Monday, January 21, 2013

short


SHORT

While I was in the military the universal practice was to countdown to the days left of your service.  After a sufficient time had elapsed you could announce you were “short”.  As in, “short timer”.  Of course, there were a few fools who actually enjoyed living with mommy their whole lives.  They were told what to wear, when to wear it, when to wake up, when they could take a crap, told how to make their bed, etc.  Those folks weren’t very fun to hang around so the majority of people you knew looked forward to becoming a civilian again with great glee and gusto.  Getting to “short” was the highlight of your tour of service.  Sure, some hated it but just stuck it out for the twenty year retirement.  It was never a consideration for me.  I could have retired in 2003 if I had stuck it out and I have zero regrets I never did.  My luck, I’d have sucked up a crapload of uranium dust in Gulf War I and already been dead.  Or, they would have extended my service involuntarily into GWII and I’d be short a limb or some brain functions now ( yes, more short than I am now ).  I heard plenty of tales of service members who got out after eighteen or nineteen years just so they didn’t have to share their retirement bennies with a soon to be ex spouse, so I imagine the disdain for serving a full twenty was near universal in the volunteer army.

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“Volunteer” army wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.  At least back in the day of the draft (  not counting the Vietnam War ) you could grip and piss and moan about the raw deal you were getting since you didn’t want to be there.  You could go to college affordably back then, or go to work in a factory, so the military wasn’t anything other than involuntary servitude.  But with the crash of the old industrial economy and the end of the draft and the introduction of serious inflation, now the military became about the only option for employment open to a heck of a lot of young people.  And they could mistreat you any way they wanted, since you volunteered.  I’m in no way comparing the chicken crap office politics I endured to the poor schmucks today who get shot at, because I know there is no comparison, but what I experienced was an unending list of minor irritants all with the refrain “don’t complain, you volunteered for this”.  I imagine the same is being said today to the poor SOB’s as they are crapping themselves as bullets wiz overhead.  My son, now in advanced training in The Corpse, said he loves the Marines but he hates all the retards in it and was sick of being cold ( he’s in southern Cal with single digit mornings- the boy earned after school money mowing lawns in 115 degrees but can’t stand the cold ).  Damn, boy.  Wait until you see how cold it is over in Afghanistan ( not to mention the caliber of retards they have ).

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Why bring all that up?  Not much reason other than I wanted to talk about “shortages” and “short” fit in enough to flesh out the article to the required word count.  Northern Nevada right now is in a propane shortage.  Most places where civilized folk live run on natural gas.  Right now, due to the short run bonanza on cheap frac gas, they can afford to run their heaters to their hearts delight ( unless they are in the Sandy area ).  In rural areas you can’t have a network of gas lines to people’s homes ( in rural NV you have,  where allowed, private property.  But it is usually checkerboarded with public land so you can go miles between clusters of homes ).  They all use propane.  Well, with these record number of sub-zero days ( my buddy, a life long Nevada resident, says the two or three days a winter of sub-zero were normal way back when til now.  Not 18 total now and counting ), the use of propane has kept up with the record breaking cold.  And there aren’t enough drivers to keep people supplied.  Which in turn means the five gallon tanks are experiencing a run also.  We went into town two days ago after almost a two month interval.  The snow never melted and I had to rent a four wheel drive ( 50% premium on the price ) to get up our road.  I almost didn’t get resupplied myself.

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I went to half the places in town before I exchanged two and refilled two.  $70 later I’m back up to four months supply ( being in the pit means absent sub zero temps I can go a whole month on one tank for heat, one tank for cooking ).  Oh, I could survive down there with NO heat, but it makes life a lot more pleasant and only costs fifty cents a day max.  But, lesson learned.  This summer I’m stocking up on more tanks to get a six month supply on hand.  This was simply a run of the mill shortage.  No different than hurricanes causing gasoline shortages and $5 a gallon prices on the east coast a few years back.  I wasn’t ill prepared, because being without a car means I try to be stocked up on everything for months at a time.  But it does reinforce for me that the new normal is rolling shortages.  One thing after another, constantly, and you never know what is next.  You simply must become used to being your own warehouse anymore, in a failing economy and weird weather. 

END

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13 comments:

  1. What is the substitute for when SHTF ?
    What's your plan for that point in time and a heat source let alone long term capability for cooking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sage brush for cooking on, nothing for heat ( to conserve brush ). As far as competition for brush...?

      Delete
    2. Actually that Brush has a lot of BTU's , lots of soot tho.
      Bout the only fuel round those parts. I think food will be the primary concern for the locals. Lots of brush tween you and Idaho. Pretty much no one there either.

      Delete
  2. Time to think outside the box Lord Bison! A pair of bolt cutters will get you all the propane you need. Ever notice how those propane storage cages are not very secure?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being in jail is not a great survival strategy.

      Delete
    2. Lord Bison of the Great Basin;

      I would reason to wager that Anonymous 20130121 1834 meant was that while there is still a functioning police state, keep the cutters well hidden. During the collapse of the functioning police state, then if you were to come across said storage cage, then the opportune time to use the cutters would present itself, before some other wiseacre helped himself to what potentially would be your heat source. If you are able to shoot better with the bolt SMLE than your competition with the Plastic Poodle Shooter, then no worries, survival achieved!

      Delete
  3. OOHRAH! Tards in my Beloved Corps? Perish the thought. -SemperFido

    ReplyDelete
  4. My Propane dealer (well, in KS) will rent me a 500 gallon tank for $60 a year (I actually own my tank) .... and will fill it to any amount ... currently less than a $1.70 a gallon.... Have you looked into big tanks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I decided not to go with big tanks after hearing all the bad customer service stories. Small tanks allow me to control the process better. Just as with my water, best to use far less than store a lot more.

      Delete
    2. Too bad the truck doesn't run anymore?

      You could have mounted one of those LP tanks in the rear, as with the conversions, but instead only use it for storage, making stocking propane a whole lot easier, and in more abundance.

      Delete
  5. stick a garden hose up your arse

    unlimited gas

    you are welcome

    -dakin the clown

    ReplyDelete
  6. Everyone kept asking you for razor blades. Actually he had two unused ones which he was hoarding up. There had been a famine of them for months past. At any given moment there was some necessary article which the Party shops were unable to supply. Sometimes it was buttons, sometimes it was darning wool, sometimes it was shoelaces; at present it was razor blades. You could only get hold of them, if at all, by scrounging more or less furtively on the 'free' market.

    1984 from http://www.george-orwell.org/1984/4.html

    -DSM

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete