July 2013

Lacking much better to do with my commute, I’ve become something of a CT license plate geek. I’ve been wondering when the current license plate scheme – three numbers, three letters – was going to run out, and if I’d ever see the final plate in the series: 999-ZZZ. I haven’t seen that one yet, but this week I finally started seeing the new scheme – one number, four letters, one number. It makes for unlovely license plates like 0AAMA6, […]

Moving Day

For the first time in over three years, my backyard is chicken-free. I had a number of reasons to decide on relocating the chickens, not least being the fact that having a rooster under your bedroom window is not the best arrangement. I’d also like to start reclaiming the backyard, and maybe get some grass growing – a little curb appeal to attract a buyer. Plus, I need the space to start building my fishpond. Because I don’t have enough […]

Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed an interesting cultural phenomenon that occurs every summer in my area. But the implications of it in terms of prepping only just hit me yesterday. We live off a road that runs straight north from the center of our town. Starting in July, on any given weekend there’s a nearly continuous stream of cars going north, mostly with New York registrations, and mostly high-end cars – plenty of Mercedes, BMW and Lexus […]

When Mother Nature gets pissed, nobody wins: I always miss the good storms for some reason. This one was no exception – I was sitting at work when this thunderstorm cropped up. I just watched the recordings from the security cameras, and it was pretty violent. I’m not sure how much we lost here, but time will tell. I’ve seen entire fields of corn lodged and torn to pieces by hail, and they bounced back. I hope Mother Nature shows […]

Review: DR Rapid Fire Wood Splitter

A guest post from Uncle Buck sharing his experiences with his new DR Rapid Fire wood splitter – APB A couple of years ago we decided to heat primarily with an “alternate” fuel.  A fuel that wouldn’t send our hard earned FRN’s into the pockets of people overseas that might not have the best of intentions for us here in the west.  We decided on wood.  Pellet stoves are great.  Good ones are easy, automatic, and clean to run.  And […]

Tractor Supply Bargain

I was in Tractor Supply the other night, and I found this in the clearance bin:   Clearly not the intended use, but it might be a good method of carrying extra mags in a discrete way. Not that I’d carry standard capacity mags in public in this state – we’re now restricted to low-cap mags. And the mags don’t really slip out easily. But it could do in a pinch. Not a bad buy at $3.99. And there were […]

Presented without comment: Well, maybe a little comment… When we ordered our chicks from Cackle Hatchery, we paid extra for all pullets. Apparently, though, sexing minutes-old chickens is not 100% accurate, and we managed to get a cockerel. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, we now have a self-sustaining flock, as long as he gets the job done and at least one of the hens goes broody. On the other hand, roosters are often ill-mannered, although […]

I had a pleasant surprise last night, one that makes me think I’m actually making progress toward self-reliance and personal freedom in spite of myself. As is typical of me, I misplaced my hard copy of the PPR that I did at the beginning of the year. Briefly, the grandly named Preparedness Posture Review is my attempt to take an annual snapshot of our assets and liabilities, with the goal of identifying and eliminating weaknesses, and giving ourselves credit for […]

Single Points of Failure

A lot of what prepping is about is locating and eliminating single points of failure – those pieces of gear or processes for which you have no redundancy, and which impact your ability to get the stuff done that you need to do to be self-reliant. This goes back to my “fail early, fail often” approach – better to find weaknesses now when the penalty for failure is much lower than when you’re actually depending on your preps. I found […]

QuickHoops Low Tunnels

Another quality guest post from Brother Harold, Adjunct Professor of Paranoia Studies – APB I’ve decided to try experimenting with low tunnels for a few reasons. Season extension is the obvious play, but you can also use low tunnels for controlling pests. My main experiment this year is to see if the low tunnels will help me control squash vine borer (SVB). These nasty little f%#kers come in waves from nearby non-organic pumpkin farms who drench their fields in a […]