Saturday, 7 August 2021

New Format, New Stuff

> New format, new stuff. If you check the bottom of each post in future, it'll have a box with a link to check out my other sites. (Just like the box at the bottom of this post, actually...)

If you follow that link, it'll take you to the bottom of this page of blog posts and there, you'll find a footer named "Footer- Check Out My Other Sites Here!" and a heap of links to some of the other sites I operate.

There's my other blogs on Blogspot, of course - goes without saying. Some of those blogs were born (and laboriously hand-coded) back before blog sites became popular. 
  • TEdALOG Lite II - is the blog I post all sorts of general articles and items of interest to me and that I imagine might be of interest to you.
  • TEdADYNE Systems - I've always had a bit of interest in the ethics of technology, especially where the borders are between humans, cyborgs, and machines, and the ethics of AI. You may find this interesting.
  • TEdAMENU Tuckertime - as a proud geek and a proud Aussie and a proud multicultural citizen of the Earth, what better way than recipes to show the scope and depth of all these facets?
  • OHaiCorona - COVID-19 gave us all a shake-up and will continue to do so for a considerably long time to come. It shook the sh*t out of me and this blog became the place I put all the things I discovered as we uncovered the truth of this little bug.
  • OHaiCorona Fiction - is a blog on the same hosted server (which Tech Pacific is my service provider for) with all the crap fiction ideas that inevitably come up during the lockdowns... As such I should probably apologise for these stories... 
  • Grumpy Old Guy - is a blog where all the things that really p*ss me off go to be exorcised - some things just need the grumpy old guy touch, and now that I'm the age I am, I have EVERY facet of this NAILED.
  • PrawnTech3d (also for a shorter URL) - is a place where I share everything I'm learning and generating in the strange and absorbing world of 3D printing, from how to print stuff to best places to find stuff, best software for designing and making your own.
  • Youtube - I'm attempting to put a few videos up on Youtube, hopefully culminating in a fairly regular series of vids with some cool topics.
  • DiscordEmail me for an invite to the PrawnTech3D Discord server, where I tend to spend the most of my time anyway, or to arrange a Zoom sesh where we can happily chat one on one or in a group. (To get my timezone, go down to that link because it has the current time and date at my location.)
Additionally, you can buy/donate/help by using any of these links:
  • Ptec3d Shop - is where you can find my models I've designed and made, many available for free download; And also snippets of software, diagrams, and so forth for making cool gadgets and gizmos; And also of course I can print many models on demand for a fee and postage.
  • BuyMeACoffee - you can buy me a coffee and smashed avocado toast here, or
  • - just a latte with two sugars thanks!
  • Patreon - everyone knows Patreon, where people go to support people like me who spend all their time making and developing and disseminating and creating things. (I'll link this up once I have my Patreon up and running. It's a shambles for now...)
There are also a few more places you can find me:
  • I have my models available on Thingiverse, Thangs, Cults3D, Creality Cloud, Prusa Models, My Minifactory, and probably a few others.
  • There's an Etsy shop too. Naturally. 
  • You can direct tip me via Paypal or Stripe.
  • On Second Life I'm teddlesruss Vollmar, also on Dreamgrid where I occasionally run my own simulator at Catsylvania.
  • I've got some others - groups and pages here and there, about everything from rabbits to amateur radio - and will happily share those if you use the "Email me" link a few bullets back. 
I really do hope I'll see you at all these other sites - I've been working on and developing and publishing some of these blogs since before there were such things as blogs, and some of them are quite prescient. And I look forward to chatting with you all. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

The New Pirates Of The Wild New West.

I saw this article about the now-famous Hunter Biden Affair, and I dunno about you but something about it niggled at me. Are your Spidey senses tingling yet? Because mine are off the bloody wall tingly as hell. 

First up - we already know Facebook and Twitter are dodgy as hell and that the former did what might be called quite unethical experiments a few years back where they quite meticulously and deliberately censored several groups of people's news feeds to skew the news they saw, and took notes on what those unfortunate people's reactions were for their precious algorithms. Lives were pretty much screwed over for the sake of science, Long Live FB Ultra.
We know that Twitter has been - questionable - in their treatment of certain people, and their 'reasons' for some of the decisions they made. These are large corporations and those actions affected (and still affect) literally billions of people. (I'll come back to this a bit later.)

What they've done in this affair (much as I dislike Murdoch's bastardisation of news sources into organs of propaganda, censoring them "for the good of the children" is as invasive, egregious, and objectionable as their inexplicable nipple aversion) is a direct act of propaganda in itself. Propaganda consists not only of implanting a desired message, it also includes the suppression of conflicting messages. Between them, these two corporations have done that quite ruthlessly and efficiently. 


Twitter seems to be more of a hands-on manipulator of their platform, in that a human seems to make the decision and then enacts the ban. (Sorry if I'm repeating anything that's already well known, I've never been too interested in articles written by people who have skin in the game, as in MSM sledging Social Media. Call me cynical.

Facebook on the other hand has algorithms. (But when the Zuck wants to censor a piece of news or promote another, there seem to be some 'god mode' flags that can be attached to articles.)

They're in effect 'cooking the books' 

 - sorry, couldn't resist the joke. (BTW I have two of these little eco pots and might whack an Eco Pot recipe or two up on TEdAMENU Tuckertime now that I'm blogging a bit more again.)

Anyone at any of those organisations that says they have no political agenda are lying. Of course they do. But perhaps they're not pushing the same kind of politics that we're used to... 


So what sort of politics are being played? Well, let's get back to that I'll come back to this a bit later from earlier. It's later now. 

India holds the dubious distinction of having the most FB users, at 250,000,000 - that's quarter of a billion users in India, out of 1.4bn population. That's 1 in 6 people there. 

Closely following India in sheer number is the USA, with 240,000,000 out of a population of 331,000,000, or 2 in 3 people being- on Facebook. 

The most populous country, China, has a population of 1.5bn but only 1.5 million Facebook users. (Officially. . .)

But if you stop analysing where the users come from, Facebook has as large a population as Pakistan. In other words, Facebook would be the fourth or fifth most populous country in the world. Here's a link to world populations by country, if you're interested.

Twitter users seem to make up about quarter of a billion, which is still close enough in numbers to almost be another USA, certainly more than Pakistan. 

And buried in the original article, 

about halfway down, are a few interesting points: 

Facebook limiting distribution is a bit like if a company that owned newspaper delivery trucks decided not to drive because it didn’t like a story. Does a truck company edit the newspaper? It does now, apparently.


"THAT THE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT of free speech is inapplicable to these questions goes without saying. That constitutional guarantee restricts the actions of governments, not private corporations such as Facebook and Twitter."

The first speaks to the inflated sense of self-importance that Mark Zuckerberg must feel, that his corporation isn't a publisher of news when it suits them, but is a publisher when they feel a need to censor news. 

The second quote is the more worrying to me. No single country's laws (that reference to the First Amendment, e.g.) seem to apply to them. They're fighting the Australian government to avoid paying for content. Why? Well, among other things, it would admit that they need - and use - news to keep their users engaged. That act of paying for news would make them a publisher. 

And once they were a publisher, they'd be forced to admit that the news articles they've been using for free, are worth money, and then nek minnit they'd be liable for all that news they used in the past. 

And on top of that they'd also have to admit that content they paid for is copyrighted and fair use policies applied. And that particular can of worms would just unravel them. They'd finally have to come down on the curator or publisher side of the fence.

Then there's Google. It's THE search engine for most of the 4.8 billion (!!!) daily Internet users out of the 7.8bn-strong world population and its business model is entirely predicated on curating the content of the entire online catalog. And they readily admit that they adjust their algorithms but are just not quite as definite as to why they make over half their decisions ... 

I'll only briefly mention Amazon / Ebay / other huge Internet properties that turn over hundreds of millions to billions of dollars every year because they're not so much propaganda-mongers as they are robber barons/plantation owners who take our income which by rights we should spend within our own countries and corporate structures. (Again, I'll get to them in more detail in a moment.)

Google too has strongly fought against the Aussie demands that they pay for the content that they currently need for their core business, probably for the same reasons as Facebook, that is, to retain deniability.

Not suggesting that social network, search, or media properties are pirating content - but they are textbook pirates, amassing fortunes at the expense of other traders, living outside the geographic system and having no allegiance to any country or domain. FSM (Ramen!) would have a field day with them. 

Of course, there are a few outliers. I use MeWe as my social network platform of choice for their enlightened view of anonymity (IF you want it - there's nothing stopping you from supplying your correct details - I certainly have my salient details correct but if I needed anonymity there's also nothing stopping me from fabricating an alt.) and I use Telegram as my chat/messaging app of choice. 

There are dozens of properties out there that offer the same features (give or take - they ARE smaller so they need more support before they can become stronger contenders) as the big ones at the top - DuckDuckGo is a fine search engine that doesn't track or target you, Brave web browser is as full-featured as Chrome but without phoning Google every time you click a link or type a word. Libre Office is a very competent alternative to Microsoft Office and Google Docs. 

What Does That Mean, Captain Bligh?

The Internet HAS become the "Wild West" that was predicted by pundits two decades ago. The other Wild West was in what was then a new country to European people. Pioneers DID carve out a variety of empires in that earlier Wild West. New ways of doing things came about, and it wasn't all for the better.

Now we're providing a very large income to these corporations by way of their advertising fees that they charge for the privilege, by way of passively allowing their version of the news to be the only one to reach us, and by giving them our data to use to even further increase their income.

We buy goods promoted and advertised to us by those media giants over and above perfectly good locally-produced variants. In the process we're facilitating a huge transfer of wealth from our locale, our country, and smaller competing businesses - straight to the pockets of people like Jeff Bezos - a new 'trader baron' if you will, who's set up his shops all along the Wild Wild Internet Trail and as entrepreneurs bring him goods to sell, makes copies and sells them cheaper in direct competition until the original seller goes bankrupt.

Who also - and now famously - pulled out of building a new HQ because, among other things, the reduction in taxes he was offered (and which in effect gave an already wealthy and privileged company an even more unfair edge over those competitors) were so strongly defended against and defeated. In effect he was saying "no-one here likes me and they want me to pay my fair share of taxes so I'll find another place that I can bend over."

It's really imperative that we as a whole population limit these new robber barons and plantation owners before we become their victims, serfs, and slaves. And I'm not even kidding - when America was colonised - when America's "Wild Wild West" played out and people carved out new niches, new opportunities, and new fortunes (Gee doesn't that sound familiar all of a sudden?) the one group that suffered was the native Americans. 

Remember them? The American natives suffered diseases that ravaged them, powerful people with hitherto unknown advantages (New TECHNOLOGY such as firearms and explosives - there, does THAT throw my concern into sharper focus?) that mercilessly decimated and exterminated them, deprived them of their lands and resources, and has left only a shell of the culture that existed before they came.

Now WE'RE the native Earthers, and the Internet properties are the ones seeking to carve out empires. Grab those trade beads while you can!

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Postcard From The Edge

The other edge, though – our local government area (LGA, or Shire as they were/are also known) has had eleven cases of COVID-19 since records began, our largest outbreak was four at one time, and the last case reported cleared up almost five weeks ago.

What That Says For The World:

We have around 37,000 people in the district, scattered between a handful of small towns, a few larger with populations greater than 5,000, and farms.

The region is, besides a farming district and foodbasket region, also a holiday destination due to the coastal towns, Phillip Island, and a series of visit-worthy spots.

After restrictions came into force, the number of visitors/tourists slowed to a trickle, and most recently, you may as well say it has stopped. Most of those visitors used to come from Melbourne, which is now under a hard lockdown and curfew.

Yet we still somehow managed eleven cases. Three of those happened within a fortnight of the Premier Andrews announcing the harsher lockdown restrictions for the Melbourne outbreak. Two more a few weeks later.

These were caused by the utter arseholes that thought they’d be privileged inconsiderate bastards and sneak out on the day of the announcement.

Almost half the cases, in other words, would have been avoided if people had actually given a shit for anyone else.

We can be fairly certain when we place the cause of these latest outbreaks as Melbournians, because a) it was our largest number of new cases in a four week period, and that includes as I said right before lockdown began, b) this was the time that several thousand families “suddenly decided to go for a holiday on the coast” c) just look what a total FUBAR they made of the initial outbreak and subsequent obedience to restrictions – Dan Andrews literally had to start enforcing the restrictions with a police and military presence. Not a single fuck was given by the usually much smarter than this Melbournians.

And that’s the fate of ALL the world while leaders continue to rail against the lockdowns and restrictions because it’s “hurting the economy – won’t someone think of the poor economy?” As long as they encourage and incite people to just get out there and get on with it while there’s a reservoir of virus still out there and no proven vaccine, SARS-CoV-2 will continue to flare and break out.

Anyone who thinks quarantine and contact tracing will “control the small outbreaks” are overlooking that this just hasn’t happened anywhere – Small outbreaks become big outbreaks, THEN people become compliant for a few weeks, then people start to rail against the “draconian measures” and you can rinse and repeat that ad nauseam, people will be people, and viruses will be viruses.

And of course, the fact that viruses mutate rapidly means you never know when the One True Virus will arise and start having a serious mortality rate. But you have to know that it WILL happen.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Why Different Versions May Or May Not Discourage Stealing:

I’m not much for English versions, and this is sort of why:

We've probably all sung this song at some time, yes?

A doggy stole a sausage, 

for he was underfed.

The cook she saw him take it,

And now the poor doggy’s dead.

Now all the other doggies 

were very sad that night.

They dug him a grave and a tombstone, 

and on it they did write-

A doggy stole a sausage, 

for he was underfed…

And so on. Such a trite cutesy-wutesy tune to sing to the children but it conveys nothing, no moral to this story, is there? What gutless lyrics, really, when the original (in German) runs like this:

Ein Hund lief in die Küche A dog ran into the kitchen

und stahl dem Koch ein Ei, And stole an egg from cook

da nahm der Koch die Kelle The cook took up a ladle

und schlug den Hund entzwei.         And struck the dog in two

(Getting the idea here? These are real lyrics with real impact. Don’t fucken steal! At least. not from this cook! You’ll get bisected! Now THAT my friends is a moral and a lesson!)

Da kamen alle Hunde

und gruben ihm ein Grab

und setzten ihm einen Grabstein

auf dem geschrieben stand:

Ein Hund lief in die Küche . . .

So yeah - the original may be a few centuries old and lack some political correctness but it sure as hell taught me that stealing gets you clobbered.

Monday, 7 September 2020

Today Is Going To Be A Great Day

(c)2020 RO (Ted) Russ

“F*ck this,” grumbled the square of sticky bandage. “Two extra days you kept me stuck on here because you’re too cheap to change your boop patches every seven days – just to save a few bucks!”

It detached itself from my shoulder, fell on the table, and humped inchworm-wise to the edge, where it paused, expectantly. A drop of sweat formed over my good eye and ran down. 

“THAT. That’s what I’m talking about” the TDS patch continued. “You say you’ve got chronic pain and yeah I notice that you do (I’m a pain patch ya know and it’s my job to notice those things ya know?) but then you go and do sh*t like this. Nuclear strength pain-causing noodles! AND you do it a full two days past my effing effective date. Sheesh!” 

The flippant little precious pain patch dropped off the kitchen bench and kept humping itself along towards the bin like some kind of caterpillar, but a caterpillar that was as wide as it was long and had been stuck on someone’s arm for a week. (And two days. I have to emphasise that cos I promised the little bastard that I’d give it a fitting memorial.)

When it arrived at the bin it tried to hump its way up the side but the seven day adhesive was well and truly expired by then, and it lay there feebly swearing at me in fluent buprenorphine. Choice language, too. Probably more used to boop addicts than real work, if you ask me. It figures.

I took pity on it and picked it up and threw it in the bin, and went back to the bowl of cheap “Spicy Chicken-Like Flavor” ramen and took another forkful of the rubbery noodles and shovelled them in. 

Christ this stuff was like fiery paint stripper. Now I understood why they put the hot spice in a separate sachet, and why it was probably not a good idea to just dump the whole lot into the bowl. It’s most probably half cayenne pepper and half crystallised battery acid from the taste of it. And there’s no hint of any fowl-like flavour that you’d be able to detect if your taste buds weren’t already totalled by the heat.

I stopped eating again and went the Anything Cupboard and fished out the new boop patch I was supposed to have stuck on two days ago. “Yer not gonna leave me on ya to work unpaid overtime like you did with Raoul, are ya?” it grouched. I told it to STFU and stuck it on a new clear spot of skin. The grumble settled into silence as it got busy delivering painkiller.

I’d never thought about it before, but now I realised that of course, pain patches had to have names just like everyone else. It figures, right?

Meanwhile with every forkful, Freddy was going crazy in my other eye. Hi, folks, meet Freddy Floater, a huge chunk of eye jelly that detached itself a month ago to float around my left eye and is now making life hell whenever I try to read or type – waving around in there like a demented hairball vomited up by the cat. I don’t think Freddy appreciates the finer things in life like H2SO4 flavoured noodles…

I take a moment to catch you guys up on The News Of My Life so I’ll be sure and write it into the story. I mean, life’s life but sometimes it’s interesting to see how the other person lives, amirite? A catalog of “life events, other person’s, for the pleasure of.” You can’t beat vicarious living for a living.

They can’t fix Freddy but they’re going to remove a cataract in that eye, a cataract they found while checking that Freddy hadn’t smacked up my retina or anything else. Ain’t nothing so bad that they couldn’t find even more wrong… Figures…  

I wonder idly if the ‘cat‘ in the word ‘cataract’ is responsible for barfing Freddy into my eye, and why they can’t also just yank Freddy out along with the cataract, but that’s ophthalmologists for you, go in for a floater, come out with two problems instead of one, one’s inoperable and that’ll be two hundred dollars for this visit thank you sir.

Freddy likes Freddy Fender music. Figures. The only music that’ll stop Freddy’s energetic visual irritations is class 2 strength irritating music. I’ll put up with the frenetic waving and distortion thank you… 

Actually, I think the reason FF music seems to pacify FF is because it sends me catatonic, a natural defense mechanism designed to prevent me slitting my wrists or banging my head against the nearest hard surface. But then I’m not a doctor, so who knows? Hehehe, ‘catatonic’ d’ya see what I did there? No? Oh yeah, I’m getting ahead of myself. Hang in there!

I notice that the reddish haze over the bowl of ramen has decreased, and hopefully take another forkful. It’s definitely less destructive once the temperature drops, so I finish it off. The drop of sweat meanwhile has been joined by a couple dozen of its buddies and I’m mopping them away in waves.

My good eye waters and wavers. I wave back. Weird new thing in the story, category “waters, wavers, and waivers.” I watch people reading the story up to this point and realise I’m supposed to finish it off.

One of the cats wanders in and sits and looks at me. Pickle’s my familiar, he’s pretty humanised and socialised and I reckon he knows when I’ve got the irrits and comes to settle me down. (Also, it’s a perfect way to tie together all those ‘cat’ words. Yep, it was all just a plot device to catch your eye…)

“Geez buddy, I have had the weirdest morning. My pain patch backchatted me because I’m trying to make them last a bit longer, whoever it is that manufactures MY cat food is trying to kill as many people as possible by the feel of it, and our mate Fre… – ” I break off because talking to the cat is just whack, right? 

As I move, my little homebrew kitchen lighting setup picks up on the movement and switches on the light near the sink so I can rinse the bowl. The click stirs Pickle into action. He winks slowly, washes a paw, and then grabs a tinkly ball to play fetch with me. “C’mon hoomin, you need to unwind” he purrs. 

Today’s gonna be a great day.. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Sponsored Post - Great Aussie Seed Supplier!

One of the fun things I do each spring is to find new suppliers, stretch our pension dollars further, and get a variety going. Earlier this year, I came across Fair Dinkum Seeds ( and decided that the quantities and prices and varieties were just too intriguing and interesting to pass up. While I was assembling my order and waiting for the next pension so I could place it, I found out that Fair Dinkum Seeds ( are wanting exposure in return for discount on seeds. 

Please bear with me - I don't often find anything that grabs me enough to get me to do a sponsored post, but this site's rather worthwhile.

So I've placed my order in return for writing a few articles. First up, a plant with the name Black Mint aka "Stinky Roger." ( As FDS explains in the quite informative article about Black Mint, it's THE marigold that all companion planting schemes refer to, whether they know it or not. Our decorative marigolds aren't even in the game as far as insect repellent qualities go. We'd been planting decorative marigolds for years to deter flies and mosquitoes and insect pests and finally decided that some claimsmay have bee over-stated, but now we've hope that by planting a bunch of these we'll end up with several quite useful products. I'm happy that it's an edible as well as a good insect repellent, and this year should see flies avoid our place in droves.

The other things I'd been looking at were virginia peanuts, hardy basils, and curly sorrel dock. ( That latter is going by each tap, by each rabbit watering point, and in my aquaponics because it's as lemony as regular wild sorrel and the big leaves make it a natural for wrapping up the fish from the aquaponics... 

I'm pretty sure I'll have to grow the peanuts in an old kiddy pool because the soil here is generally too much clay, and I'm not about amending the local soil much more than by adding compost, rabbit poo, and mulch. It'll be interesting to see how some of the many varieties I intend now to buy from FDS will perform here.

I'm hoping that the Black Mint will live up to its reputation and save me having to chase garden pests quite as much, and also the peanuts, I'd be very pleased to have such a good source of nutrition available, SHTF or not.

Fair Dinkum Seeds have an impressive range of the more unusual and native seeds as well as good old garden standbys. Well worth a look if you're looking for alternative and easy care varieties. Worth bearing in mind for me (and perhaps for you) is the prepper angle that many of these plants supply nutrition and will blend in well with other vegetation so offer some 

Disclosure: I get several packets of free seeds for this post, it is a sponsored post. However, you can think of this sponsored post as demonstrating how much I really love Fair Dinkum Seeds. ( And I'm also buying a heap more seeds from them just based on conversations with the proprietor.
Visit Ours From The Heart Art and help support my work!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Economy Frugality and Preps

I've read about preppers who are buying dehydrated food because it keeps for a long time, and "provides more meals per dollar" than tinned meals. This is too many fallacies in one statement for me to pass up. %)

Fallacy 1 - you do "frugal prep" by buying cheap food and storing it so it will survive for the long term.
You do NOT save by buying cheap food. By all means, buy food when it's cheap, but do not buy cheap food. You'll be sooooo sorry you did. Because of a range of reasons, one of which is that there's a simple economic equation that says there are no "magic ingredients" that will make soya flour more nutritious while reducing costs.

You will NOT get a nutritious healthy meal if it's routinely low-priced, and that could cost you dearly if you're in a situation where you need as much health and energy as possible. Okay, so some of us may be Rambo Incarnate but the rest of us are carrying our fair share of anchors already, and having one more thing chipping away at our health is not an optimal outcome.

Fallacy 2 - you do "frugal prep" by buying cheap food and storing it so it will survive for the long term.
What? Again?

Yep. The fallacies just keep on coming up. Second is that you're storing food for the "long term." If you do, you're dooming yourself, for  variety of reasons. I could expand this here, but in a few more paragraphs I hope to demonstrate it fairly simply.

Fallacy 2b is that you should even do frugal prepping. As I'm about to explain, "frugal" should be a way of life already, and your prep foods shouldn't be more frugal than your daily diet. You should already be comfortable at whatever level of food quality you opt for.

Fallacy 3 - preps are for post shtf scenarios.
No. No, no, no. If you treat your preps like this then you're just another prepper that will not last. If you're saving your preps for a mythical and possibly never to come post-apocalyptic time, then you will live wrong in the here and now, and if there ever IS an event, you will live at best miserably afterwards. Anything that you can't obtain more of after a year or two, you're better off learning to do without it now.

Fallacy 4 - preps will carry me after the shtf event, even if there is no recovery or rebound afterwards.
No. Just stahp, 'k? Stahp! It doesn't matter how many kilos of pickling salt you put by in your stash(es) for the future, at some stage you will run out.

If you're not already working on finding a way to extract salt from common weeds, ashes, and other sources; if you don't already have a way to get your hands on more vinegar; if that a pallet of tinned baked beans is the only source of pulses in your diet; then you WILL run out at some stage.

Enough fallacies, already. What can you do to not become a victim of fallacy?  

Here's the simplest way to make your preps frugal, economical, and most importantly - effective. You don' need to spend half as much this way, you don't have to worry yourself about expensive ways to keep your food for decades, and if an event does occur, you'll be able to ease into it much more easily than anyone else. And that's the main purpose of prepping, to reduce the IMPACT of a shtf event on you and yours.

Idea 1 - If your lifestyle will not change much after an event, then you're better prepared to meet the scenario and will survive better.
That should tell you some things.

  • One, that you are really aiming to make it so that your lifestyle that you lead right now, will not be adversely affected after an event. 
  • Two, if you reduce your lifestyle expectations in the here and now in order to accommodate that, then you'll just be unhappy now, and just as unhappy after an event.
  • Three, therefore, the best way to be prepped is to live a reasonable lifestyle now, and try and ensure that you can maintain that lifestyle for a reasonable length of time.

Idea 2 - That in turn should tell you that your prep stashes need to be used NOW, and new stock replace what you took out.

  • There is no point storing a hundred kilos of dehydrated meals ready to eat, if you're not already eating them now. The change of diet will sicken you and reduce your survival success.
  • No point to bottling all your chickens and rabbits now if you don't routinely cook with bottled meat. Far better to let them live until you need them, and saves a lot of botulism anxiety too. 
  • On the flip side of that, get used to cooking with some bottled vegetables and things now, add them to your repertoire now and get used to them. I've julienned carrots, and just put them into a vinegar / salt pickle in jars, kept in the fridge for up to a YEAR and still crisp and healthy. 

Idea 3 - therefore, you don't need expensive, complicated, or unsustainable methods of storing the prep supplies.

  • I use those 3 litre plastic milk jugs for a lot of my dry goods. It's said that they don't last long, but I USE the contents regularly already. By the time a milk jugs goes brittle, I've already got five or more of it successors in my pantry. 
  • I've successfully kept dry goods and apple cider in well cleaned milk jugs for three years so far, and those jugs show no sign of degrading because I am keeping them in a dark place where the temperature stays fairly well regulated.
  • Things like flour are treated with too much reverence. Trust me. To keep it pest free, buy it in 2kg bags, wrap each bag in half a dozen turns of plastic cling wrap, and put them in the freezer for 24 hours, then stash in cheap plastic buckets with lids. 
  • This achieves a few things. It breaks the stash into multiple smaller packages so that you can hide them if you feel so inclined. Pests or thieves won't be as much of an issue this way.
  • Rotate everything  physically each time you take an item or add a new one. Yes it's more fiddly to deal with a larger quantity of smaller units, but that's how life is.
  • Get in the habit of writing in-stock dates on everything. That way, if you notice during your rotation that the shrink wraps from 2017 are starting to look a bit tatty, you can re-wrap or decant to a new cheap milk jug, all the items in storage from that same era. As a bonus, you start to get an idea of how long these really cheap storage ideas last.

Idea 4 - Prepare to replace one thing with another as you go.

  • Don't think that just because you've got seventy kilos of raw sugar, you're set for life. Shit happens, food spoils, a sudden peak in demand sees your stash wiped out. 
  • If (for example) you rely on sugar for making jams, then you need to be prepared to replace your raw sugar with sugar extracted from sugar beets or home grown sugar cane.
  • If the seasons change a bit due to some unforeseen weather pattern changes and your kale all bolts to seed then you should already have a successor crop in mind, and preferably already have tried it. 
  • If a once-numerous weed that was your main source of Vit-C is in decline, have you investigated the newer weeds that will be filling the niche?

Idea 5 - There WILL be curve balls.

  • You can't control that. Things just happen. There may be no definitive "trigger" for shtf. There may just be a gradual slide that becomes your personal shtf point when you realise that you can't afford to buy both milk AND sugar in the same income cycle.
  • There may be a scenario you didn't plan for. What if the 60's nuclear fallout shelter builders were right, and everything should be underground? What about if we find out that there really ARE aliens out there, and they decide bunkers and any structure larger than a tent are potential threats? What if North Korea wins several decisive victories?  
  • If your preps equip you to survive in a particular scenario and that happens to be the one that transpires, then you're lucky. 
  • If something else happens than you planned for, and you can adapt, then you're lucky.
  • What I'm trying to say is that... Sometimes, some of us won't be lucky... This is why it's far better to try and maintain what we have than to invest our efforts trying to prepare for all possible scenarios. Sometimes, you won't survive.

Idea 6 - If you intend to live forever, then maybe prepping is not for you...
This is the other reason I feel that overstocking may be bad. I have chronic illness, I'm in the second half century of life, medicines won't be as freely available - I have a fairly limited use by date if the shtf.

Last thoughts on my preps.

I can't stockpile guns and ammo, being in Australia. But I totally would, if I could. Not because it'll help keep me fed, not because I feel I'm a real chance of defending my location. I'd do it because years after the shtf, when the aggressiveness has settled down, they will be worth a lot in barter. And who knows? In the intervenin g time, I may have found time to go and practice and become a fair hunter myself.

I mentioned that I need some medicines. I can stockpile a certain amount of them, but others just won't keep, and those I need to learn to replace. I'm working on some of those things right now, and I figure that the sooner I can stop paying money for those medicines, the sooner I can buy something useful with that money.

Practice doing a bit of mental triage when you go shopping. Buy those ten dollar superduper food storage buckets and do with one less bag of rice? Buy the cheap dehydrated food and store it, or rely on the fact that there will always be a way to make meals of you're not totally exhausted?

When it comes to equipment you'll need to rely on like cooking pots, tools, fire starting gear, and so forth, you need something that will last a long time but not at the expense of other equally important things like good quality beans and grains.

When it comes to clothing, you need things that will last and put up with a lot of maltreatment, but again, weigh the expensive stuff versus your need to have enough food to fill that survival vest with the solar rechargers and twenty-five compartments and pockets and a Kevlar inner lining...

Most important, I think, will be to be attuned sharply to your environment, and also to the world in general. Learn to tell what sort of a year it's going to be by watching where the local animals make camp at night. If a new weed shows up in your bug (in/out) location, know what it is, try using it, incorporate it.

I guess, remain flexible. Don't let any particular aspect of prepping become a sacred cow, keep an open mind, roll with things, and hopefully survive better.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Not A Writing Skill Needed

Word about being soppy sloppy sentimental heart string tugging mendicants: NO!

I like a certain organisation that promotes writing skills. And I opted in to their newsletter. So imagine my surprise when they sent me an email asking me to reach back into my childhood and remember who encouraged me to write. Some words along the lines of "someone who believes in you is priceless" or some such sentimental pap. And then, the huckster line:

"Well, now we can put a price on it for you! Just ten dollars ... blah blah yada yada." I tuned out, but I'm livid. How FUCKING DARE THEY? If you want a donation for writing skills resources, fucking well ask for it. Don't play this fucking schmaltzy emotional suck game.

The irony that they are supposed to be promoting good writing and are using this maudlin claptrap as the bait email, didn't escape me. But no matter what, they've done their dash with me. Newsletter unsubscribed, and probably my account there deactivated too.

I think maybe I'm being overly sensitive because I'm on a pension  and our government is busily screwing us over, one benefit at a time, so I can't afford to be generous with my donations. But even if I did, paying some shill that wants my money to provide intangibles to first world children is probably NOT my idea of how to make the world a better place.
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Wednesday, 12 March 2014


If you have me friended on FB or follow the Body Friendly Zen Cookbook page, you'd know that we're moving. For some people, this is a rare thing. Not so much for me, it'll be my 49th move... As you can imagine, this makes it hard to prep, and yet - I manage it.

My two most important prep considerations are physical security and safety, and food security and safety. And I've managed to maintain those from place to place, to some degree. How, even I'm sure I can't explain. But that won't stop me posting about it at some stage, at great length... %)

For now, this post isn't about all that. It's about mourning, and justification. Mourning, because this is one of only about four places I've ever felt so happy in my life, and justification, because the place we're moving to may well become the fifth place, and perhaps a tad more permanent.

Reasons To Be Cheerful

  • New place has a large yard with several fruit trees already.
  • It has sheds and outbuildings that will be very useable. 
  • It's actually in the outskirts of a town in a dairy region.
  • Hard for the zombies (== city dwellers) to reach, so more secure to begin with.
  • It's in a town so community is at hand, many of them will be dependent and thus likely to support us.
  • Locals used to growing their own food, less need to hoard, more chance to barter.
  • Landlord after long term tenants. 
  • F-L-A-T terrain, no more killing myself to garden.
  • Larger range of foods to barter for. Dairy and meat, for example. 

Reasons To Be Tearful

  • This place is like paradise. Temperate rainforest valley.
  • Weather is ameloriated by terrain to be less extreme than most places.
  • Rainfall is great.
  • Soil is rich.
  • One advantage to the slope - a range of biohabitats for different species, in the space of a few hundred yards. 

The thing is, it will take us a year to get up to speed with food production. We already have food stored, and our capacity for both will actually increase at the new place.

I already have a plan for an aquaponics greenhouse / rabbits shed to combine ecosystems. Because of being pensioners, we already have to plan for extreme economy, so it's all being done OTC. (On The Cheap.)

A few wicking beds will increase my growing spaces for things like vine cucurbit crops, tomatoes, alliums, carrots turnips etc.

But yep, I will miss this little slice of paradise, although not so much the neighbours...

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