Posts Tagged ‘end times’

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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Insert Irony Here.

Posted: February 4, 2011 in plan, research, water
Tags: , ,

So in all of my preparations for the end times, I somehow overlooked paying my water bill for 4 months in a row. So the city shut off my water last night, today I got it turned back on.  I have no excuse for not paying my bill.  I find it funny that I spent so much time researching and experimenting on how to survive when the grid fails that I forgot to pay the bill and the grid, therefore, failed me.

I had to go to work without taking a shower, I suspect people noticed. I did have a 2.5 gallon plastic container of water that I had bought recently. I have been buying them to avoid drinking non-city water and also planned on using the empty containers for prepping seeds. So I had water to drink and rinse that night’s dishes, but it got me thinking how I bet it would have only lasted me two, maybe three days if I stretched it. If there had been no easy way to gather new water I would have been screwed.

So I think a good experiment would be to see how I would survive a weekend without any grid water. I am going to prep a little for the experiment. I am going to gather containers for water, first.

In a couple of weekends, the plan is a Friday afternoon after work, I am going to pretend that I would know the water was going to go out, so I will have two hours to gather as much water from the faucet as I can.  After that I turn the meter off and for the rest of the weekend I will only wash, clean, drink, or cook with water I gathered. I am curious to see how much water I will need. I am also curious to see how much more cleaning and cooking will be a pain in the ass without grid water.

I can tell you in my one night without water, I found cleaning dishes a surprising pain in the ass, and as I mentioned, earlier I had to go to work without taking a shower, and I think people noticed.  Awkward.

One the last places people would think to raid is their local library.  But there is a whole shit load of knowledge there.  Probably best if you read the books first, however your tribe will have people who have an immediate desire to learn but no repository of knowledge to pull from.  Library raiding is more beneficial for the mid and long-term survival rather than the short- term.  But, as I said, this will be one of the last places people think to raid.

The problem is the library’s card catalog system will be down.  So here is the Dewey Decimal System of places on the bookshelves to hit first.  Print this list for your bookmaker. The subjects you probably learned in high school will the least useful and there is no need to scanvager them first.  Once the inital shock has jelled for a while you will probably be able to roam the literature section.

180 Ancient, medieval, Oriental philosophy
500 Natural sciences & mathematics
508 Natural history
550 Earth sciences
581 Botany
582 Plants noted for specific vegetative characteristics and flowers
600 Technology (Applied sciences)
610 Medical sciences; Medicine
611 Human anatomy, cytology, histology
612 Human physiology
613 Promotion of health

613.69 Survival Guides

614 Incidence & prevention of disease
615 Pharmacology and therapeutics
616 Diseases
617 Surgery & related medical specialties
619 Experimental medicine
640 Home economics & family living
645 Household furnishings
646 Sewing, clothing, personal living
647 Management of public households
649 Child rearing & home care of sick

I might edit this list as I come across new numbers when I check out books, which is like raiding a place with the safety wheels still on.

You know the scene from many  a movie.  The giant spaceship erupts the sky,  the gigantic wall of molten lava speeds towards you, or you watch a giant mushroom cloud raid neon green droplets.  You know the end is immediate so you might as well watch the last few fireworks.

For a song to make it to a list to play at this profound moment would take something special; a little joy, a little sadness, and a little bit of hope.

My current list.

1. I saw her standing her there by The Beatles sample lyric “No I will never dance with another”. Best if you are with a loved one.

2. Ramblin Man by the Allman Brothers. Because that is what we the survivors are about to embark on, a long ramble.

3. Something by CCR because anything by them is also good for ramblin.

4. All along the Watch Tower by Jimi Hendrix For all the obvious reasons.

5. Stuck in the Middle with You by Steelers Wheel because it makes one happy to be surrounded by madness.

6. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by the Eurythmics because it has got a great sense of sur-realism and stubbordness.

7. It’s the End of the World (And I Feel Fine) by R.E.M. because it is too glaring a choice to not include, plus it is the perfect song to dance on everyone’s graves to.

8.  Revolution by the Beatles a joyous song about things falling apart.

Below is a list of the skills one should have to survive after the Apocalypse. My goal for 2011 is to learn as much as I can in one year (2012 it all ends, right?) while holding down my day job. I don’t expect to learn every skill below. However, I thought I should first brainstorm all the skills I should learn and from there pick the most important and most likely ones I would be able to acquire in one year.

Two notes about the list below:

  • First, 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.
  • Second, while I wrote the original version of this list on Dec, 16, 2010 the list is being constantly added to and edited. I add items as I think of them, and also build links into particular subjects as I find links that I particularly like for specific subjects.

Physiological Needs

Water

How to purify water

Get water out of a cactus

How to gather rain

How to dig a well

Food

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

Shelter

How to build a shelter

How to use a leatherman

Basic construction knowledge

Basic electrical knowledge

How to raid a home depot store

Clothing

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

How to navigate using the stars

So the world is about to end in 2012 and I was thinking, if it all goes down in a big ball of flame or ecoli or whatever I ain’t got any real skills. I mean I can explain to someone how the bond market works but I don’t think anybody would really care in a world where people are riding around on motorcyles in their underwear.

So I got one year, now let’s assume the world is not really going to end and it ends up being a Mayan-Y2K joke and we all laugh at Nostrodomous.  But just in case……  why not work on some bankable skills?

I am going to see how much a schmuck like me, a man with a gut living in surburbia america with a 9 to 5 job can learn in one year.   And this blog will mark my progress.

The irony, of course, is if the whole world goes to shit, no one will be able to read it.

Kevin P Dec 2010