to procrastinate!

My favorite teams: NY Giants (and they do suck), Carolina Hurricanes, NY Yankees.

My childhood hero was Danny Dunn (fictional character).

The country I would most like to visit is the UK, specifically the city of London.

I am back going to gym and it feels good, get off your ass and exercise a bit.

I try to go to church every Sunday but sometimes I don't quite make it.

Favorite childhood game was "Manhunt".

I have no idea how to play Texas Hold'em correctly, I also have no idea how to play craps even though it is the best odds in the casino.

I know how to swim.

I cannot solve the Rubik's cube (although I have wasted countless hours trying).

I still have my TRS-80 Color Computer 2 and my Commodore 64 packed away in boxes in my attic.

I was a complete nerd growing up.

The sport I excel at is roller hockey. I was very good although I don't play as much as I used to.

I can play the bass guitar.

For the most part I really do believe many people in this country aren't very bright or they just don't give a shit (probably the latter)...it is certainly one or the other. The readers of this blog are of course an exception to that observation, you are all very intelligent and good looking as well.

...that is all.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Quote Of The Day

By Flea - Be A Survivor

"Hillary Clinton has been cheated on more than a blind woman playing Scrabble with a bunch of Gypsies."

- Dennis Miller

...that is all.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Free Survival eBook!

By Flea - Be A Survivor

M.D. Creekmore wanted me to let you know about his new (and free) ebook “It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)” - download it, read it, share it – did I mention that it's FREE? And don't forget to visit his survival blog to say thank you...

...that is all.

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