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Old 02-15-2014, 05:42 PM   #41
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I love the prepper shows. One I remember was when the prepper shot off his thumb trying to teach his family how to defend their stuff.

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But all this "prepper" nonsense leaves me a bit cold. If there are real problems, we will solve them, just like we have done in the past. You, your family, your neighbors, your city, state and county will work together. Problems bring people together, historically this defend you home idea IMO is just foolish.
I wonder what is more indicative of society - prepper's, or the people who watch prepper shows. I do not watch them myself, although I enjoy other shows outside the mainstream. However, while I love seeing fictitious villains suffering gruesome fates, I do not enjoy shows where real people are injured. I do not want to see someone shooting off his thumb. But to each his own.

I believe it is naive to think all problems will be solved. History is filled with collapsed political/economic systems, doomed countries, and lost civilizations. History demonstrates that people have not been able to work together to solve all problems. Of course, history is also filled with doomsday prophecies that never materialized. It is like the stock market. The odds are very good that it will be higher 10-20 years from now, although a black swan event is still possible. Perhaps people (such as myself) who own cash and bonds as part of a long-term investment strategy are "investment preppers." We prefer to be safe rather than sorry, even if it comes at a cost. Admittedly, cash and bonds may be victims of a catastrophic event too.

One of my favorite set of books is the "Little House on the Prairie" collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read the books in graduate school and I am looking forward to reading them again after I retire. The books were set in the ~1870's, when the population of the United States was about 50 million. The books describe the life of Laura Ingalls and her family (and Almanzo Wilder and his family) as they lived "at the edge of civilization." In some years they lived in or near a small community, but in other years they were remote from society. It was a multi-day trip just to get key supplies at the nearest town. While there is some debate as to how much of the specific events are fact, the books describe what it was like to be almost entirely dependent on one's own skills to survive.

Although I'm not a survivalist, I've always been fascinated by survivalism. Specifically, I'm interested in self-sufficiency. I would like to have the necessary skills to survive for a long period of time. It's not a matter of "prepping" as such (at least at the moment, I'm not in the doomsday camp). Instead, it's the feeling of independence and freedom knowing that I could survive if required.
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:12 PM   #42
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This is a must-watch, if you are a "prepper"

Twilight Zone- The Shelter

If you have not see this, it's one of the best episodes.
As I remember it, this episode actually really did have a profound influence on peoples perceptions, and I think had a large part in the decline of personal bomb shelters. It was kind of a "roots" moment, when a TV program had a real impact on cultural ideas. I don't think people had really thought about these issues before that show. The Twilight Zone was one of the most widely watched TV programs of the time. It did have a real impact (no pun intended).
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:26 PM   #43
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Although I'm not a survivalist, I've always been fascinated by survivalism. Specifically, I'm interested in self-sufficiency. I would like to have the necessary skills to survive for a long period of time. It's not a matter of "prepping" as such (at least at the moment, I'm not in the doomsday camp). Instead, it's the feeling of independence and freedom knowing that I could survive if required.
I would not describe myself as a survivalist, prepper or fascinated by same. That said, a modicum of self sufficiency has always been an interest of mine in part because you can learn so much exploring silly little things we all take for granted. I camp, hike, hunt, fish and gather wild food because I like doing those things. I've also gotten to learn and enjoy new stuff doing self sufficiency type hobbies. I've brewed beer, mead and cider for many years. I learned to can stuff 15 years ago and continue to do so. Recently my brother showed me how to pickle vegetables using just veggies, salt and water so that they undergo a lactic fermentation (easy way to preserve stuff). I am learning how to make different types of cheese. Will try pasta making soon. Will gather acorns and learn how to leach tannins out of them for flour. I make my own bread. I am going to try beekeeping and figure out how to be a better gardener this year. I am planning to start loading my own ammunition and might eventually go as far as to buy a muzzleloader and see if I can make black powder without blowing myself up. With a lot less effort I could buy all this stuff at the store (well, mostly - neither Safeway nor Whole Paycheck Foods sell acorn flour or squirrel meat), but where is the fun in that?
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:28 PM   #44
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Have not seen the TV show but like a lot of people, I have some friends that engage in that kind of thinking. Before I experienced hurricane Katrina, I kind of thought the excess gun and ammunition crowed were sort of looney. That changed during and after Katrina. I would not underestimate the untoward human behaviors that come out during even a brief period when the rule of law is perceived to be on hiatus. What happens to the weak and unarmed "haves" when the "have-nots" have free reign on behavior? I don't own a gun (my wife won't let me with little ones still in the house, which is reasonable) and I think the likelihood of this kind of social chaos is low, but Katrina taught me that there is a relatively thin veneer of social stability that I don't want to take for granted.
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:38 PM   #45
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I have a gas generator and a Walther P99. I'm set for hurricanes and the Katrina crowd.
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:41 PM   #46
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I'm not a prepper either, but a few minor incidents have proved to me that in the event of a major natural disaster it could easily be a week before any type of aid or help reaches us. Having a week's worth of food, water, and heat is not a bad idea. And some basic medical supplies wouldn't hurt either.
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:52 PM   #47
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Heh. A prepper would have a years supply of food. I was fascinated to find that Costco actually will sell that to you on line....a big pile of freeze dried food that will feed you for a year. That says something about how prevalent the prepper trend is.
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:09 PM   #48
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I'm not a prepper either, but a few minor incidents have proved to me that in the event of a major natural disaster it could easily be a week before any type of aid or help reaches us. Having a week's worth of food, water, and heat is not a bad idea. And some basic medical supplies wouldn't hurt either.
Right, and I agree that you're not being a prepper by doing these things, any more than I am being a prepper by doing the same, and by filling the gas tank and getting cash whenever a hurricane enters the Gulf. These are just normal, prudent, responsible preparations (here, part of life on the Gulf Coast).
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:11 PM   #49
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Heh. A prepper would have a years supply of food. I was fascinated to find that Costco actually will sell that to you on line....a big pile of freeze dried food that will feed you for a year. That says something about how prevalent the prepper trend is.
Hell, the Costco nearest me has a stack of stock tanks on the floor at all times. Freeze dried food is nothing.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:15 PM   #50
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I was wondering if Costco counts? In case of a Zombie Apocalypse, I will be able to survive for months on whatever I bought there last. Pickles? Pasta? It may not be well balanced, but I always seem to have plenty on hand.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:24 PM   #51
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One more thing. In case of a natural disaster there might not be any electricity to power all those electronic cash registers and credit/debit card processors. Have some cash in order to buy things.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:31 PM   #52
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One more thing. In case of a natural disaster there might not be any electricity to power all those electronic cash registers and credit/debit card processors. Have some cash in order to buy things.
A lesson I learned during the Northeast blackout of 2003 . I was trapped in NYC for almost two days with no cash and no way to get any.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:48 PM   #53
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A lesson I learned during the Northeast blackout of 2003 . I was trapped in NYC for almost two days with no cash and no way to get any.
Ugh, that is one of the many reasons I do not want to be in the middle of a metro area any more. I was in Manhattan that day. When the power went out I was on a conference call with people in Boston. Their power went out at the same time ours did. Uh-oh. Fortunately, I was working with people who were in Manhattan on 9/11 and they all but dragged me to the ferry to Jersey as fast as we could get there. We were across the river within maybe an hour of the blackout's start. I was very lucky. Happily the blackout did not mean riots or a crime wave in NYC that time, but it was not fun if you were stuck there.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:54 PM   #54
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This is a must-watch, if you are a "prepper"

Twilight Zone- The Shelter

If you have not see this, it's one of the best episodes.
Thanks for posting that. I had never seen it, and I agree it certainly is among the best. And it stands the test of time. Regardless the specific situation, that's how people are going to act if pushed.

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Old 02-15-2014, 09:26 PM   #55
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Thanks for posting that. I had never seen it, and I agree it certainly is among the best. And it stands the test of time. Regardless the specific situation, that's how people are going to act if pushed.

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The Twilight Zone series was made back when some TV shows really made you think. I can't seem to find much of that caliber in today's shows. My all time favorite is "Time Enough at Last" . I find myself relating to Henry Bemis these days. Now that I am no longer w*orking, I also find myself saying "and the very best thing of all, there's time now!". And I still have my glasses! And there's infinitely more to read and watch and learn available, than in a bombed-out library. And my DW is a danged sight better than his.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:16 PM   #56
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The Twilight Zone series was made back when some TV shows really made you think. I can't seem to find much of that caliber in today's shows.
Indeed. Just 30 minutes long, no special effects, and acting that was hit and miss. The shows were entirely dependent on good scripts. I just enjoy watching them and their kind much more than what is made today.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:58 PM   #57
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After working the IT angle on "supply chain optimization", I realize how a little bump in what is expected can manifest in something with significant impact. But given the flexibility and resoucefulness of people, it doesn't worry me. Yeah, it might not be smooth sailin' for a bit, but unless its an asteroid or something, it will work itself out. Although I only have a week's worth of food and water, I, and many of us here have an asset that can sometime be undervalued...the ability to get along with other people and to get things done that need doing; we can be valuable tribe members, and I think that will turn out to be valuable should we see things go "Tango Uniform"
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:54 AM   #58
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I find Doomsday Prepper show beyond hilarious. 1st batch of episodes were understandable. Sure, why not prepare for disaster like tsunami, quake, ....? But when a man drinks his own urine (and make his wife drink, too) to practice for scenario of having no/very little water around .... and that's not all. The episodes are full of things that are so off the chart that it makes the show one of the most entertaining on TV. But I sure hope folks here are NOT practicing drinking their own urine.

No prepping for me unless I see clear sign that the world is coming to an end in my life time. And it has to be pretty clear.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:50 AM   #59
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One more thing. In case of a natural disaster there might not be any electricity to power all those electronic cash registers and credit/debit card processors. Have some cash in order to buy things.
Learned this while living in the Caribbean and dealing with multiple hurricanes each season. No electricity means no atms or working credit card machines, no pumps working at the gas station, failed refrigeration at the grocery store, and empty shelves because how will more groceries get to the island? So you stock up on food, water, money, gas, batteries...enough for at least a week and more if you have the space. We were in corporate housing next to the plant, which almost never lost power or water since that was critical to the operation, but we would help our islander friends for weeks after a bad storm.

It always amazes me how little people prep here for a wind storm. With hurricane force winds being forecasted, I had to go ask neighbors to put their potted plants in the garage so they didn't sail through our windows. No storm shutters here.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:09 AM   #60
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LOL. So serious with the responses. Didn't anyone else read Imoldernu as posting with his tongue firmly in his cheek?
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