Admin – Fifteen years of blogging

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It is, approximately, the 15 year birthday of the blog today. Fifteen years is a long time. The natural impulse is to look back but there’s a lot in there I’d just as soon not dwell on. Oh, sure, good and bad….but but it’s never an even mix. People..good and bad, experiences…good and bad.

Initially the blog was simply a space on LiveJournal that I had for posting about preparedness. Then, for a very short while, I tried HTML’ing my own website that incorporated the blog. Then I switched to WordPress and it’s been that way ever since. While WordPress has been a pretty stable platform over the years (knock on wood), I cannot say as much about some of the hosting services I’ve used. (The moral of that story, by the way, is that if you have a blog that you’re fond of running….back that sucker up frequently.)

Originally, the blog wasn’t about disseminating preparedness info, rather it was about what I was doing in my life for my own preparedness. Notes to myself about things I needed to get, or my impressions of various gear and guns that I’d picked up. From day one, the blog was really just a sort of journal to keep track of my experiences and thoughts on preparedness. Things evolve and while it still is mostly about me and my efforts, there’s also a strong undercurrent of ‘hey, you should take a look at this.’

One fascinating aspect of having been doing this for this long is that I can glean interesting info..I can see how prices of things (as well as availability) have changed over time and, most importantly, how forecasts of things (gun laws, metals prices, political changes, etc.) have turned out. There aren’t many actual blogs on preparedness I’ve found that have the same length of time at it as I do. That’s not to say there aren’t any, just that I haven’t run across them. However, in the time the blog has been kicking around I have visited hundreds, if not thousands, of other preparedness blogs…some interesting, some not…some ran for quite a while, some disappeared quickly….but a few have had legs and are still around (and I read them daily). [Most notably ,Rawles’ SurvivalBlog which popped up about two years after I opened this place….I knew I should have registered that domain name!]

It’s been interesting to see how things have held up over time..for example, I have posts where I mention putting some food away for long term storage and then ten years later I have a post about opening it up and using it. Thats kind of a rare thing in the blogosphere.

Expenses? Well, I figure it’s been a couple grand for hosting, bandwidth, domain registration, etc, over the last fifteen years. Spread it out over 180 months and it doesn’t seem so painful, but when I look back on it as one lump sum..well…thats a few AR15’s that never were. (And if you’d like to kick in a few bucks for housekeeping expenses around the blog, there’s a link right here…

Every dollar you spend does not go to a starving child in Africa, a baby seal rescue organization, or to a GoFundMe for some kid with cancer. Instead it goes to a blogger in Montana who uses it to pay for website expenses, .223 ammo, freeze drieds, and lap dances from morally-challenged and financially-illiterate coeds. (Well, mostly the first three things.) Ah, but seriously….I try to not put the arm on folks more than once every several years. But, some folks want to help keep the lights on and I appreciate that greatly. Some folks take it up a notch and actually make a repeating monthly donation (sort of a subscription) and for that I’m really grateful. And thats the end of the infomercial part of todays post.

The advent of cool stuff in those fifteen years? First and foremost is the expiration of the assault weapons ban…that annoying bit of Clinton legacy that gave us things like this: Many of you are too young to remember, but there was a time when the M4gery you paid $600 for today brought $1500. And your $12 PMAG was worth about $50. Second mortgages were the order of the day if you wanted something like a Beta 100-rd drum. Fortunately that nonsense expired in 2004, one year after the blog opened for business.

Gas prices ran the gamut from $1.75 to darn near $4, silver bounced between $6 and near-$50, and we all somehow managed to make it past half a dozen end-of-the-world scenarios including but not limited to: 2012, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Harvey, Peak Oil, Birld Flu, SARS, Ebola, Anthrax scares, and a few others that escaped me. Still no sign of Xenu, zombies, assorted religious returns, UN troops, alien overlords, or space Nazis.

Gunwise there have been some pretty forward movements…most notably the ‘arm brace’ fad, the somewhat-mainstreaming of the non-NFA 14″ not-a-shotguns, and the massive post-2016-election gun market slump that saw factory AR’s as low as $400 and AR mags cheaper than a Starbucks coffee. We also saw at least a half dozen panic buying episodes that we never really fully recovered from (if $15 bricks of Federal .22 are anything to go by. [or go buy]).

I suppose a very valid question is: how long can you keep blogging about a topic before you’ve exhausted every possible idea worthy of posting? Beats me…life has a bizarre way of throwing a curve ball (right at your head, usually) when you get to feeling complacent. I’ll keep blogging as long as I have internet and a pulse, I suppose. If the traffic dropped to near nothing I’d still blog…it’s something I really do for my own enjoyment rather than for the accolades and attention. (Although it’d be disingenuous for me to say that I haven’t enjoyed the very small level of notoriety that sometimes comes from these posts.) I suppose there’s never really a shortage of grass to graze on when it comes to preparedness topics. There will always be a hurricane, earthquake, riot, pandemic, or what have you, somewhere in the world that makes us re-examine the survivability of our existing systems.

Someday, though, I’d like to be able to make a post about how I’m sitting on the front porch of my little concrete hacienda out in boonies, watching the clouds drift by, listening to the creek, and occasionally popping off some ammo at whatever target of opportunity happens to pass by. Hey..it could happen.

At this point of introspection, the blogger would usually make some sort of comment like “I couldn’t have done it without you, the readers…and for that I am grateful.” Well, that sounds nice but it really isn’t true. Even if not a single person read this blog, it would still be here today and probably just as good (or bad) as it is now. But…the readers do make me enjoy blogging more than if it were just me yelling into the emptiness. So…theres that. I like to think that people who have hung around here a while have enjoyed the postings and in some way have felt a bit of a connection. That’s probably the biggest enjoyment I get from blogging – the connection. You see, back in the old days, before the interweb, we survivalists could very easily think that we were the only ones. We never really met other survivalists, or had a efficient way to communicate and meet  with other like-minded individuals, so it was very easy to think that you were unique and possibly a little weird in your outlook. Over the years, through the blog, I’ve had the immense satisfaction of encountering other people who had the same darn outlook.. and that sort of reinforcement is really useful at times. So…if nothing else, I hope I’ve helped to make some folks feel like they weren’t alone in their concerns and interests.

Thats about it, I guess. Back to our regularly scheduled brain droppings.

How to Build a Totally Self-Sustaining Home

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Is there anything more alluring than that self sustaining home. The home that has the solar power system, wind energy, green house, big garden, livestock and so much more. Its a dream many of us have and its a common path that most preppers follow. You know, in the beginning you find yourself in a …

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The Ultimate Doomsday Prepping List, Part II

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There are days when it feels like all is well and there are days when you feel like its all gonna fall and its gonna fall at the same time. What do I mean? Well, first the economy tanks because it has been riding too high for too long. Then the dollar gets rejected by …

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Want To Freak Yourself Out?” Here Is All The Personal Data That Facebook/Google Collect

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How are we, as preppers, supposed to move on into this brave new world with things the way they are. You know that one of the most important parts of prepping is OPSEC. We are all supposed to keep these things quiet and calm in their intent. We are working hard to protect our families …

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Book Review: Handbook of Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZahHTxDZag The Handbook of Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents is an expensive book, and it goes into a lot of detail – basically it is used as a text in various college level WMD classes. There is a lot of half information about dealing with chemical and biological agents, and a lot of people buying equipment to protect their families without access to effective information to ensure they are spending their money of the right equipment. You cannot seem to read a website about Chem-Bio without some rehash of the smells of certain chemical agents, but if you smell newly mowed

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Why the March for Our Lives Might Be a March for the Ages

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It seems like we can hardly make it a month without a march for something these days. Are we looking the early stages of a serious unraveling of civil unrest that is in our future? It would seem that people are unhappy about everything. Many people wonder if we could see a return of the …

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Most Limits Exist Only In Our Minds

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Is there anything that pushes limits more than survival. Its rare that you get presented with a mental strength article in the realm of prepping. Its much more about selling gear and doing that sort of thing. Skills are big, too. Most survivors, despite training or not, mention one constant in all great survival tales. …

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How Diversified Income Sources Helps Economic Collapse Preparation

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How Americans make money is changing. We don’t save a penny of it but more Americans are pulling income from multiple sources than ever before. This is a very interesting change. For years it was about the big salary. It was about the costly, name brand, college degree and the big salary. That was “success” …

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African Violets: Sensational Saintpaulias You Can Grow At Home

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The post African Violets: Sensational Saintpaulias You Can Grow At Home is by hp4u and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

African violets, also known as Saintpaulias, are associated with motherhood, and are a traditional gift to Mom for Mother’s Day. They’re also popular for Valentine’s Day and for Easter. But what are African violets? Are there different species or varieties, and what might those be? Are they all blue or purple? Is there a best … Read more

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Apocalypse News Network

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Apocalypse News Network
Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below!

On this show we will be discuss alternate news sources, what they offer, and how to find them. When we hear a story on the nightly news how do we know how much of it is true and how much is a political agenda? We have all heard the term ‘fake news’ and most everyone should know by now that all news agencies across the globe are used for propaganda.

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Large Amount of Magma Came Into Caldera Yellowstone Super-Volcano 3-27-18

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There is certainly something that scares us all to death and its the ticking time bomb of Yellowstone. Its in our backyard if your on the east coast. it could be in your front yard if you are elsewhere in the country. One thing is for sure if the massive caldera volcano explodes the effects …

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What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2018-04-14)

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  This weekly post is an open-forum, though preferably focusing on what we all did this week for our prepping & preparedness. Comment and voice your thoughts, opinions, accomplishments, concerns, or questions for others on any general topic of preparedness. This weekly open-forum is for any off-topic conversation during the week. Keep up to date with recent comments from ALL articles.   A Call To Action (Support Modern Survival Blog) As many of you know, the tech monopolies of the internet are quite actively engaging in political censorship. For websites and social media that express viewpoints counter to their own

Original source: What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2018-04-14)

What Do YOU Think? (3-Minute Survey)

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The Grow Network is already the premier online Community for people who produce their own food and medicine — and we’re looking for ways to get even better!

Your feedback is really important to me and our team as we decide how The Grow Network can be most useful to you. Would you be willing to take a brief survey to let us know?

There are only 7 short questions which should take you about 3 minutes to complete. Just answer and click —  it’s easy!

Click Here To Take The Survey:
 https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CX2JR3N

Thank you so much for participating in this survey!

Big hug,

Marjory

 

 

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Watch The War In Gold Because We’re Four Months Away Global Economic Collapse

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How many articles have foretold the date of the collapse and been wrong? Its a lot but I think they all come with some level of a dire warning. This article is no different. We know that the economy is doing well in some places and better in others. There are bubbles that could burst …

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Danger! Danger! A Solar Storm is About to Strike!

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: Another guest contribution from John D. to The Prepper JournalAs always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!From:  John D.

News reports of 11-April-2018 warned that a solar storm could strike Earth this week. It went on to say that this such storms are more disruptive now than in the past because of our greater dependence on technical systems that can be affected by electrical currents and energetic particles high in the Earth’s magnetosphere. While this one is expected to be a minor storm, with only minimal negative effects on the surface of the earth, the comments on that news article were quite interesting. Most of the comments were jokes and ridicule. Some were quite clever. Many comments were of a political nature, and Al Gore’s name was mentioned more than once.

The jokes and ridicule are understandable. This is not our first solar storm. We’ve lived through all of them, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who’s experienced even the slightest of negative consequences. Not just that, but we know what to expect from the media. If they don’t stir up emotions, they don’t sell stories. We expect exaggeration, and the media seem oblivious to the much deserved ridicule they receive. On the other hand, could this be like the story of the boy who cried wolf? If, and when, we hear about a destructive solar storm headed for earth, will we take it seriously? Probably not. Some preppers are wise enough to take it seriously, and take the appropriate precautions, but the vast majority of people will not.

I might be as skeptical as anyone else, except for several accounts of actual solar storm-related destruction. In 1982, a massive solar flare disrupted communications and set off fires in Chicago. On March 10, 1989 a geomagnetic superstorm affected satellites in orbit, and shut down power grids in North America and northern Europe. Six million people in northeastern Canada were without power because of damage to Quebec’s power grid. A more powerful solar storm struck the earth in 1859, causing telegraph wires to burst into flames, and shocking operators. These are just a few of the many incidents that have occurred over the years.

If I needed more incentive to prepare for an extended grid power outage, I might get it from the contents of a 2008 congressional report concerning the possible effects of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP). An EMP could be the result from a solar storm, or it could come from a weapon. Enemies of the United States are known to be working on such weapons, and may already have them. The EMP Commission determined that the U.S. as a society today is not structured, nor does it have the means, to provide for the needs of nearly 300 million Americans without electricity. It goes on to say that casualties resulting from a long term power outage could exceed 60% of the population.

Today, due to our ever-increasing dependence upon very sensitive electronic components, a moderate to strong solar flare would cause massive damage and widespread power outages. It would take years to fully recover. It has been estimated that a solar storm as strong as the 1859 storm occurs only once in 100 years. If that’s true, then we’re long overdue.

Of those who commented on the April 11th news story, some say they don’t care if the power grid goes down. Surely they haven’t thought that through. The immediate aftermath would see people breaking out their candles and flashlights, and calmly making dinner on propane and charcoal grills. Most wouldn’t know what happened, and would expect power to be restored after a few hours. Day two would have some people concerned, and a lack of information would be unsettling. Those with generators will try to buy gasoline, but will find that gas stations can’t pump gas when the power grid is down. Refrigerated food begins to spoil, and store shelves empty quickly. Looting will be common as people become more desperate. Everyone will have serious concerns about their safety within a few days, especially those in the heart of big cities. Too many people, and too few resources, will lead to serious problems. Some will try to escape, if they happen to have cars that run. Cars have an abundance of sensitive electronic components in them, most of which will be damaged by a strong solar flare. Those who do escape will find that the road is a dangerous place to be, and it’s unlikely that things will be any better at their destination. There will be no rule of law, because police officers will have gone home to take care of their own families.

Could this scenario become a reality? Have you prepared for it? Stockpiling food, water, flashlight batteries, and candles is not enough. It has been estimated that the damage from a solar storm could take years to repair. Will your supplies last that long? Can you fight off starving hordes of people who’ve stopped asking politely for food? Do you know how to grow, catch, trap, or raise food? Can you preserve food, and make it through the lean times? Can you stay warm and dry?

If you’ve answered no or maybe to any of those questions, you already know what your deficiencies are. Can you remedy those before the next big solar flare? It’s not a matter of “if” it will happen, but “when” it will happen. The good news is that astronomers can now forecast solar storms. The release of charged particles take 18 to 36 hours to reach earth, allowing time to take the necessary precautions. Precautions include unplugging devices when not in use, not just turning them off. A Faraday cage provides the highest level of protection. Use one or more of them when it’s practical to do so. Test your Faraday cage, so you’ll know if it will work when you need it to. And remember, while a solar storm may come with an advance warning, an EMP weapon may be triggered with no advance warning. If you get into the habit of protecting sensitive devices before the next solar storm, your sensitive devices will probably be protected when they need to be.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/geomagnetic-storm-march-13-1989-extreme-space-weather/

https://www.space.com/7224-150-years-worst-solar-storm.html

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Top 10 Survival / Prepping Items

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There are literally hundreds–if not thousands–of prepping tools, gadgets, and supplies that are great to have during a disaster. But if you had to pick, what would be your top 10 favorite survival items? Making a list like that isn’t as easy as you might think. I’ve made this list several times, and each time […]

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Want All the Green Beans You Can Eat? Get the Best Harvest With These Growing Tips

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When I was growing up, I was lucky enough to have a grandfather who grew lots of vegetables (this is where my passion for gardening started). Without fail, every summer he would drop off bags of green beans and we would spend an afternoon breaking off the ends and putting them into a pot. I loved about green beans – the color, the texture, the flavor… Now that I have my own family, I’ve carried on that same garden tradition and green beans are always an addition to the garden.

Green beans are one of the easiest and most popular summer vegetable varieties to grow in your garden. What makes the green bean so easy to grow is because once planted, they require little attention other than a drink of water now and again. One reason that green beans are favorite choices among gardeners is that they have high germination rates of 70 percent and the seeds can remain viable for 3 years. Therefore, they are great for storing long-term garden plans. As well, bush beans, in particular, are a great cover crop for warmer climates.

We prefer growing the Blue Lake Bush variety of green beans because of their many uses. They were originally developed as a canning bean, but quickly became a fresh food favorite and are now commonly served along with salads or steamed as a healthful side dish.

One drawback to planting bush beans is they tend to take up precious space because they do not grow tall like pole beans. But, what they lack in height, they make up for in production. In addition, they require less work planting, staking, weeding, and watering. Another incentive to grow more beans in the garden is they have a symbiotic relationship with soil-dwelling bacteria. How this works is that the bacteria take gaseous nitrogen from the air in the soil and feed this nitrogen to the legumes; in exchange, the plant provides carbohydrates to the bacteria. The gardener can take advantage of this and plant nitrogen-loving plants near the growing beans like corn, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and cabbage. I usually plant a few bush beans around the base of a tomato plant. This provides added nitrogen and helps to shade the delicate roots in the soil. Native Indians also used this companion gardening trick and planted corn and squash near green beans (although they used pole beans to grow up the corn stalks). This is called the “Three Sisters” method and makes great use of garden space.

Growing Tips for a Big Crop of Beans

Like we mentioned, green beans are one of the easiest plants to grow, but there are some tricks to enhance the production process.

Plant them at the right time. Green beans prefer warm weather, so make sure all danger of frost is gone before planting. For the best growing results, when the air temperatures are between 60-70 degrees F, sow seeds directly in the soil where it will receive full sun. Those living in northern climates should plant beans at the beginning of the summer growing season. If your area has longer seasons, you may be able to harvest multiple crops. As a precautionary note, green beans do not take well to transplanting and could get stressed or damaged in the process.

Simply plant the seeds (with their eye facing down) about 3 to 6 inches apart and leave about 1 to 2 feet between rows, depending on the size and shape of the garden bed. Green beans usually germinate in 7 days so keep an eye out for emerging young sprouts!

Succession planting is best. Keep in mind that bush beans produce most of their crop all at once. To take advantage of a long growing season, plant a new crop of green beans every 2 weeks. As a rule of thumb for planting, plan for about 10 to 15 green bean plants for each person in your household each time you plant a new crop.

Mulch ’em. Green beans prefer warm, moist soil. During the growing season make sure that soil is kept moist during flowering and fruiting, as hot and dry conditions can make them drop their flowers or young beans before they’re big enough to harvest. A thick mulch of 1-2 inches under the plants will keep soil moister and cooler in the middle of summer, as well as serving to feed the earthworms and other soil life.

Deep watering is best. Ensure that your green bean plants receive one inch of water a week for good growth. Deep watering at least once a week (when there is no rain) is preferred, especially during the blossom and fruiting stage.

Rotate your crops. Rotating the growing areas keeps the garden healthy and prevents crop-specific pests and diseases from building up and carrying over from one season to the next in the soil. For best measure, beans should not be grown in the same spot more than once every four years.

Troubleshooting Growing Issues with Green Beans

Although green beans are relatively easy to grow, you could run into some problems now and again.

Pests: Bean weevils, Mexican bean beetles, leaf miners, cutworms, and aphids are some of the most common pests that will affect your green beans. Once your green bean has lush foliage, be on the lookout out for damaged leaves, eggs underneath leaves and signs of pests.

Releasing beneficial wasps could be advantageous in preventing pest infestations. For instance, the Pediobus wasps can help mitigate Mexican bean beetles. As well, planting companion flowers and plants such as yarrow, dill, and catnip around your garden can also help control pests. As well, control cutworm damage by making a protective collar around the young plants. Here’s a great video on how to make theseRemoving any damaged leaves from the plant can help it recover. Spraying soapy pepper water on plants with pests is also a great deterrent.

Diseases: Mold, funguses, powdery mildew, root rot, and other diseases can affect growing green beans. The best way to circumvent this is by prevention and have your soil tested to ensure it has the proper balance of nutrients. By doing so, you will know exactly what your soil will need and, in turn, will reduce the diseases and pests that could affect your plants. Soil kits are available at all garden centers. Another preventative measure is a crop rotation every few years.

Excessive Moisture: Moisture or over watering could also be a culprit. Keeping leaves and fruit are off the ground will greatly reduce diseases brought on by this. While bush beans do not require staking, but keeping the leaves and beans from sitting in wet soil will reduce the number of pathogens splashed on the leaves from the ground. Some gardeners lay medium-sized sticks around the bean plants to act as a barrier. Moreover, for added measure, stay away from your bean plants when their leaves are wet. Bacterial diseases become sticky when they are wet, which means they can attach to your hands, clothes, and tools, and you can carry them from plant to plant. If you find diseased plants, remove them from the garden right after you harvest the beans. Disease pathogens can grow amidst the stems and foliage and infect future plantings.

Time to Garden

If you are looking for an easy-to-grow plant for the garden, green beans are an ideal addition. As well, they are a great starter plant to help teach young gardeners about plant care. Make sure you plant plenty of extra plants for enjoyment!

See you in the garden!

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition