Last Light by Alex Scarrow

Last Light by Alex Scarrow

ISBN: 978-0752886145

Last Light has to one of the more recent books I’ve read to make it to my mental list of must reads. The reason I would include this has more to do with setting of this novel then anything else, the plot wasn’t that good.

The story opens up with the main character being a civilian engineer working in Iraq when all hell breaks loose, the end result is the end of oil. This story is really about Peak Oil, and the only fiction in this book is the trigger, at least we the readers, and the author hopes that the trigger is fiction, giving us a little more time. Read more…

 

The story is only a medium to the real story going on in the background, survivalists will love this story. The characters are just there to entertain, well we are told what would happen if the world oil tap was suddenly shut off without warning.

 

 

 

The author I think is not making an extraordinary claim as to the consequences of a sudden oil cut off towards food riots, lack of drinking water, and the other end results. In fact he makes an important note, that oil equals the same as each of us, even the poor, as having 96 slaves each:

 

Well, say you’ve come home from work and you want to wash your office shirt for tomorrow. You’d shove it in your washing machine, and then put it on the fast spin-dry afterwards, wouldn’t you? And maybe you want a cup of tea whilst you’re waiting, maybe put on the TV, and throw a frozen dinner in the microwave. Well in slave terms, that would have required a slave to take your shirt, chop wood to make a fire, to heat the water, to wash it. You’d probably need another slave to go hunt or gather the food for your dinner, another slave to chop wood and build a cooking fire, to boil the water for your tea, and cook the food that the hunter-slave brought in. Still more slaves to entertain you in place of a TV set. And let’s not forget the four or five slaves that carried you home from work on their backs, instead of the car you drive home in. Anyway, you get the point right?”

 

Imagine us without the slave of oil, that’s the premise for this book. And IMHO t’s not so much a work of fiction, but a warning of the futre.

 

- Wolfe


Late Night Monday Lesson Learned.

Monday’s Lessons Learned September 7 2009

Well another week has gone by and finally we are seeing some progress with getting the hell out of here. First of all we might not buy any of the farms we were looking at for the last few weeks, the reason for this is two fold. First, there is an area which is cheaper and cutting our costs down means a lot, second the area is not far from where I plan to go hunting, which means we don’t need a hunting cabin as well as the farm. Read more…

We are also reducing the required size for the farm, the main reason for this is that I do not want to do cash crops. Orchards are all I’m really planing on doing for the purpose of farming, although I still want to do mixed farming with a little of everything, the primary crop will be that which grows on trees, or that which goes in them such as maple syrup.

 

So in comes the bank into this picture. We can have a secured mortgage for a maximum of $180k, one of the places we are currently looking at is $89k almost half our max. That would work out to about $330 a month in payments (longest term, we could do better), we currently pay $850 in rent. That by itself is a lesson learned, it is always better to own, even via a mortgage (assuming it’s well within budget) then to rent.

 

Price it seems is the third most important factor in buying the farm. The first two being water and soil, but price is a very important factor, if you have the water and soil, then the cheaper the better, with the size of the farm coming in fourth. Bigger in size does count for something, but what you should be shooting for it the largest area that you can actually harvest, note the wording. It’s the amount you can harvest, not the amount you can plant that counts.

 

Harvesting an Orchard is no small task, it’s hard work, but except for riding and care of horses, it’s the only farming I really know, if I was to judge myself harshly. So the question is when. Maybe, just maybe, we leave BC Halloween night, after the kids go trick and treating.

 

Lesson Learned: I wait to long, and it’s a lesson I learn over and over.

 

Wolfe


Letter: Ultimate Food Shortage Survival by Jason Richards

Dan …

I got a question for you. For the past five months, I’ve been seriously researching and putting together my own bug-out plan. I’m coming along nicely with my backpacks, and was gonna buy the Jason Richards books from the site for $27 (Ultimate Food Shortage Survival) to pack even lighter, but wanted to get your opinion on it first. I’ve checked reviews online, blogs… seems legit… I can also find the book on Amazon for $10, but he’s offering another 2 or 3 along with it on his website, which look just as interesting. Got any other important reads for someone who’s basically starting out green?

Though I’ve seriously known about the SHTF for over 15 years now, I still feel as though I don’t know anything at all. Your input is gold to me at this point. I have a deep dark sense that we’re all running out of time…

  • Mary

Read more…

 

Dear Mary,

I went looking into this set of books, checking out various sites from a Google search, and checked out the original sales site as well. My first impression was, this is a scam. Not a single site I could find in the first three pages of a Google search was a prepper blog, emergency disaster preparedness site, or even a self-reliance related site, they were all marketing sites. My recommendations, don’t buy it. Good products and services, even new, don’t need to swamp the internet with paid reviews, word of mouth is enough to get the ball rolling, especially with products related to the prepper movement, we tell each other everything.

As far as preparing food to make it lighter for a BOB (Bug Out Bag), making your own by dehydrating is the way to go, but first there are a few things to think about.

A BOB is different then a 72-hour-kit.

The purpose of a 72 hour kit is to help you survive until help from somewhere gets to you. This is an OK plan if the disaster, or event is temporary and local, but a trap if it greater then the rescue services can handle.

The purpose of a Bug Out Bag is to get you from where you normally live, to a place where you can take care of yourself. When you put together a BOB, you include enough food supplies to get from Point ‘A’ to Point ‘B’. I have practiced bugging out, and I can give you a few tips. First, make the kit as light as you can. If you can hold the bag straight out with one arm for ten minutes it’s good.

Dehydrated food is the lightest, but your best making it your self, and experimenting with what works for you. We use a NESCO food dehydrator, and jerky maker we picked up on sale at London Drugs. It works great, but a little bit hard to clean. From what I have heard from other preppers by comparing notes, the Excalibur Food Dehydrator (www.excaliburdehydrator.com) is better then the one I have, but costs more.

As to what to dehydrated, I suggest the food you already eat. Since making meals from scratch is both cheaper and healthier, dehydrating it for preserving is just another step, and it is not that hard to learn. There are many sites on the net that can help you learn, and I do suggest Jo’s site first since she tends to post articles about the harder to get right stuff.

http://baconandeggs-scifichick.blogspot.com/p/dehydrating_06.html

As far as any other books that I think should be at the top of the reading list I can name three right away.

  1. How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times by James Wesley, Rawles

  2. The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse by Fernando Ferfal Aguirre

  3. Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham (A real copy of this book might cost as much as $120 so look on ebay etc for deals)

Best of luck…

  • Wolfe


Law and Order

Normally I have great respect for the RCMP, and police officers in general. Sometimes, when I have problem with the way they support the public interest, the problem doesn’t lie with the officer, but rather with the way the law is written or interrupted. Read more…

One of the major problems that I have with law enforcement officers is a result of something that is beyond their control. Police do not have the right to strike even though they do have the right to collective bargaining. What this means ultimately is that the union is powerless to deal with real issues in keeping the police safe in regards to policy, and in return there is a sense that police will not enforce laws which do not merit their resources.

The police also have their own problems as a result of the lack of power the union has, they do not get paid overtime for court appearances, they can not control the hours they work, and the training in law itself is lacking so that half the time, they do not full fill their role in society simply because they become unaware of it.

Take for example the issue of the marijuana laws in Canada, and it’s enforcement in British Columbia.

Marijuana is illegal in all of Canada, in any form. I don’t care if you don’t believe me, but the current Criminal Code of Canada and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act still states that the plant is illegal to smoke, ingest, or grow. And I add a note here, even the medical use of marijuana is still illegal, there is no exception for that purpose under Canadian law, anyone who states otherwise is lying.

But, with all that why is it that the police turn the other way when they walk in front of the Art Museum on April 20th each year in Vancouver? Simple. It’s not worth it. There are to many other crimes taking place on a day to day basis for the police to spend their limit resources on enforcing a law that appears to e ignored by the majority of the citizens. The reason for that appearance is because for the last twenty years Canada has become a country of lazy self-indulgent parasites. The number of people in Canada who rise up to actively support liberty, privacy, freedom, and patriotism is so few are and far between that those that do are looked at as nutcases.

Without laws actively enforced which support privacy we loose our privacy, without laws for freedom we loose our freedom, it does not take a genius to realize this. With out laws supporting our patriots, we loose Canada, and without laws which support liberty we loose everything.

Any law, or lack of it, which at it’s core results in an attack on the individual will destroy and prosperity the society has in the long run. If marijuana laws are not enforced, how can we expect the police to follow any laws themselves? If law enforcement is not following the laws, then we live in a tyrant state. If you think that is a far reach, just wait.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my sons who has been raised to follow certain morals, which to many may seem to be old school, was invited to church by a young girl from school. Now although I myself am not a Christian, I allow such matter to be decided upon by my own children, so for the most part my son went with my blessings. They became friends and she was invite to our home. There were problems which were noticed right away, and after speaking to the parent it was obvious that the mother was intentionally lying about the so called good nature of her daughter, claiming the shelter of being a christian for both herself and her daughter. After which the visit was ended, my son walked her home, which is the polite and correct thing to do. We were unaware that this person was in need of medication, was in need of psychological help, and was prone to violence. For no reason, she viciously attack my son, he was not only caught off guard, but was unable to figure out if he could defend himself being taught that boys do not hit girls, (recently that rule has been altered due to this incident), and left her there and returned home upset. We called the police and reported the incident. They basically did nothing, as was expected, but did inform the family to not contact us in any way.

Then this weekend, the mother called our house, and talk to a different son, who responded confused and to be honest could careless of the self-righteous freak, with just the words do not call here you have been told by the cops already. So, of corse, the mother called the police claiming that my other son threaten her.

Eight cop cars at our house at 2am later, I had to deal with police officers who could not understand a single basic question.

“Is anyone here under arrest?”

Although there is a bit more to this story, there were questions, there were answers, everyone including the police were polite. It did reach a point where the officer in question started becoming ignorant. So at that point I asked my question, is anyone here under arrest, and the result was no. I therefore thanked the officer, and said good-bye, and began to close the door. She then entered the house barring the door without a warrant.

The end result to all this was nothing. They eventually left, and I have lost total faith in the RCMP to understand basic individual rights. I will never ever willing cooperate with the RCMP again in my life, if I am driving a car they can see my insurance and drivers lisnc, that’s all. In my opinion they are nothing more then traffic cops.

If the RCMP are concerned about their public image then the first thing I suggest is that they start enforcing the laws, ALL OF THEM, until then they can kiss my ass.

Lesson Learned: Trust No One.

– Wolfe


Lessons from the Amish

I was reading “Dies the Fire” by S. M. Sterling, when it hit me. Farming without Oil is going to be living hell. If you happen to have a farm in the most ideal spot on earth the total number of days from planting to harvest is 260. If it takes a newbie like myself to use a horse and plow one full day to get a single acre ready for planting for the first time, the max size farm I should be looking for now is 30-60 acres of fertile land for planting. OUCH. That’s full time sweat, blood, and tears of work for two months, without a day off, and the only climate zone in Canada that would allow that, is right here in British Columbia, not counting the crappy soil that is available to buy. For the Amish, whose farming methods we might find ourselves stuck with, a 70 acre farm is the larger farm. I think I’ll go cry for a minute. Read more…

Sure, there are historic reasons why a quarter is 160 acres, but there are many forms that slavery takes other then oil, and I can’t see myself as some kind of land baron. This might explain why it is so hard to find land here that is used as a “hobby” farm that is also 160 acres, back east it’s easy, literally by comparison. But I live in the Great White North, that reduces the days for farming, and I am also not in the greatest health, while aging fast. That reduces the farming options. I keep trying to think outside the box I’m in, and the few ideas I come up with change for different reasons, for example, if I decide that a valuable option is hunting there are only so many places where that would be a half good idea, and none of those good places would also have the other assets.

This yoke is located at the Markham Museum and Historic Village not far from my parents house in Ontario

Think about the yoke for an oxen team. All it really is, is just a piece of shaped wood with a chain link. It also represents a lot of man hours in it’s creation. That brings to mind something which has plagued the Prepper community from the start, we need each other, we need people with carpentry skills, blacksmiths, and guys who know how to fix Ham Radios. Not to mention that the small family farm running without oil is going to need it’s good neighbors in order to survive, there is no way to avoid this.

 

“Probably the greatest difference between Amish and conventional agriculture is the community life or support we have.” – The Lessons of Amish Agriculture

 

Field Operation

Horses/Hitch

Mean Acres/Day

Mean Horse Hours/Acre

Operator Hours/Acre

Plow

5

3

10

2

Disc

5

9.5

3.1

0.6

Harrow

5

9.5

3.1

0.6

Corn Planter

2

9

1.3

0.7

Grain Drill

2

11

1.1

0.6

Fertilizing

2

30

0.40

0.2

Spraying

2

45

0.26

0.1

Cultivation

3

9

2

0.7

Corn Picking

2

0.50

24

12

Corn Silage Binding

3

2

9

3

Corn Silage Hauling

5 (2 teams)

2

15

12*

Small Grain Binding

3

7

2.6

0.9

Small Grain Hauling

6 (3 teams)

6

6

6*

Hay Mowing

2

9

1.3

0.7

Hay Tedding

2

15

0.8

0.4

Hay Raking

2

15

0.8

0.4

Hay Baling

3

14

1.3

0.4

Hay Hauling

2

12

1

1*

Manure Hauling

2

1

2 hr/day

1 hr/day

Fire Wood

2

3

2 hr/cord

2 hr/cord

* 2 people/team

Table Source: Horse and Human Labor Estimates for Amish Farms

I don’t think this table is all that accurate, my father-in-law would have been the first to tell you that two hours per cord of firewood is a fantasy, it takes a lot longer to do a full cord with just hand tools. But it does give oneself pause to think, we who live day to day with benefits of oil are in for a shocking reality check.

 

- Wolfe

 


Letter Re The Bug Out Bag Todds Comment

Full comment by Todd follows:

Since I have received so many emails, I am thinking of putting together an extensive list of items that should be in your 72 hour kit & Bug out Bag.The most important thing you need is water & since you cannot carry much water, you will need a small water filter. I carry a small pump water filter that will filter out 99.999% of micro-organisms. I also carry a straw type filters that filter as you suck through the straw. Just in case I also carry a bottle of purification pills. Second you need nutrients & the best source of nutrients is\nlife caps, not only are they pure, real food, easy digestible & you can live on life caps & water alone, they are light & easy to carry. Great for children & adults, they have all the vitamins & minerals including iodine to sustain life. When a tragedy or emergency hits, people do not realize the importance of water, vitamins & minerals during stressful situations. Fatigue & illness occurs because of lack of nutrients & water. Most of the time the hunger is not there because of the stress. YOU NEED TO REMEMBER TO TAKE GOOD VITAMINS & DRINK WATER IN AN EMERGENCY TO STAY HEALTHY & HELP YOURSELF & OTHERS. What is the first thing you do in an emergency situation on a plane, you put the oxygen mask on yourself then take care of others around you. First thing in an emergency, you should take life caps & drink water before you do  anything else. You cannot do yourself or anyone else any good if you fall due to stress. Many elders & children die before people realize they need more than double the vitamins & water during a stressful situation than during a normal day. Elders & children die because of lowered immune systems during emergencies. Please find good water filters, purification pills & get some l ife caps at lifecaps.net. Type in “Heathcaps” as your! coupon code to save 33%. I did a Google search to find the straw type filters. The straw filters are made by Aquamira, but do not buy off there site, I found them for 1/2 the price on\nother sites.


Net Neutrality

avatar-white-red

On Jan. 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order.

And on May 15, the FCC voted to propose a new “open Internet” rule that may let Internet service providers charge content companies for priority treatment, relegating other content to a slower tier of service.

Under these rules, telecom giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to pick winners and losers online and discriminate against online content and applications.

We must stop the FCC from moving forward with these rules.

Here’s how we got here:

The open Internet rules, adopted in 2010, were designed to prevent Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or slowing users’ connections to online content and apps.

This ruling means that just a few powerful phone and cable companies could control the Internet. Without Net Neutrality, ISPs will be able to devise new schemes to charge users more for access and services, making it harder for us to communicate online — and easier for companies to censor our speech. The Internet could come to resemble cable TV, where gatekeepers exert control over where you go and what you see.

Without Net Neutrality, ISPs like AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon will be able to block content and speech they don’t like, reject apps that compete with their own offerings, and prioritize Web traffic (reserving the fastest loading speeds for the highest bidders and sticking everyone else with the slowest).

The tools ISPs use to block and control our communications aren’t different from the ones the NSA uses to watch us. Whether it’s a government or a corporation wielding these tools or the two working together, this behavior breaks the Internet as we know it and makes it less open and secure.

We must fight to ensure that the Internet we love won’t simply become a platform for corporate speech or another tool for government spying. We must protect the Internet that lets us connect and create, that rejects censorship and values our right to privacy.

The Internet shouldn’t be a walled garden. It should remain a forum for innovation and free expression. As so many startups and political activists know, open, affordable, fast and universal communications networks are essential to our individual, economic and political futures.

For our 101 on Net Neutrality, click here.


Looking Back The Great Depression of 1929

They say that hindsight is 20/20, but that’s not true. Many historians are still debating the causes of the Great Depression, and it becomes even more important to take a close look at what really happened back then under our current circumstances.

There is generally two trains of thought of what caused the Great Depression, but I think there is also a third reason. The first train of thought basically boils down to one argument that states that the way governments dealt with the money supply interfered with the self-regulating production and consumption of products and services, (otherwise known as the free market). Some people believe that by that the massive deflation of the dollar was the direct result of an increase in the money supply, others contribute that it was the gold standard itself that caused deflation.

Read more…

 

The second train of thought also boils down to a lack of confidence in the market, a public panic that never fully recovered. This was assumed to be caused by under consumption and over investment. Although there are several other theories as to what caused the Great Depression, it is likely that all of them had at least some influence in it.

 

Regardless of the economic causes, the political causes, and policies of the Federal Reserve no one can argue that there was one thing common to all theories, people were stupid. If you blame the use of certain policies of Fed, you could be like F.A. Hayek can call it “silly”, at ever explanation some one is blaming some one else.

 

When historians look at the past, even those who write about events while living it, their viewpoint is always warped by their own worldview. Racists blame the Jews, the poor blame the rich, and the union member blames the corporation. This has never changed since the dawn of man, and is likely to never change in the future. People do not take responsibility for their own decisions that place themselves in harm’s way. Anyone who argues against me on this point better check out www.darwinawards.com before sending me an email! The Great Depression was caused by the people who suffered it, it is as simple to understand as asking yourself why a drunk beggar is begging on the street. Would any of you who are reading this move from where ever you are right now, and with out any preparing, education in the language or culture, or even looking the place up on Wikipedia, and go live in Calcutta? By the same token, if you found yourself on a beach on Japan while the tsunami warning alarms were going off, would you stay and pull out your surf board? Then why do so many people depend on a system for their livelihood they don’t understand?

 

Yet that is exactly what ever person is doing from day to day when they assume that if something like an earthquake ever takes place near their home, some one from the Red Cross will come and rescue them, or if the economic crash ever happens the government welfare system will provide them with enough money for food.

 

During World War One the federal spending of the United States grew three times faster then the amount of taxes that were collected during the same period, as a result there were massive cuts in the budget in 1920 which triggered a recession. Without the investment into manufacturing sector as a result of the war, which acted like a stimulus, the economy would have nose dive then, as an average of 600 banks failed each year.

 

While the economy contracted, Unions began to fail and companies began to merge. Between 1920 and 1929 union membership dropped by 50% or more in some sectors, while independent companies got swallowed up by a mere 200 corporations to control half the private sector assets and jobs. The end result by 1930 was that 80% of the people who had paid taxes in 1920, were removed from the taxable status. While the richest 1% of the people became owners of 40% of the wealth, 93% of the people lost over 4% of their income. Women lost minimum wage, child labor laws were struck down, and the stock market began it’s artificial clime rising 40% in the latter two years.

 

By the beginning of 1930 the average American household was making $750 per year ($9550.00 in today’s dollar). Businesses had three times the amount of inventory then they had the year before, which was directly connected to a 20% decline in production per year which started two months before the crash. During those same 60 days, wholesale drops annually by 7.5% while income drops at a rate of 5% per year.

 

Black Tuesday, October 29th 1929, became the precipice of a $16 billion dollar loss, $204 billion in today’s dollar. The Federal Reserve reacted by slashing the prime interest rate from 6 to 4 percent. The government of the United States passes the Smoot-Hawley Tariff in June, which results in spreading the recession to Europe, it was a 40% tariff, but only helped out the average American by 2.4%. The GNP falls 9.4 percent from the year before. The unemployment rate climbs from 3.2 to 8.7 percent.

 

To be Continued. – Wolfe

 


Want me to link to your blog?

For those that request, endlessly I might add, for me to link to their blog or website, please do me the favor and check my bookmarks first, I might have linked it already. (Returning the favor is great BTW)

If it is not listed in the directory, and it follows the same subject matter as the others, I will likely include it if you send me a request at my email address (wolfe -(AT)- wolfeblog dot net). -wolfe


Survival Warehouse Redirect

Every now and then I get a request from some website owner to remove links to their website from one of the sites I’m a webmaster of. The funny thing is, it’s not actually what they want. Google has this weird opinion that if to many people link to your site, you must be cheating. Which maybe true, but in this case I don’t think so.

Survival Warehouse Dot Com, requested that we remove a single link from the APN forum, because of google, and when I went looking in the database, I actually found 6. So I thought to myself, here is a website being recommended by our regulars to others in the prepper community and google thinks they went on a spam spree.

So I decided to cheat back.

Those links in the forum now redirect to this post your reading now. No Google penalty to Survival Dash Warehouse Dot Com …

but I’m sure you will check them out anyway.
;)

– wolfe