One of the great things about my little prep group is the discussions we have online. Although we do manage to meet up in person fairly regularly, most of our contact is online. Sometimes it’s just an interesting link posted to the group for comment, sometimes it’s an after-action report on something that happens to one of us – for a small group, we seem to have a disproportionate number of WTF moments, most of which seem to happen in […]

Back when I was a kid, my dad’s boss was big into calligraphy. He had amazing handwriting normally, but when he wanted to, he could do stunning things with pen and ink. He even did illuminations of some of the things he penned. I remember one such work of art he presented to my dad, a woodworker, in recognition of his craftsmanship. The artwork is long gone, misplaced over the years, but I still remember the words: A man who […]

(Another excellent guest post from Brother Harold. Enjoy. APB) http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/06/05/9-rules-for-starting-your-own-farm/ Excellent article by Forrest Pritchard, author of Gaining Ground. However, these rules are not just for farming – they have a broad application to people like “us”: Avoid debt (You can’t buy experience) Yeah, avoiding debt is the prepper’s mantra, but “…experience, the most valuable farming asset of all, cannot be purchased”: Amen. Prepper’s biggest mistake is believing they can buy their way to survival, but really, “the more you know, the less […]

Father's Day Pecker Problem

Again, it’s not what you think. It’s woodpeckers. We’ve got tons of them around here, from little Downy’s to the amazing and elusive Pileated Woodpecker, who slam into the dead and dying beech trees around our woods and cleave out palm-sized slabs of wood with each blow. I get a headache just watching them. But in the last few days, our local family of Downy woodpeckers has turned against us. We can hear a clutch of baby peckers peeping and […]

I don’t know, but I may be finding out soon. I’m pretty open about my self-reliant lifestyle – hence this blog. I’ve tried to maintain opsec as much as possible, but that has kind of degraded over the years as I’ve shifted from wild-eyed survivalism to more of a self-reliant sustainability model. Unfortunately, first impressions last the longest, and so the people I had chats with in the early days of my awakening still have an image of me as […]

Preppers vs. Muggles

My youngest is suddenly very into the “Harry Potter” franchise. It’s about time, I suppose – her older brother and sister discovered Rowling at about her age. She doesn’t seem to be taking to it with quite the zeal they did – I vividly remember them playing quidditch in the basement while I was trying to build my workshop – but she’ll get there, no doubt. I bring this up because we were watching the HP movies on Saturday night, […]

I started APB because I like to write, and because I think I have something to say about prepping and self-reliance. It helps me in a lot of ways: it’s a creative outlet for me, and it makes me feel like I’m contributing some of my hard-won knowledge and skills back to the community. But I don’t just write this blog. I’ve been writing about this stuff for years, mainly in online forums, but also in email threads between my […]

My Work "Bug-in Bag"

Believe it or not, blogging doesn’t pay the bills, at least not for me. So I have to hold down a day job. Kids gotta eat. I’m lucky enough to have a job that’s perfect for telecommuting. But try as I might, I still can’t convince my managers that a full-time telecommuting arrangement would benefit not only me, but the company as well – as a rough guess, I’d say I’m at least 25% more productive at home than in […]

Talk about barking up the wrong tree

So I got a festive-looking envelope in the mail yesterday from A.C. Nielsen, telling me all about “a unique opportunity to represent TV viewing” in my area. Oh, joy! Oh, rapture! I was actually amazed that these folks are still in business. I can remember first hearing about the lucky “Nielsen Families” with their set-top boxes – this is back when TVs had broad, flat tops that you could actually put something like a cable box on, or even rabbit […]