Wednesday, January 16, 2013

driving towards armageddon

A minion innocently asked why I didn’t drive a vehicle until the collapse, in response to my cold weather situation. A common misconception, so let’s go over it again. I think it has been some time since I covered it. The standard thinking is, why be miserable until you have to be? I don’t claim that the idea is without merit, merely that it is largely impractical. And I don’t claim to be immune to the Siren call of seductive luxury. I’m not out there in the butt ass cold on a bicycle because I’m macho or a “hard core” survivalist. To me, it is just another trade off in life. Primarily, going without a motor vehicle allows me to have far more options than the average prepper. Just by doing without a vehicle, I can if I so choose devote a heck of a lot of financial resources wherever I want. I don’t have to open a charge account at Home Despot just to get a truck full of lumber to build a Bison Pit Of Doom ( and, just as a For Your Amusement At My Expense, remember that cold leaking front door? I nailed up an old quilt over the outside frame and eliminated that. My roof overhangs the door by about three feet so it won’t get wet and freeze to the door. My dumbass should have thought of that weeks ago ).
If I want three or nine buckets of wheat kernels ( three five gallon buckets holds an even 100 pounds ), I can go buy them no problem. If I want to double up on my savings account for a rainy day, I can do that. If I want the wife to stay home, which I do not because I am a monster male chauvinist pig who wishes to chain my bitches but because if she wishes to be lazy I have no problem supporting both of us ( of course, part of that package deal is she can’t live fancy by any means ) because men should be he provider. I had my fill of the Strong And Independent Women with the Handmaiden Of Lucifer. That killed any modern sensibilities I had towards females. I am by no means swimming in money, not at $900 a month take home for two of us. Even without rent or a car payment that doesn’t go nearly as far as it used to ( and that is with me eating two meals a day of whole wheat nuke bread instead of regular meals ). Well, okay, I consider savings an essential monthly “bill”, so I demand more of my check than a lot. Now, I could still own a car if I wished. I do rent a car once a month for about $75 ( the car insurance costs more than the car rental ) and that is what I’d pay for insurance and gas on an old car. BUT. Those cars always break something eventually. There is always a repair bill. It can be almost zero, given your skills or that of a friend. But that isn’t guaranteed because what with modern computer chip parts, sometimes a mechanic and his machines are the only answer. Or, something major like a new set of tires or a transmission or whatever needs replacement. You can’t totally avoid costs.
Not that money is the only issue. Way back in the day, back when the economy worked, money was a huge issue. But nowadays, far more importantly is the issue of acclimation. You can’t just seamlessly adjust mentally. You don’t immediately go from living in a cool palace being fed grapes by a harem to climbing on top of a camel out in the hot desert grubbing around for an oasis before you die of thirst. Tell you what. If you don’t believe me, go cold turkey on something modern and grid tied. I’m not talking about losing your job by neglecting your phone, or whatever. Something harmless. Without any preparations, to stimulate freak weather occurrence or terrorist attack on the Saudi oil terminal, don’t drive anywhere this weekend. Bet you can’t. Your wife will absolutely need one errand, your kids another, the prescription needs to be filled, the bill is late and needs to be dropped off in person, etc. Your bike, if you have one, has a dry rotted tire. I live and breath this kind of crap and it took me awhile to transition from a car to a bike ( I bike hauled ALL products from water, food and five gallon tanks of propane for about a year before I started renting a car again ). There is always a learning curve because everyone has slightly different circumstances. No amount of reference books will allow you to instantly transition from a car to a bike, from grid power to off-grid, from two incomes to one or zero, etc.
And attitude adjustment certainly takes extra time. We live in a universe where money solves every problem. Until you dip your toe out of that swamp, it is hard to realize how far from reality it really is. The collapse has already started, and to keep grasping at a failing economic system just ensures you get dragged under. You must slowly transition away from relying on it and giving up the motor vehicle is one of the best ways to do so ( as well as it paying in savings immediately ). You might not be able to easily go bankrupt anymore but you sure can easily repo the car. Screw your credit rating, it won’t matter very shortly. Resist the lure of luxury, it will pay off in multiple ways.


  1. Jim, I have read you for three years (?) now and I have bought everything you have to sell; I tell you this because this may be one of your finest. Keep it up.

  2. I agree that this is one of the finest.
    Work sucks for me because at home the family is ACLIMATED to @60degrees, but at work the old biddies in sweaters push the thermostat up to nearly 80--- while it is in the sigle digits outside. The shock of the sudden change to different enviroments is NOT good for the body. My family is aclimated enough to the 60degree temperature I have to fight the spouse about turning it down further- I can't do it and be acclimated like the rest of the family has.
    I am trying to acclimate to biking or walking to work when safe.
    My family and I are aclimated to living off of LTS food, we enjoy the luxury of fresh fruit veggies and dairy but that is a treat not a staple of our diet- beans, canned meats, canned veggies, corn, and rice, with whole wheat flour bread and noodles- made at home- are our staples and daily food.
    When people find out what we eat they are astonished - when the (less than handfull of) people see how much food we have put back they think we run a grocery store (though really it just over a years worth if we are lucky).
    Acclimate. Adapt yourself slowly now or suffer the _shock_ to your system from not being ready for what the future will bring. And most people who die traumaticly die first from the SHOCK of the conditions they find themselves in.