My family just went through an outbreak of the flu. At least I think it was the flu – aches, coughs, fevers, the works. If it wasn’t the flu, it was close enough not to matter. It started with my wife getting a sore throat on February 26. It lasted for nearly two weeks for her, and eventually spread to all the kids. I seemed to be immune, at least until Sunday, when their puny germs finally overwhelmed my superior […]

Firewood fail

I completely failed on firewood this year. OK, maybe it wasn’t a complete failure. We made it all the way to March on the wood I put up during the year. And to be fair to myself, I was mostly out of commission from August to November recovering from major surgery. Without the valiant efforts of my fellow MAG members, I would have been totally hosed. As it was, I still ran into problems. We’ve been heating with wood for […]

An elmer's education

I decided a couple of weeks ago to get my Ham license. It wasn’t an easy decision, and I’m still not comfortable with some of the opsec issues it raises. It’s stupid-easy to get way too much information on someone just by punching his callsign into an online database. My buddy did it just the other day and found out more than enough information to easily burgle the house of a local Ham. Not that he would do that, mind […]

Worm Woes

Apparently, the shit has hit the fan in my worm bin, because the worms are buggin’ out.   I started my worm bin back around Thanksgiving. I used the VermBin 24 plans available on Great resources there, and Bentley “Compost Guy” Christie is a mensch on all topics relating to vermicomposting. I also bought my worms there – two pounds of red wigglers – and they’ve been doing their thing in the bin since November. I’ve never been keen […]

We have a guest lecturer here today at the Institute for Applied Paranoia. My good friend and fellow prep-group member, whom we’ll call, ummm, Brother Harold, has recorded his thoughts on hybrid seeds, and why you don’t need to be afraid of them. Thanks for the contribution, Harold. It’s nice to have an easy post tonight, so I can rush out for bread and milk in advance of the next Snowpocalypse.  

We had a little security breach on the property today. This time, the driveway alarm was of no use in alerting us, and we actually may have some remedial measures to take. For those who don’t know, our property abuts a modest-sized state park. It’s not a developed park – no bathing areas or concession stands, just a small, rapidly degrading parking lot and a few miles of blazed but largely unmaintained trails. Still, lots of people use the park, […]

I’m finally going to expand the garden this year. Last year’s plot, which is about 25’x18′, was pretty productive, and I’ve gotten good results from it for a couple of years now. But it doesn’t get the best light, and it could use a rest. So I’m developing a plot to the south of it, grandly called “The South Plot.” It’s about 35’x16′, and was fallow all last year after having a feeble attempt at winter wheat the year before. […]

I had two doctor’s appointments today. I’ll spare the details, but I had major surgery last summer, and both appointments were follow-ups related to that, with docs affiliated with a major Ivy-league university medical center. I need to travel about 90 minutes to get to these followups, so they’re a big deal, and I decided to make a day out of it with my wife. Now, back in December when the Sandy Hook shooting occurred, I decided to get serious […]

A recent email exchange within my prep group has me thinking about how prepared I really am. It centered around the recent notice to the people of Los Angeles to be ready for two weeks on their own, and a survey by WND that seems to indicate that very few Americans feel they would survive for two weeks without electricity. I’ve spent the better part of the last seven years, plus all of my disposable income, on getting ready for […]

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 […]