Monday, April 30, 2012

I'll be dipped

Today we once again cover a topic best left untouched, one beat as if a red headed stepchild or a dead horse.  Defending In Place, or Dipped.  Lately I’ve pointed out the insanely scary things going down that we are all aware of but pretend have no future consequences such as the building race war, the hyperinflating currency, etc.  I scream in a slightly embarrassingly feminine squeal to run for the hills or desert wastes, we are all doomed, the end is nigh and the Titanic is taking on water.  Yet, you contently gaze my way calming chewing on your corporate paycheck cud, seemingly drawing comfort from the very numbers of your herd that will one day turn on you in a blood lust.  And that is all right.  None of us are really very prepared.  Not for a civilization collapse.  Perhaps for an empire disintegration which is another animal altogether.  I know better myself and yet am a mere five miles from a teeming ball of maggot invested city-folk.  I’m not passing judgment here.   I’ve lived a good life, done a smidge more than just drawn oxygen as I flipped through five hundred cable channels.  My kids turned out alright despite me.  I’m happy to go down in a blaze of glory as long as I can take about a dozen or so Yuppie Scum ( all my supplies are for the eventuality if I survive against all odds- nothing more embarrassing than surviving your own stupidity and then realizing you didn’t plan for it ).   
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Knowing you should leave, you are still In Place.  Many things can conspire against you from an insistent wife ( I used to be in your place.  I surrendered my paycheck and testicles to wife #2.  #3 and #4 never were allowed in a similar position.  I smarted up but if something had happened at the time we would have been about three months food or 150 rounds of pistol ammo away from death ) to fearing you will go to debtors prison if you don’t pay off your mortgage ( I’d feel bad about your college loans, but baring an advanced degree such as medicine, I’d wager that bill is no worse than my two decades of child support and hence can be paid if you drop other bills such as a car or mortgage ) to sick relatives you can’t move away from.  One size doesn’t fit all, so I understand not everyone can flee to junk land even if they want to.  I was contacted by a loyal minion and here was an interesting tale.  The wife wouldn’t budge from the city and the relatives at the nearby farm wouldn’t store the food supplies ( I guess you have to be pretty blind to see today’s situation and then pass up on a free ride for the apocalypse.  If someone offered me a cut of their food for a place to sleep in the future, and that someone would help me defend the farm, I’d kiss them, grope them indecently and slip them a little tongue ).  So big plastic barrels were filled with bulk beans and grains ( in food grade liners inside the barrel ) and stored in the garage.  These containers of course suck compared to buckets, but are just the thing if you don’t plan on moving them.  The plan is that the next door son with all his young friends will provide defense.  Yes, you must buy extra food, guns and ammo.  But that is a far cry cheaper than a retreat up the top of a mountain.
A perfect plan it ain’t, but none of our plans are.  It was an affordable plan with what was available.  This guy will survive if it all implodes tomorrow, whereas a Yuppie Scum Einstein saving for twenty years trying to afford the down payment on his perfect retreat, stocked with gourmet freeze dried foods and a boutique arsenal will be dead in days after the bug out bag runs out of MRE’s and he fires all 550 rounds he has for an AR-15 in the first firefight.  The point is you do something NOW.  Imperfect as it is.  We don’t have a schedule for the collapse.  As I’ve repeatedly said, wheat and bolt guns yesterday, tomorrow you can upgrade.  And, as I’ve also repeated until I’m almost embarrassed ( once you debase yourself over a women enough times, your ego gets a lot smaller ), prepping is not an investment, it is insurance.  It doesn’t matter if you waste money on a city defense and THEN move.  You were prepared.  Don’t save money that will one day turn into perfect supplies.  Turn it into imperfect ones now.  City survival is going to be harder, but mainly just because of the numbers involved.  If you can avoid out of control fires and fortify against the mobs, you are prepared enough.  Dipping is better than nothing. 
Well, hell, that was a bit short today.  I’m a bit pressed for time and hurried through faster than usual.  Okay, here is a bit of news no one can use and nobody cares about.  I added a few sites to my links page over at Bison Press.  Reflexiones Finales is the Black Cat Dude that has an embarrassment of riches in post-apoc fiction reviews ( and kicks butt at times on topical subject discussions ).  And I added Guy McPherson with his “nature bats last” look at doom and gloom. 
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Saturday, April 28, 2012

preview of upcoming post-apoc novel

Here are the first four chapters of Buck. You may post them on your website as you see fit. Again, it's the sequel to Shut Down and takes place two years after the economic collapse. 

W. R. Flynn

Chapter One

“Joe, look!” Chris Saunders said, as he nervously drew his handgun for the first time in nearly two years.
“Whoa,” replied his friend, Joe Hancock. It was the last thing they expected as they tried to catch a few trout or an early-running summer Chinook salmon.
It was late morning, warm, and would soon get hot as they fished along the shore of the snowmelt-swollen Sandy River. The river was still flowing fast, but in two weeks, by mid-July, the river level would drop and, as the summer Chinook became more numerous, they would become easier to catch.
The two men had been up since early morning working on Joe’s family vegetable garden, getting their hands dirty in the early cool air. Summertime meant long hours of hard work but they didn’t complain. Everyone in town pulled their weight working on farms, fishing or hunting with bows to make sure they had enough food to feed everyone.
Prior to the sudden economic collapse, Joe’s family farm grew blueberries, selling them to local markets and overseas wholesale buyers. For years, as a hobby, Joe’s mother, Mary Kay, tended a small vegetable garden alongside her family’s well-maintained early-twentieth-century Sears Craftsman farmhouse.
Since the disaster struck, the Hancock vegetable garden expanded. It grew from a few hundred square feet of tomatoes, peppers and zucchinis to five acres featuring dozens of assorted organically grown vegetables. Next year they planned to grow corn, which meant cultivating ten acres. The blueberries still grew in nice straight long rows meandering over the easy rolling hills of western Corbett. They would soon ripen with little help, but their vegetable plot needed constant coaxing, especially during the annual spring and early summer planting period. It was one of many small vegetable farms that had sprouted up in Corbett over the past two years. Work crews would be tending the crops every day all summer and well into fall. As the morning grew warmer, a walk to the river was a welcome break from the backbreaking farm labor.
Chris and Joe began fishing for the summer Chinook a few weeks earlier when the first ones arrived. When fishing line grew scarce, the way people fished had to change. There were still plenty of quality, pre-disaster fishing poles to use, but many now preferred the short, simple, birch-branch pole, like the one Chris made during the past winter. Since fishing line was in short supply they no longer casted. Instead, they dropped short lines along the shore, always bringing the lines home afterward.
Since midmorning they had caught only one, a twenty-pounder, so they tried their luck downstream. They moved to a point where they could look across the river at the trees and aging picnic areas of Oxbow Park along the opposite shore. Each time they fished along this beach they felt the ghosts of the dead. The shore they stood on was the site of the old battles. Thinking of the hundreds of dead, Joe usually became misty-eyed as he walked nearer and today was no exception.
As they settled in and went to work preparing to drop a few fishing lines, Chris glanced downstream a short distance and saw him first. The man was barely visible, lying prone on the riverbank partially shaded under a low-hanging birch tree branch. He was facedown and motionless between a few large river rocks, barefoot, both legs in the water. His scraped and bruised feet stuck out of badly tattered pants. Two filthy hands reached out through the sand toward the trees. His long, greasy dark hair and filthy grey t-shirt were wet and bloodstained. He was an outsider; someone they didn’t know. And that scared them.
“He looks dead,” Joe said, whispering back to Chris while clutching his well-worn fishing pole near his skin-tight tan sleeveless t-shirt.
“I don’t recognize him,” Joe replied.
“Me neither,” Chris said, “but I don’t know everyone. With over three thousand people in town I still meet new people all the time.”
“He looks like a stranger,” Joe said.
“Yeah,” Chris said.
“We better check him out,” Joe said.
“His pants’re wet. So’s his shirt. Looks like he just washed up,” Chris replied, as they both moved cautiously closer along the shore of the river.
“I dunno, Chris. He may’ve been here all night. Hard t’tell. It’s been a few years since we’ve seen a dead body on this beach,” quipped Joe, referring to the ferocious battles fought along the banks of the Sandy River one terrifying afternoon two summers back.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen anyone at all,” Chris said.
“Let’s hope it stays that way. But when there’s one ….”
“True,” replied Chris, as the two of them carefully scanned with their eyes in all directions, barely moving their heads.

Chapter Two

Two hundred and fifty men had been killed that day two summers ago when a small Corbett foot patrol stumbled upon and quickly slaughtered a battalion-sized invasion force of freed jail inmates. Their guards had waited helplessly as they sat for days in their cells and dormitories slowly starving to death. Food shipments had stopped when the nation’s trucking system ran out of fuel and collapsed. When the inmates were finally turned loose by good-hearted jail guards, they quickly organized and set off on a manic search for food, drink, drugs and women.
A massive Monday morning wave of bank closures, which shut down the world’s fragile financial system, released humanity from its once-powerful social bonds. The sudden unraveling of human civilization was worldwide and struck without mercy. Within a few days everything had fallen apart in a historically unprecedented orgy of death and destruction. Riots and looting exploded unchecked in nation after nation as social order vaporized and the Four Horsemen saddled up for yet another ride, their best ever.
Immediately after hitting the streets of northeast Portland the newly-freed, rag-tag army of thugs went on a brutal rampage, looting, raping and burning their way east during two intoxicating weeks of pure mayhem. They were on a winning streak and optimistically thought Corbett would be easy to take, too. After all, northeast Portland, Fairview, Wood Village and Troutdale fell with little resistance. However, when it came to terrorizing Corbett they were dead wrong. Two weeks after the collapse nearly all of them were slaughtered moments after crossing the Sandy River along this shallow stretch of riverbank.
The attackers were giddy with excitement as they waded across the Sandy River and clambered over thick logs deposited by past floods. Their anticipation grew as they danced and joked their way to Gordon Creek Road, which meandered near the river at this point. They carried little other than a crazy assortment of looted rifles and handguns, some of which were unloaded. Few knew how to shoot the ones that were. Nevertheless, they were an intimidating force made up of violent wannabes, social outcasts, toothless drug addicts and other assorted Multnomah County rejects.
During the two weeks of looting they had shed their jail clothes and were nicely dressed as they strolled north up the road and prepared to attack. After weeks of rummaging through abandoned suburban closets, most looked like they had climbed out of a Columbia Sportswear or an Eddie Bauer catalogue, while others wore casual business attire, some for the first time in their lives. Their meager possessions were carried in colorful convenient daypacks that once held schoolbooks. Many packed sharp knives pilfered during their two weeks of freedom, knives littered with the DNA of their countless victims.
A well-armed, well-trained, six-member Corbett foot patrol spotted them. They knew the terrain very well and they knew their weapons even better. After silently taking solid cover positions alongside the road, the local militia waited, hidden in the bushes behind logs, boulders and trees until the noisy mob drew near, then all at once they opened fire. Moments after the shooting started, five members of another nearby foot patrol heard the gunshots and rushed to join them. The one-sided battle lasted only a few minutes. One defender died on this particular beach: Steve Nelson. He had taken a stray bullet in the forehead. He’d died during the first of two one-sided battles fought near the same beach where the filthy barefoot outsider just washed up.
Chris had been shot, too. His friend, Alison Lee, also took a round, but she was saved by her father’s Kevlar vest and remained in the fight, bruised but otherwise uninjured. Chris had nearly lost his left arm during that battle along this wooded stretch of beach, but he kept fighting, firing away with his good arm until the battle ended. He’d taken a bullet through the bicep. If not for his inner determination to recover and the loving care of Denise Song Bird, the Native American town veterinarian he later married, he would probably now be fishing one-armed.
At five-foot nine and a lean one hundred and fifty-five pounds, Chris now sported a shiny black, foot-long ponytail. A few dozen short wispy black hairs sprouted randomly from the chin and cheeks of his round unscarred face. He once scaled in at a chubby, yet clean-cut, one-ninety. However, with a primarily vegetarian diet and the loss of junk food he, like nearly everyone, lost his body fat. His new weight left him lean and muscular: ripped, in fact. Barefoot and shirtless in his orange-brown deerskin pants, the baby-faced former soldier now looked like an adopted Indian child standing alongside his much larger, light-skinned, bald-headed and blue-eyed friend, Joe.
At the time of the collapse, Joe had been packing nearly two hundred and fifty mostly fat free, muscle-bound pounds on his thirty-something superhero frame. Premature baldness had slammed Joe hard, leaving only a stray hair or two on his squarish, sun-reddened head. Always standing straight as a totem pole and well over six feet tall, he was once a mighty presence wherever he went. Heads would turn as he passed by with his nineteen-inch neck and twenty-one-inch arms.
However, with the daily foot patrols and hard labor, combined with the limited diet following the disaster, he had lost fifty pounds, reaching a weight he hadn’t been since he graduated from the Navy’s BUD/S training ordeal over a decade earlier. Others had lost even more, but a hardened, intimidating two hundred was how Joe stood since. Along with his father, Joseph, who likewise lost a wheelbarrow full of body fat, he nevertheless continued to hit the weights hard, so Joe and his dad, now nearly sixty, were still considered among the toughest men in Corbett.
Sadly, as the months passed, walking was gradually becoming more and more of a minor annoyance for Joe, but when asked why he would always brush it off. Over the last two years he had developed what Denise simply called a nervous disorder. It caused him to walk with a slight rhythmic limp reminiscent of those suffering from a mild case of cerebral palsy. She told him it could worsen over time but, although running fast was no longer possible, he could jog slowly and otherwise get around just fine. Still, if folks needed something heavy lifted or someone friendly to talk to, they often turned to Joe.

Chapter Three

Joe and Chris quietly moved closer, then stood staring at the stranger from about ten feet away. They once again silently scanned around a moment, listening to the nearby woods and looking in all directions to see if anyone else lurked nearby.
“There’s no trespassing,” Chris said. “What should we do?”
“He isn’t trespassing. Just washed up on our beach. Look. His head’s bleeding,” said Joe, pointing at the blood on the man’s face and in his hair.
“Maybe he hurt it crawlin’ outta the water,” replied Chris a bit louder, as he set down his homemade fishing pole alongside Joe’s tackle box and much longer, fiberglass pole.
“I doubt it, it’s partly scabbed up, but he looks harmless. Skinny. Bony, like he hasn’t eaten much in weeks. I think he’s hurt bad. You have your gun. Cover me. I’ll roll him over, check him out,” Joe said.
Chris still held his Glock nine in his hand, careful to always have it ready after what occurred two years back. “Wait. What if he’s sick? Maybe we shouldn’t take the chance. Remember the old rule about newcomers? We aren’t allowed to go near anyone ‘til we find out if they’re sick,” explained Chris.
Joe had stopped carrying his handgun long ago, but he always felt safe as long as his friend Chris carried one. After hearing the man’s story, he’d never again go out without it strapped to his faded baggy blue jeans. “Okay. Let’s find out if he’s sick. Poke him with a stick, Chris. See if you can wake him up. We’ll ask him.”
“Let me look at him first,” Chris said, as he approached closer. “Let’s see here … hmm, no weird rash, he’s not sweating, his hair isn’t falling out, he’s not leaking from the nose or mouth … he isn’t shaking or nothing, either. He’s breathing weak, but steady, too. I don’t believe he’s sick at all.”
“Well, go on, poke him, Chris. Get him to wake up.”
“No, you poke him,” chuckled Chris.
“Fine,” said Joe. “I’ll poke him.”
“I’ll cover you.”
“Okay, but I want you to stand over there,” Joe said, pointing to a sandy area not far from the man.
Chris stood where he was told. Joe then walked a short distance back and broke off a small branch from a nearby shade tree. He then stretched out his right arm and carefully aimed the stick at the man’s ribs.
“Hey, wake up,” Joe said, as he gently jabbed the man in the ribs a few times with the stick.
The man offered no response.
Joe then spoke a bit louder while repeatedly tapping the man on his head with the stick. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap and tap, “Hey! Get up!”
The man groaned once and slowly turned his head. He faced Joe, staring hard with one eye barely cracked open. The other, black and purple, remained firmly swollen shut. He looked an inch from death.
“Why are you hitting me?” asked the stranger.
“We’re asking the questions, buddy,” said Chris in a stern voice as he stepped back cautiously, standing behind Joe, glancing up at the back of his friend’s head while holstering the gun.
“I’m hurt,” said the man.
“Are you sick, or hurt?” Joe asked.
    The man simply mumbled and pointed at his upper left chest with his grimy, sandy right hand.
“What he say?” Chris nervously asked.
“I dunno,” Joe replied.
“I said I’m shot.” It was much clearer this time.
“Shot? Where? By who?” Joe quickly asked.
“Where I’m pointing, you idiot,” the man softly replied. “I can barely breathe. Please help me. I’m not sick. I’m shot.”
“Can you walk?” Chris asked.
“What’s it look like?” asked the man, as he clutched the sand and softly groaned in pain.
“Let’s get him to Denise. Chris, help me get him up.”
“Are you sure you’re not sick?” Chris asked.
“Not sick. Shot. Arrow in the back. Came out my chest. Can barely breathe. Hurts.”
“Who did it?” asked Chris.
“Dunno. Upriver. Yesterday afternoon. They chased me. Shot arrows at me. Got hit by a couple. One bounced off my head. One went in my back. Pulled it out my chest. Made it to the river. Started swimming. Where am I? Who are you people?”
“This is Corbett,” Chris said. “We live here. Where are the people who shot you?”
“I dunno. Upriver. By Sandy. How’s Portland?”
“Portland’s gone. We saw it burning from the Vista House. How many of them were there?”
“Yeah, gone. How many were there?”
“Lots. Didn’t count, they chased me, I ran. Portland gone? Oh, no. I used to live there. Roses, mom and dad,” he mumbled as his head flopped back into the sand.
“He’s losin’ it, Joe,” Chris said.
“Okay, we’re gonna get you to a doctor,” Joe said. “Right now.”
Joe turned to Chris. “We’ll walk him up the hill together.
Leave the fishing stuff. We can get it later, but bring that
salmon. We can’t waste it. It’ll rot in the heat.”
Joe straddled the stranger. Then he put his massive hands under the man’s arms and stood him up.
“I can walk,” said the man. “I just can’t stand up.”
Joe caught him as he started to fall.
“Joe, look at your hands! Blood!”
“Whoa! We better get this guy up the hill fast. Let’s go.”
Chris slipped into his moccasins. He then picked up the canvas bag holding the salmon with his weaker left hand and together with Joe helped gently lift the man over a few logs. They half walked, half carried the man the rest of the way up the riverbank to the hot, smooth pavement of Southeast Gordon Creek Road. They could retrieve the poles later.
When they reached the road, the man stumbled and nearly fell on the asphalt.
“Hey, buddy. It’s only a few miles. Stay awake. Talk to me,” Chris said, as they helped him up.
“C’mon, man. You can make it. We’re gonna make you okay again. You’ll be fine soon. Denise Song Bird will fix you up good as new,” Joe said.
“Hey, I’m Chris. This is Joe. What’s your name?” Chris smiled and asked.
“Baccellieri. Michael. I hate ‘Mike.’ Don’t ever call me ‘Mike.’ Please, don’t.”
“Okay. I can’t pronounce your last name. How do you say your last name, again?” Chris asked, staring at the bloody-faced stranger.
“‘Bah-chel-lee-air-ree.’ It’s easy,” Michael slurred.
“‘Buck-lee-airy.’ Hey! That’s easy to pronounce,” Chris smiled, at what he thought was a small linguistic success.
“No. No. It’s, ‘Bah-chel-lee-air-ree.’”
“No, Chris, say it right. It’s ‘Back-lee-air-ee,’” Joe said.
Michael glanced up at Joe, then over at Chris. He shook his head, “Hicks. You two friggin’ idiots are killing me. Just drop me. Let me die in the road. I can’t take this anymore. Is Denise Song Bird, the doctor, anything like you two? Hey, you look like a Native American.” Michael groaned toward Chris.
“Chris, he’s about to pass out. We should just help him get to the clinic and kinda ignore what he says right now,” Joe said.
“Around here we prefer the term 'Indian' not ‘Native American,’ if you don’t mind. And yeah, she’s my wife,” Chris replied, ignoring Joe’s advice. “We’re from different tribes. I help out in her veterinary clinic.”
“C’mon, really, now. What is this place? Am I dead? Yeah … oh yeah, fer sure. Did I drown? Was it the arrow? I’m in Purgatory, aren’t I? Damn it, knew I wouldn’t make the first cut: must have been the crap I pulled in high school, or in the army,” he slurred.
Chris spread his arms out, palms up, as if carrying an invisible bag of onions. He then looked at Joe and shrugged, not quite sure what Buck was talking about.
Joe laughed. “No. You’re not dead yet. You’re hurt bad, but you’re gonna live. Denise is really smart. She’s helped lots of us get better. For a vet, she’s doing a really good job as our doctor.”
“I have an arrow hole through my chest. My head’s bleeding and it hurts. I can’t see out one eye. My boots are gone. I ain’t eat’ in two days. And you morons are bringing me to a damn country veterinarian?”
Joe, dumbfounded, glanced at Chris and shrugged. “Hey, I’m sorry. It’s all we got. She’s our doctor now. You’ll get better soon. You’ll see. Hey, would it be okay if we just called you ‘Buck?’”
“‘Buck.’ Yeah, I guess so. That’s fine. Cool. I’ll live with ‘at. You guys jus’ call me Buck.” Michael slurred.
“Okay, Mike. We’ll call you Buck,” Chris said. “By the way, Buck, where’s Purgatory?”
After Chris spoke, Buck glared at him briefly then lost consciousness, dreaming of the men with the bows.

Chapter Four

They came from the south, always hungry, walking through ghost towns and along abandoned roads in search of food. This wandering pack of feral men was thirty strong now. As they moved, they would lose a few, then pick up a few more as they travelled meal to meal. Always moving, always searching, always hungry, their craving for food was purely primal. Sometimes getting lucky, they would stumble across an overlooked hoard in a rail yard shipping container or a freeze-dried stash cleverly hidden in a basement or sometimes secreted in the dusty attic crawlspace of a long-gone survivalist’s home.
Moving through what was once called California had become too dangerous, even for these savage, silently moving feral men. The once-cultivated fields had long since dried. The battles for dominance during the past two years had provided victory to none. The bloody struggles over the scraps ended when the scraps were gone. However, countless individuals and a few small groups still roamed the countryside in search of food. This no-name group from somewhere in California was one of the last, and the only one still scavenging in Oregon.
The California Central Valley heat was deadly during the summer, and getting hotter each year, so they moved north, to a cooler place, into the Willamette River Valley. They had one objective: survival.
To reach there they walked north, skirting the western Sierra foothills. They occasionally encountered farming villages, isolated heavily-armed small groupings usually numbering under one hundred, although some were larger, all of them remnants of the horrifying decimation two years earlier. The members of these colonies worked hard, struggling nonstop to survive. Most defended themselves, vigilantly guarding their perimeters and brutally turning away outsiders with well-aimed rifles, especially those looking like this band of thirty-odd hard-faced men. Few let them get anywhere close.
 It was becoming routine for this marauding band. Some communities made the deadly mistake of welcoming these strangers, offering them food and shelter. Those who did lost everything. The feral men would then gorge themselves and move on, packing the remains. The fortunate ones learned from their misplaced kindness and got a chance to start again, wiser and more cautious about where to direct their compassion. The others became one with the ever-present wind and dust.
As the feral pack moved north, through the eastern side of the Willamette Valley, the few survivor colonies they found were unfriendly, armed and well-guarded, allowing no one near. In April, three of their pack had been shot and killed approaching one small, but well-organized farming village south of Lebanon.
They approached the crude, makeshift gate, handguns hidden under tattered shirts. One man walked well ahead of the other two while waving a white shirt high over his head as if coming in peace. It was a clever entry tactic they had successfully used: approach with a white cloth waved high, draw close, and then kill.
They were ordered to stop twice, yet their simple plan and burning hunger drew them ever nearer to the vigilant town guards. The lead man was thirty yards away. Next, the other two moved closer. It was a tactic that had worked well before. The three kept walking closer, waving the white cloth, smiling at the guards as if they were old lost friends. Twenty yards away. Now ten. One of the sentries ordered them once again to stop yet the three kept drawing closer. The three sentries then opened fire at once, stopping them cold when they ignored the final order.
After that, the ferals avoided the well-defended towns unless their situation became truly dire, in which case they would attack a few less-defended homes on the outskirts. Instead of overpowering the armed guards, they would wait until night then attack poorly defended homes on the edges of towns under the cover of darkness, quickly taking what they could and then fleeing like rats into the night.
They had yet to move past the first level of Maslow’s pyramid of hierarchical needs. They accepted no women or children into their band. “Maybe later,” they kept telling themselves. Maybe when they found a place to retire, a place to stay for good. That was a distant dream, often talked about, but few believed it would happen.
The men had become desperate, hungry, as they moved north to the Sandy River, near the ghost town once called Sandy. The town was the last food stop along the Mount Hood Highway. In the days and weeks following the collapse, tens of thousands of starving people arrived, fleeing the chaos in the city. Its orchards, farms, markets and homes were stripped bare. Only a few families survived.
Scouts moved ahead of the main group in twos, searching, listening, ever on guard. They heard the distant rhythmic cracking of axes barely echoing in the silent air. They found a few sets of fresh footprints along a river beach near their camp, one set, human, another set, dog. They followed them for a time, then returned to the main pack with their walking bounty, sharing the exciting news that a town was near.
Most of their ammunition had been spent hunting deer and other game during the past winter. Their remaining bullets were divided, loaded into inaccurate rifles and rusty handguns. Bows were inspected, once again. More arrows were made ready as they cooked a scrawny mongrel over a small, carefully burning fire. Tired of eating undercooked stray dogs and raccoons, they were now excited, preparing for yet another attack.
Then, an emaciated stranger approached, a threat to their planned raid. “Kill him!” one of them muttered. Grimy hands dipped into deerskin quivers. Arrows rained on the man. The men saw one arrow strike his head. Another pierced his back. They saw him fall into the river and float away, and thought no more of him.

SHUT DOWN  A Story of Economic Collapse and Hope

Friday, April 27, 2012

darkness falls

I promise, this will be the last book review for awhile.  It just happened that I got all four books in the same week and I’ve been finishing them up right about the time I am writing the next article.  Today we have a surprise find, “Darkness Falls” by Kyle Mills.  Mills is one of those authors that for me is hit and miss.  I’ll read one, get excited, then the next one sucks.  I liked this one.  Although, to be fair, that might just be because of the subject matter.  Peal Oil disguised as an attack by an evil dude on the global petroleum supply using a biological agent.  Here is your classic Highly Improbable Series Of Events In Which A Geek Scientist Is A Super Stud Who Alone Can Save The World.  So many novels use this device I get tired of seeing it.  Fat brainy dudes sit behind a desk and Discover Very Important Things.  Muscle bound cro-magnums run around and kill things.  The twain shall never meet.  Yet in modern fiction you see this contrived creation all the time.  But, no matter.  You can ignore this in favor of the story.  This is a great book hiding Peak Oil in plain sight.  The timid frightened peasants, making daily sacrificed on the alter of Mammon, need not be turned off by reality.  If you come right out and say, you are all going to die you worthless wastes of sperm, they get all uppity and claim we have twenty thousand years worth of frac oil left and the American Empire can never ever die so help me Baby Jesus, praise God and pass the ammunition.  But if you introduce them to the concept in a disguised form where they have full deniability on their side ( well, look, it says we can only die if there is a sudden stoppage in oil.  As it is, I now know we are running out but if we all just get a solar panel American Empire can last forever ), they just might take a tentative taste of the poison pill of reality.  Perhaps after they read this you can gently disperse some of the more erroneous notions of Transition Villages Can Save Us All.
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You can purchase anything, not just the linked item.  Enter Amazon through my item link and then go to whatever other item you desire.  As long as you don’t leave Amazon until after the order is placed, I get credit for your purchase.  Thank you.
Look, I understand that you can use this book as a full scale tool for wishful thinking, optimism and a roadmap to your
Happy Place
.  You can bolster your Kunstler Happy Motoring fantasy using this book and never budge from that.  It could very well backfire on you if you give this book to one of the reality deniers.  I’m just introducing the thought that it might be used as a backdoor introduction to the book lover you are trying to save.  I know some folks will never go over to the Dark Side.  My dad introduced me to Lucifer’s Hammer when I was a young lad.  And we both took away two very different things from it.  His was a first taste into science fiction.  Mine was the start of a lifetime of loving doom and gloom.  I guess it is just like the non-fiction book “Overshoot”.  I was introduced to it by The Druid Dude ( to whom I’ll be eternally grateful for because of that- bar none, the best look at resource depletion out there.  Remember?  The Petri dish bacteria consuming their food and dieing off or the reindeer herds on the island crashing from several hundred to a few dozen ).  We both took away different lessons from it.  He is too optimistic, I am too pessimistic and we both read what we wanted to hear.
And speaking of the Arch Druid, you simply must read this weeks issue of his blog.  To my mind, one of his truly best articles to date.  He is a tree hugger, yet spares no mercy for the group as a whole when they were co-opted by American Empire in a bid to save our economy.  The best concept I’ve read.  The Powers That Be used the tree huggers to run the propaganda machine as they were trying to control other economies ( that we failed points to the relation of our decline in world affairs ).  If burning oil was oh so bad and we could cap that practice, in our favor of course, we could continue the wealth pump.  Looking at it this way, and his wonderful take on the media ignoring the mass methane release from artic seas, you can make sense of the recent ten plus year fiasco.  It wasn’t about taxes, it was about economic control.  And now, after the methane release is reality rather than propaganda, the whole danger is swept under the rug by a once compliant media.  The media isn’t pro Democrat or pro tree hugger as much as they are pro share the wealth.  As long as they are complacent lap dogs to the rich and powerful, they get a bone thrown to them.  I imagine those not towing the line get things like bribery scandals contrived and thrown their way ( I thought Murdock was one of the mass media members licking the bankers asses, but perhaps I was wrong ). 
Do I think that mass ocean methane releases will kill us all tomorrow?  No.  It could, but I moved inland almost ten years ago on the off chance that the seas would rise ( why buy Florida property with half a life’s worth of wages if that land will soon be under water? ) so I don’t worry too much about it.  It could of course cause extreme weather change which will effect us all.  But I’m pretty much thinking something is going to bite our ass any day now.  I just don’t know what.  What we can take away from it is that you are being deliberately being fed blatantly  false information and it is in fact working against you.  You claim to deny the message, but you are still making mortgage payments living in the city with only three months worth of freeze dried food.  I think you drank the grape Kool-Aid, then try to deny it.  Don’t you think the PTB planned the Gore Warming fiasco to include the added bonus of you not believing doom and gloom anymore?  Hey, it’s your life.
Saturday we have a guest article.  It is from the author of “Shut Down”, a novel I’m in gay love with and highly recommend, and it is the first few chapters of the sequel which comes out next month.
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Anyone can submit a guest article.  No minimum word length, no writing skill necessary ( just get the idea across ).  You retain copyright ( this must be your original writing ) and I’ll just use the once.  I’ve yet to turn down an article, just don’t use the N Bomb or libel another that can sue me.  Send by e-mail ( please, label as “guest article” so I can find it easily later ).  Payment will be your removal from my enemies list.
By the by, all my writing is copyrighted.  For the obtuse out there

Thursday, April 26, 2012


“Joshua” is a post-apocalypse novel that the author ( John S Wilson ), being a fine Loyal Minion who knows I can be bought cheap with free books or silver, sent me for review.  Frankly, I thought little of it at first glance.  Happily, I was proven wrong.  I think that the old adage, Don’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover, needs to be updated for our lovely but short lived Print On Demand era ( transportation and energy costs will absolutely kill the book market after oil gets scarce/dear enough.  One wonders if the Internet will survive long enough after that for Kindle to last much longer ).  It shall henceforth be read as such.  “Do not judge a book based on its authors inexperience, as very talented authors never had a fair hearing under New York’s tyrannical reign and are now able to flood the land with their financially unrestrained talent.  And thou shalt not judge a book based on its seemingly clich├ęd story lines.  Nor shall you judge, least ye be judged, on past success of other authors and their structured novels.  New ways can emerge that are just as if not more satisfying”.  If that is too long to remember, feel free to shorten it to “the field is flooded with unexpected amateurs with surprising treasures”.  Joshua started out pretty mediocre.  I was not impressed with the first thirty pages or so.  Luckily, the author suddenly hit his stride and it was a nice story after that.  Will it make the Top Twenty?  No.  Was it fairly typical of the Epic Quest/Long Walk With Semi-Auto’s And MRE’s genre?  Yes.  And while it had a fair amount of prepper/survivalist tidbits thrown in as a bread trail to suck you in to the end, they were interesting but probably not earth shattering.  No, what really impressed me was that after I put the book down, I said “Damn.  That was a pretty good story”.  Rather than another cookie cutter routine post apocalypse novel, this was more about the character than the landscape.  You took a bit to fit into the main characters shoes ( this is a first novel- I’d expect steady improvement ), but once there I could start to identify with him. 
Please support Bison by buying through the Amazon graphics above and to the right of each article.  Or, visit
You can purchase anything, not just the linked item.  Enter Amazon through my item link and then go to whatever other item you desire.  As long as you don’t leave Amazon until after the order is placed, I get credit for your purchase.  Thank you.
I normally don’t care for “feel good” stories.  Guys should share two emotions only, lust and hate ( rude and offensive humor guys love to bombard each other with is a bit of “hate”.  I think it is a form of bonding and testing.  If you are too much of a girlie man to take ribbing about your pecker being small you won’t be much use to the group as protector ).  It is okay to sometimes, if presented in the correct forum, share other feeling such as love for your children.  But you can’t over do it and you must include it to conform to the hate emotion ( “I love the little bastards so much if someone hurt them I’d tear off their head and shove it up their ass” ).  Joshua did the feel good emotion correctly, a fathers love ( even if in this case it is as a foster parent ) interwoven with protectiveness.  Most navel gazing moments were in this context.  I hate the standard angst most survival stories try to shove down our throat ( I must pray to Baby Jesus for the correct answer to this perplexing question of taking a sacred life- oh, for humps sake dude.  Your purpose in life is procreator, provider and protector.  Kill the enemy and let God sort it out.  Stop over thinking it and stop anguishing over it.  Your tribe is The People.  Their tribe is Godless Subhuman Enemies ).  In “Joshua” you had a bit of this but not too bad.  I could live with it.  Their might be a few similarities with Joshua and The Road, but the latter was TOO much angst and navel gazing.  Here you have a bit more story, back story and plot. 
While in general this novel could be quickly described as “ road trip, father protects and cherishes son”, there are hidden nuggets of treasures throughout you should enjoy.  I liked the old geezers hidden basement Compound Of Doom, but especially I enjoyed the Cause Of Collapse.  Nothing involved, contrived or outlandish.  Simply, hyperinflation trashed the currency and the food distribution system collapsed.  Rioting started and goodbye America.  I was a bit put off initially over such a simple explanation ( “that’s all he could come up with?” ), but on reflection it started making a lot of sense.  The world can end without super volcano’s, nuke war, polar cap meltdowns or whatnot.  If the US dollar had collapsed in 1930, everyone still had gold, farms surrounded all cities and most people lived on them, and oil was shooting out of the ground in abundance.  Today, if the dollar collapses, nobody is on the farm, cities are surrounded by suburbs to accommodate our overpopulation, food must travel hundreds if not thousands of miles, and people are hoarding debt, not gold ( plus, don’t forget our energy decline ).  Back then we fed ourselves without paper currency.   Today, almost all of us are dependent on it ( if you aren’t saving buckets of wheat before you are saving paper currency, you are an idiot ).  It is oh so feasible that hyperinflation could kill us from hunger followed by social unrest. 
“Joshua” is more of a human interest story set in the apocalypse than a training manual for the apocalypse, but I think you would enjoy it as a story.  If you can afford it, I’d recommend it. 
The Official Bison Web Site
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Anyone can submit a guest article.  No minimum word length, no writing skill necessary ( just get the idea across ).  You retain copyright ( this must be your original writing ) and I’ll just use the once.  I’ve yet to turn down an article, just don’t use the N Bomb or libel another that can sue me.  Send by e-mail ( please, label as “guest article” so I can find it easily later ).  Payment will be your removal from my enemies list.
By the by, all my writing is copyrighted.  For the obtuse out there.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

31 days to survival

I’m a big fan of M.D. Creekmore’s book “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat”.  It is fairly priced and a darn good source of information to the less than hard core ( as in, they aren’t actually living the life just yet ) prepper, survivalist or doom and gloomer.  His new book, “31 Days To Survival” is almost as good.  I think it is lacking slightly when it comes to those of us that have been doing this for awhile, but more than makes up for that in its right on targeting for beginners.  If you already have Internet downloaded information binders, an extended arsenal, are gardening and have two years of storage food, this book isn’t for you.  But, if you are just getting started in this racket, and let’s face it that is where the growth market is these days as more and more folks wake up to the looming freight train derailment that is our economy, this book will wonderfully guide you through a lot of necessary skill and equipment acquisition.  And very cheaply.  Creekmore might insist on a lot on luxurious additions to a survivalists stockpiles such as spices or more than three food items or an actual versatile arsenal, but he is the next most frugal writer on the subject out there if you think I’m too austere.  This book won’t explain WHY you should be prepping.  It is strictly a “jump in now” instructional.  He lays out in 31 steps how to start from zero to get to prepper hero.  A few things might be a bit “forced” for having been included ( and as it is, the book is only 144 pages- but, not a bad thing for the beginner ), but all in all this covers a heck of a lot of ground for the newbie.  When done, they will be a seasoned pro and feel a lot better about their future.  Again, this isn’t anything groundbreaking.  Old hands have little need for it.  But the new guy will be gently and easily guided towards prepper nirvana.  Rawles scares away the poor, I scare away the lazy.  Creekmore tends to refrain from scaring anyone away.  I think this is just who our movement needs.
Please support Bison by buying through the Amazon graphics above and to the right of each article.  Or, visit
You can purchase anything, not just the linked item.  Enter Amazon through my item link and then go to whatever other item you desire.  As long as you don’t leave Amazon until after the order is placed, I get credit for your purchase.  Thank you.
On to other subjects, once again talking about the most important thing, me, we once again talk about child support.  Remember, I have maintained all along that shortly after my last child support payment the economy would crash ( or, take your pick for huge disaster ) because obviously the Gods do not wish me to fully enjoy the fruits of my labors.  I’ve been guessing that the last paycheck in May would be the last check with child support withholding.  I can’t confirm this of course because the rotten, vermin scum sucking asswhores in Florida ( you bitches think you are lords and masters of the universe because the government gave you paper pushing fat bitches arbitrary authority to push your rabid feminist agenda, but I’ve got news for you.  While you stay stuck in place as the taxpaying leeches that you are, you are completely ignoring the growing risks to your lives.  Any area smack dab in a black ghetto will one day be on the sharp end of racial warfare.  The Blacks are already running unchecked, assaulting others based on skin color as the media hides this behind random street crime, being rewarded for their behavior.  Once Whitey rises up, the numbers are against you.  But the first wave of casualties are the complete innocents that think their support of minorities will save them.  Karma is a bitch, ladies ) refuse to answer any of my inquiries as to the official end of my indentured servitude ( when you are still sending support for a child that has been out of the house for two years, not a student, you can’t tell me it is much more than ex-wife support ).  I imagine I won’t know until the company accountant tells me she got a letter from the state.  My point?  After today, I only have about a month to go.  If I am right, you all better get ready for The End. 
And speaking of minorities, how many times must we talk about Americans Abroad?  If you aren’t living in Canada, Australia or New Zealand ( I would add the UK, but surely you realize that any island is a mixed blessing survival wise.  And they are really overcrowded ), you are a white face living in a sea of brown.  Which makes you identifiable.  Since we have long ago moved into the Armed Lifeboat part of the Great Petroleum Collapse, you must realize that the tribes are in a life and death struggle.  Anything the US does to try to survive is bound to infuriate folks from other countries.  And like folks everywhere, when they are powerless to solve the problem of getting screwed, they look for scapegoats.  You, an American, will become one.  Forget economics ( if you are getting a pension, it will be gone and you will be stranded.  If you are a foreign worker, you are there at their will ).  Just looking at it from a tribal conflict standpoint, I would not want to be overseas during the collapse.  This country is going to hell in a handbasket on a rocketship, and the bankers are duct taping, super gluing and plastic cuffing as many boosters on as they can.  When this bitch goes up, it is going to be a heck of a fireworks show.  But it is The Devil You Know.  The next time the Yankees try to surpass a civil war, they won’t have a growing economy or an industrial base to fall back on.  Their military machine is over dependent of scarce oil.  You can prevail over the government.  The problem is getting through the race war the government encourages to deflect attention at themselves.  We need to get through that before we can win our regional freedom.  I strongly urge you to move out of range of this coming conflict.  Or have a strong support group that can retreat to a fortress area ( such as the Appalachia hillbillies once did ) if you are stuck there.  And, as always, I don’t urge dissent or rebellion.  I urge you to hide out until it is all over. 
A hearty hi-ho and thanks for all the fish to Gary in Tennessee.  Your donation to feed the Bison Compound greatly appreciated. 
The Official Bison Web Site
My e-mail is
Anyone can submit a guest article.  No minimum word length, no writing skill necessary ( just get the idea across ).  You retain copyright ( this must be your original writing ) and I’ll just use the once.  I’ve yet to turn down an article, just don’t use the N Bomb or libel another that can sue me.  Send by e-mail ( please, label as “guest article” so I can find it easily later ).  Payment will be your removal from my enemies list.
By the by, all my writing is copyrighted.  For the obtuse out there.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

without rule of law

Here is another book by Joe Nobody at Prepper Press, the same mind that gave us “Holding Your Ground”.  If you go back to December 21, 2011 over at Bison Survival Blog, you will see my review of that other book.  In short, I was very impressed and highly recommended it.  This one is no different.  Again as with the first book, first glance shows a less than promising product.  To be honest, the 200 pages looked padded and the four sub categories looked contrived and obvious.  But just as I was almost turned off by “Holding Your Ground” and its spread sheet, here I was almost mislead by the Paladin Press type photo’s, massive white space and large print.  While the 200 pages might be a stretch, the information contained here is absolutely priceless.  Actually, the spread out print and heavy illustration were indeed necessary.  Without them the lessons would have been useless.  You wouldn’t have visualized the point.  Plus, it would have been overload with tightly bound text.  This was a slow simmer kind of book, not a quick breeze through.  Also, as with his other book, you don’t really comprehend the importance of any one area without reading the whole book.  Then, after you are through, it all forms together.  You slap your head, wondering why nobody else could present the lessons so thoroughly.  This authors talents are taking seemingly simple life saving information everyone took for granted, pointing out all the pitfalls and teaching the correct way to do these things.  Things others either simplified to the dangerous point or never taught at all.  So before with tactics defending your retreat, now with offensive acquisition.
Please support Bison by buying through the Amazon graphics above and to the right of each article.  Or, visit
You can purchase anything, not just the linked item.  Enter Amazon through my item link and then go to whatever other item you desire.  As long as you don’t leave Amazon until after the order is placed, I get credit for your purchase.  Thank you.
None of us wants to become an asshat stealing from others.  But, like it or not, the norm historically is selective morality.  The tribe must be honored and treated respectably, those outside the tribe are less than human and no morality applies in dealing with them.  What “Without Rule Of Law” does is recognize that once your stockpiles are gone, and your garden fails, your only choice is to become a bandit.  We all act uppity when it comes to being self sufficient and never needing to take by force ( we just plan on killing those that try to take from us ), but crap happens and it would be stupid to not plan on this unappetizing eventuality.  If it ever happens to pass that we must kill and steal to feed our family, here is your instruction book on how to hide and evade while trying to infiltrate and scavenge.  If you never served in the military special forces, this book will teach you a heck of a lot of skills ( of course, you must practice them- and practice a lot before the collapse ).  Don’t buy this to fill the book shelf.  If you don’t plan on practicing ( don’t worry- they might be uncomfortable and time consuming, but the exercises are designed for fat out of shape civilians ), don’t waste your money.  If you want to put a bit of effort into it, this course of instruction is kick ass.
And, really, the skills won’t be wasted if you have enough food for the rest of your life.  You don’t have to apply them just for evil.  Hiding in thin brush in plain sight is also great for guarding your land.  Evading those guarding their land can be applied towards when an enemy invades and you flee to escape.  Scavenging can be applied to long abandoned areas as well as enemy held territory.  And infiltration works for recon for a battle against evil dudes as well as stealing from the innocent.   This guy knows his stuff.  And this book could save your life many times over.  Perhaps even make you a post-apoc ninja.
Okay, on to other more mundane items to flesh out today’s word count.  You might have noticed I’m on a “retail reviews” kick lately.  There are three reasons for this.  First, when I get riled up I write about it, regardless of subject matter.  I’ve gotten pretty darn riled lately with the tomfoolery going on with once great retailers tripping me, pinning me down, ripping off my clothes and having their perverted way with me.  Sorry if I don’t take kindly to being systematically sodimized.  Two, at least it’s somewhat new and exciting.  And three, I’m hoping to get picked up by Fox News with a segment of my own on this subject matter.  It might not happen as my mainstream media exposure is zero, but I can at least hope.  Today, I’d like to talk about KFC.  Kentucky Fried Chicken has always been good.  Darn good.  I don’t think anyone anywhere else comes close to their fried chicken.  And the coleslaw is to simply die for!  I haven’t eaten there for about two years now, so I don’t know if they’ve gone to hell in a handbasket on a rocketship, but the informal grapevine of mine assures me they are still putting out quality grub.  Last Friday Boss #3 goes there to eat lunch and she gave me the biscuits as she is on a no carb kick.  At the time I was stuffed, so I put them in the oven and let the pilot light keep them warm.  I then started to fantasize about warm buttery biscuits with honey. 
Hours later when we slowed down from the last minute idiots getting food for the weekend, I retrieved said biscuits for a mid afternoon snack hoping the calories would keep me going through doing laundry after work until I got a late dinner.  The biscuits were warm and soft.  The margarine oozed on ( I’d prefer butter but KFC has always done margarine as far as I know ).  Then, I went to put on the honey.  It gushed out.  What the hell?  I looked at the package, and there in bold letters taunting me was “Honey Sauce”.  Not honey, some wretched chemical concoction from Dow with corn syrup altered from a genetically modified grain masquerading as a sweetener.  It had honey in it, almost as a last ingredient.  Putrid swill!  It poured on like pancake syrup and tasted almost as bad.  What the crap happened to real honey?!?!  I’m sure KFC is happy to continue to provide quality ingredients as long as you are willing to pay top dollar.  So the only reason I could come up with this change was the bee extinction.  Is there so little honey left from the few bees surviving that just one fast food restaurant ( well, granted, with a crap load of Chinese outlets ) buying real honey would wipe out the countries supply?  This is far more serious than global warming or Japanese radiation poisoning!  I can’t get honey for my KFC meal anymore!!! Biscuits without honey simply ain’t right.  Jesus weeps.
The Official Bison Web Site
My e-mail is
Anyone can submit a guest article.  No minimum word length, no writing skill necessary ( just get the idea across ).  You retain copyright ( this must be your original writing ) and I’ll just use the once.  I’ve yet to turn down an article, just don’t use the N Bomb or libel another that can sue me.  Send by e-mail ( please, label as “guest article” so I can find it easily later ).  Payment will be your removal from my enemies list.
By the by, all my writing is copyrighted.  For the obtuse out there.