How to differentiate yourself in this new post-apocalypse age

We all know how hard it is to try and stand out among the nameless desperate hordes outside the cities gates. Brute labor just isn’t enough in these hard times.  It is only natural. No person can live alone. There is simply too much to do. We all need help. Society must progress.

But for a tribe to accept you, you need to stand out,   Why are you worth more than the countless barbaiaran hordes? You need to stand out.  So pick one of these skills below to help makes yourself a “Survivor.”

Below is a list of the skills one should have to survive after the Apocalypse.

The lists is loosely organized around Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, starting with the most fundamental.  Within each sub-category skills needed for the short-term (or immediate survival) are listed before skills needed for more long-term survival. Pick one or two from each larger need and no tribe will reject you!

(Here I basically improv based on this list.  Instead of powepoint, someone behind a table is putting items on table as I speak of needs. All very post-apocalypse.)

Physiological Needs


How to purify water

Get water out of a cactus

How to gather rain

How to dig a well


How to start a fire without a match

How to pick a survival knife

How to skin an animal

How to hunt an animal

How to shoot an arrow

How to make a bow and arrow

How to use a gun

How to pick a gun

How to clean and maintain a gun

How to make a bullet

How to trap an animal

How to track an animal

How to make beef jerky

How to gather food

How to raise an animal

How to grow corn, beans, squash and other southwestern foods

How to can foods

How to dry beans

How to dehydrate food

How to read the weather


How to build a shelter

How to use a leatherman

Basic construction knowledge

Basic electrical knowledge

How to raid a home depot store


How to sew a button

How to repair shirt/pants

Safety Needs

Personal Security

How to use a gas mask

How to swing a golf club as a weapon

Same weapon skills needed for hunting listed above

How to build/repair a fence

How to build a perimeter

How to make a cannon

Basic chemistry

Financial Security

How to raid a pharmacy

Bargaining skills

How to siphon gas

How to start an abandoned car

How to build a solar power system

How to build a wind system

Health and well-being

How to fix a wound

Basic medical care for the short and long term

Basic psychology or counseling skills

How to swamp cool the natural way

Love and belonging needs

How to build a commune

How to make a plan

How to communicate long distance without power

How to play the harmonica

Current Project

Posted: September 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

It is awesome I still get views on this old project.  Oh, the power of search engines!  If anyone is interested in what I am currently working on check out the Arthouse Web Series! 

Recent award

Posted: September 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

I would imagine my visitors for these next couple of days will be because I won a New Times “Best Of” award for “Best Blog About the End of the World – 2012.”

I am very happy to win the award, it helps feed my ego.  I would like to say that the article is wrong that I think the Mayan Prophecy is going to actually happen.  But like I say in this blog’s “about” page, “Let’s assume that Armageddon doesn’t happen and it ends up being a Mayan-Y2K joke and we all laugh at Nostradamus.  But just in case……  why not work on some bankable skills?”

I should also note that I have not done much updating since 2011.  I also planned for this blog to be my big project for 2011.  I usually like to have a different project for each year.   So that’s why there are not a lot of recent posts.  However, if you like take a spin on the left side of this page through “Recent Top Posts” for the greatest hits .   

Thanks for visiting, and thanks to the New Times for the honor.

Character for a play.

Posted: September 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

The monlogue below was orginally written by Ernesto Moncada as a part of one of his Arcana Collective performances.   He wrote the piece for me orginally and then I have heavily edited it.



A rhythm made by snapping fingers off stage marks the entrance of Apocalypse Man, who comes in holding the Book of Lies. The snapping fingers are cut when Apocalypse Man slams the Book of Lies in the table and opens it.


One of these days, the world is going to end.

Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow but someday all of this, you and me included, will stop being what it is now to become something else, something entirely different, something brand new.

And when that happens, my friend, when the giant life-turd hits the fan with such force that it breaks the god-damned thing to shit-covered pieces, you will find out just how meaningless concepts like comfort and leisure really are, and you will remember basic happiness: To eat something delicious, to sleep in warmth, to express your thoughts and feelings with your own body and voice.

Our world, this one, fragile. Like a drunk fucking egg balancing on a tall dilapidated wall! Nuclear fallout, zombies, virus outbreaks, extreme weather conditions, social breakdown, the collapse of ATMs, the Second-fucking-Coming… Anything could shake it down! Even the most insignificant thing! The sting of a jellyfish under the full moon can trigger Armageddon if you let it!

After another sip and a drag, the man beholds what is written in the open pages in front of him and reads.

This is what the Book of Lies tells us: “Our very own underworld, so tiny and beautiful, collapses under the incredible weight of unattainable expectations.”

So, (with mockery), the future is dead… according to the Book of Lies, of course. As if we did not suspect it all along.

Well, to hell with the Book of Lies and its bullshit humanism! To hell with society’s codes of conduct! If the end of times is in fact imminent and completely out of our control, then all we have left is our God-given/Devil-approved Right of taking off our pants when things get bona fide weird!

Man leaves stage un-panted. Ashley enters with sign that says “Time passes.” flips it over and it says “That Time Passed” Or any other distraction that can represent disaster and allows for quick costume change.


Ladies and Gentlemen, Oppenheimer’s destroyer of worlds has arrived! It came like the mother of all storms, meaning business and looking the part! No one escaped its spanking.

I have encountered hostile, ugly ghettos built over dilapidated old office spaces, some with marginal resources and others with no resources at all. Barely tribes with flags; more like anarchic frat houses. I’ve seen Walmarts turned into towering fortresses! I’ve seen a pirate ship made out of super-market carts riding the highway! I’ve seen packs of hungry mutated guinea pigs ambush my-fellow travelers!

The man pulls out flask.

I toast for my long-lost treasures! To my house by the mountains, surrounded by wild roosters and cowardly neighbors; to my faithful car turned mobile fallout shelter; to the mysterious technology that connected us to the rest of the world; to the cooling system, the heather, the fridge and the stove; to the territory I always called mine even though it never really was: Salud!

The man takes a drink from his flask.

Faceless strangers and long lost friends, I bring sad news tonight: The on-going end of the world is not actually the “end of times”… Time, it turns out, just continues! An endless succession of empty minutes followed by what it seems like eons of unremarkable hours…

Man takes another pull and returns flask to pouch. The man goes for another pouch and, without even looking, takes out a tobacco pouch and rolling paper.

My friend, Say goodbye to your comic-book collection! Kiss your pornography goodbye! Bid farewells to your trophies and your jewels! You won’t need Hollywood, where we are heading next! Trust me: the future is no place for your Chihuahua!

Begins to roll cig.

To hell with your coffee grinder and your espresso machine! To hell with your smart-phone and your dumb waterbed! To hell with your electric fence and your silent alarms! To hell with your armored vehicle and your automatic weapons!

Calms down while he licks the rolled cigarette, contemplating it with pride.

We must become human cockroach ready to surf the electro-magnetic shock waves.

Continues to roll cig.

And you’re mistaken if you think this is all about what kind of gear you can get your hands on because you will need more than that to survive the end of days! You will need humor. Lots of it! You will need wits. Tons of them! And you definitely will need love… Even if it’s just a little bit, at least a quarter-full canteen to make it through the loneliness.

Ready to light up, Apocalypse Man looks for a lighter somewhere in his backpack. He rummages in several pouches with no avail. Sighing in frustration, with the un-lit tobacco caught between his lips, he gives up the search.

In the Apocalypse there are no unsolvable problems, only complicated situations; there is a difference and it is a rather important one.

He puts a hand inside one of the pouches again but this time he takes something out: Two stones.

Every crisis teaches you something valuable. There is a lesson behind each challenge; wisdom for tears is not a sorry-ass deal.

He takes a stone in each hand and starts to strike them against each other near the tip of the cigarette. He continues doing this, patiently, as he walks off stage.

The text below was written for the  liberal forum over at the Prepper Forum 

Not only am I liberal among the prepper community but I am also a liberal living in Arizona. Talk about being a minority. My guess is there probably about 100 conservatives for every liberal in the prepper community. And I know for a fact that there are few liberals in AZ. In fact, we got more registered Independents in Arizona than democrats.  Which means, in Arizona we have, in order of population, Republicans, People who believe Republicans don’t go far enough, and a few Janet Napolitano supporters.

Not that conservative-bent preppers are a bad bunch, in fact if the end of the world happens there is no one else I would better like to hang out with.  If for no other reason, there are going to be a lot more of them than me.

Talking politics is such a tricky thing.  Somewhere along the way America became a very shrill place.  Maybe we always were, Exhibit A: Burr versus Hamilton.  

I like my fellow preppers, even though I sometimes get tired of the completely outrageous statements  I hear among my conservative brethren.  I tend to keep my mouth shut when they start talking politics because I know I am a minority and flame wars just wear me out.

This post has turned into a very long-winded version of my question.  How do you handle being a liberal in the prepper world?   Do you engage in political discussions with the not-like minded?  If so, how do you handle it without it just descending into anger?    How do you remain friends and also disagree?  Maybe I should have learned the answer to these questions in kindergarten.

Below: Just a joke people, just a joke, and about a 6 year-old one at that.

I need to learn how to fish.  Because if you teach a man to fish he can fish in the canals. I know fishing in the canals sounds disgusting, but fish make for good and cheap fertilizer, especially for corn.

Here and here is the info I have found about fishing in the canals.

Short version, you can fish pretty much all the canals except the CAP.

Cut and pasted…..

Can I fish in the canals?

Yes, unless posted “no trespassing.” Anglers must have a valid fishing license in possession for state waters (not an urban fishing license) as per ARS 17-331. Learn more about fishing regulations in Arizona by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Web site at

Below:  Not a Phoenix Canal.

Canal Milan Italy

Update to solar still

Posted: August 27, 2011 in solar, water

Update to solar still.  This would have been a good idea.

Back in March I built a solar still in my backyard.  As Arizona is a dry place and my backyard does not have a creek in it, I tried to suck moisture out of plants.

This did not work.

I finally got around to editing the video.  Watch below if you care to watch my failed attempt as well as my first use of the fast-forward function.  If you don’t care to watch the video, the short version is that a solar still is a ridiculous amount of work for a ridiculously small amount of water.

On a side note, the raised garden did not work either.

A little bit of spoof of Twilight Zone, a little spoof of the survivalist community.  Which I hope they like the jokes, because they are probably the only ones who would get the jokes.

Please note the character and jokes are fiction.

Summer break

Posted: July 26, 2011 in arizona, solar

I realize that the Apocalypse is going to be tough, but it is really hot out there.  It’s been a little tough to practice the necessary skills with this heat.  “Sure,” I can hear you saying, “You are going to be fine during the nuclear holocaust, you can’t even take a little sunburn.”  But trust me people, the AZ sun is no place to practice throwing one’s rabbit stick.

As a good friend reminded me the other day, the best rule of surviving in AZ in summer is to respect the sun.  So I suppose I am taking summer off, unless I can figure out a skill I should learn/practice inside.  I am not interested in learning how to sew, some people were just destined to go without pants in the end times.

In the meantime, here are some re-runs.

How to deal with bad sewing skills.  Filmed during the Wednesday night Open Mic at Conspire.

Below is a video my friend Amy Jean and I filmed a while back.  It really demonstrates my bad sewing chops.