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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.