Posts Tagged ‘2012’

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.

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This is perfect for an icon for discussion boards where the discussion is the end of the world.  .

The image is originally from a UNICEF ad campaign to raise money for ex-child soldiers in Buruni.  It was part of a 30 second commercial where the Smurfs get carpet-bombed.  You can find it on youtube, I would link but the link moves.  The intent was to show children the horrors of war.  UNICEF released the pilot commercial in Holland.  The immediate response by the internet was that this was just wrong, just plain gargamellly.

Murphy’s Law of the apoclaypse  

  • An animal that is too easy to catch ain’t worth eating.
  • You will get sick of beans.
  • Mice will get to your beans.
  • The mice in your beans will be easy to catch.
  • The mice in your beans will have Hantavirus.
  • People will betray you because of the temptation for meat.
  • You will be the meat.
  • There will always be someone meaner.

In a magical time called the 90’s things were good.  Our worry’s were about the President’s sexual indiscretions and not about collapsing housing markets or mountains of national debt. The wars we fought in were far away and small.  Few came back with scars for life.  The wars were in isolated places like Rwanda or the Balkans, places where the threat of hate spreading across borders was not a major concern.  Times were good.

The darkest thing we had on the horizon was a threat called Y2K.  People were terrified of the prospect that computers dependent on the numbers “0” and “1”  would not be able to handle the math of a changing century.  We imagined planes falling out of the sky, entire credit card networks committing hari kari, electonic security systems whispering off to silence, a silent grid.

Wal-Mart refused to let people return gasoline powered generations.  We feared desperate times made desperate people.

Nothing happened.  Everything was fine.  It was not for another 10 years or so that we faced true crisis.  We grew weak and bloated.  In fact, most of us still are.

I have come to the sad conculsion that I am not in any kind of physical shape for the apocalypse. I just read the pre-notes for the Survivial School I am taking this weekend. The first piece of advice he gives is to arrive to the class in shape. Apparently wandering around the desert all day looking for edible plants can wear a man out.  The improtance of being in physical shape is one of the best things one can do to get ready has popped up multiple times in prepper books and forums.

I believe I am in the worst shape of my life. The 6 mile hike I did a couple of weekends ago  zapped me for two days.
Unfortunately, it is difficult for me to find the build the habit of exercising on a regular bais. Lately I have been thinking that maybe a goal would help and then the warrior dash crossed my radar. I missed the one held last weekend, but perhaps I should set the goal to run the “3.4 Hellish Miles” next year. Assuming society still exists come April 2012.

In the meantime, I have been doing more of the the only type of execise I really enjoy, which is hiking.  This week I managed to go for three steep but quick hikes.

Next weekend I am taking a survival class for four days, we are going to walk a lot. I hope I am ready.

Below: Saw this tree blooming in the desert. Anybody got any idea what it is? It is pink flowers, and short stubby leaves. More photos at the flickr page, follow the link from the photo.

mayrandom 083

Thank you Tommy Cannon for showing me how!

Neil Strauss has already wandered deep down the rabbit hole I am currently exploring.  Many of the same conclusions I am reaching (for example how we are more likely to help rather than hurt each other when the SHTF)  are chapters in his book, Emergency: This Book will save your life.  While I have been exploring what one would need to know when society crumbles for the last 4 months, he spent 3 years doing this and wrote a book when he was finished.

If one is looking for a practical “How to guide” for surviving the end of the days then this book is not for you, perhaps How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times is a better choice for that.   But if one is looking for a journal of how goes about learning how to prepare or one wants to reflect on the lessons learned while prepping then this is a book worth reading.

Since reading it I have caught myself a couple of times thinking when blogging “Is this my observation or Strauss’s?”    He killed a goat, learned how to make a knife, was instructed on how to respond to a disaster, cooked a fish and survived a wet night in the woods.  However, these things he did are not as valuable to the reader as his reflections of what conclusions one reaches when one does these things.  For that reason, if nothing else, it is worth reading.

In the meantime, I am going to take a least one of his specific recommendations, which is to take a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) class.