Archive for the ‘Neighbors’ Category

Lately I been mulling over what would be the best car for after the Apocalypse.

It would have to meet the following criteria.

  • Easy to work on
  • Reliable
  • Good Gas Mileage (or maybe diesel?) best if it can take both
  • Bad ass intimidation factor
  • Can take a physical beating


Here is what I found for easy cars to work on

  • VW’s before 1993
  • ANY volvo built from 85-00
  • Honda Civics

However, these cars are very weak on the bad ass intimidation factor.

Then over at the Ron Paul Discussion forums I discovered this forum which recommends 1985 to 1995 Toyota 4×4 Pickups with the 4 cylinder because it can take gas and diesel, gets good mileage, and can take a beating.

The BBC tried to kill one but didn’t

Here is also a quote from the forum:

“Top gear actually picked up one from a junkyard that had 190,000 miles on it (but still ran), and without doing any work to it whatsoever… drove it down flights of stairs, crashed it into a tree at about 30mph, sideswiped buildings, hit it with a wrecking ball, crashed it through a wooden shed, dropped it from about 12ft in the air, dropped a small camper on it from about 12ft in the air, left it in the english channel for 5 hours (completely submerged….they actually lost it but it washed up when the tide went out), lit it on fire (cab and bed), and finally…… they put it on top of a 240ft building that was then demolished explosively. They pulled it out of the rubble, reconnected the battery cable, and started it up. It still ran, and drove.”

So after a couple of hours of internet searching and reading I decided on the Toyota Pickup and went outside to take a break.  I had forgotten that my neighbor has one in his driveway!  He takes it out to the wash somewhere outside of Phoenix and races it in the dirt.  He is constantly working on it.  Which reminded me once again about Rule 1:  Get along with the neighbors.

Below: Beside my driveway.


Two weeks ago I gathered water from the mountain, built a water purification system, and drank some water that went through it. I did not get sick, but I suspect that was more because of dumb luck rather than my engineering skills.

I used the World Wildlife Foundation’s instructions on how to build a water filter as my general guide. I used their’s because it was the best one I could find in terms of clarity along with the most post-apocalyptic scenario. Most sites I found for water purification are using modern toys that won’t necessarily be available after the camping stores and hardware stores get raided.

There where were many lessons learned that did not make it into the video because of editing concerns. Those lessons learned were the following.

Flush the system. Flush the system some more. And then flush the system. I am not sure how one would flush the system with water if your issue was lack of water. Maybe have the system built and then wait for a rain? Not good if you need the water for immediate survival.

Clean the sand, let it dry. Clean it again. The water came out dirtier than when it first went in. Reading about things later, I learned that wet sand can hold more nasty tiny lifeforms than water. If I had to use the sand immediately, I might even skip the sand step.

Don’t wait until the last moment to build your system. The whole system took 14 hours to make, and it should have taken longer. Best way to not run out of water is to plan ahead. This system should be built over time, before you need the water immediately to survive. If the grid goes down, and you don’t have a way to clean water, then make this a first priority after taking care of other immediate survival needs. According to the author of a good low-cost way to clean water is pool shock tablets that only contain calcium chlorite.

Place multiple charcoal levels. Perhaps pre-treat water with charcoal first. Charcoal doesn’t taste that bad as tea. A fire does not produce as much charcoal as you might think. If I had to have a little water now, and not later. I would just filter the water as best as I could, put some charcoal into the bottle and shake it around. I read somewhere that is would work for immediate  and last resort water concerns. I suspect it would, but I am not inclined to try that until I have to in order to survive for real.

And on youtube

Rule 1 should be get along with your neighbors.  At least that is rule one if you live in my neighborhood.  On one side they grow chickens, have a huge garden, a fleet of woman to tend it and cook, another fleet of men who know construction and a solar panel.  On the other side of me is a grandmother who has Pack-Racked for many years, a house filled with children (Humanity will need children to keep hope alive) and men who know how to fix cars.

They know me, I know them.  If I am going to have to pick a tribe to belong to anyway it might as well be them.  Of course, I would have to prove I am worthy.  If I know how to gather water and electricity, that would help.  It would help more if I spoke Spanish.  I always got to get the kids to translate (again good to have children around because they learn quickly.)

Maybe I should add “Learn Spanish” to my list of tasks for the apocalypse.

dancinghorsegridflagstaff 028

Here is a shot of a friend of my neighbor with a dancing horse in front of my house.