Friday, March 15, 2013

unemployment preps II


UNEMPLOYMENT PREPS II
Of course, one can always muddle through with a less than perfect choice of bicycle for transportation.  Most folks are going to go with a standard size China Mart type mountain bike.  I’m not keen on them since I want the baskets both front and back. For that, my bike is a single speed frame but with multiple speeds and brake pads.  Years back I had switched from mountain bike to single speed when I was in Florida and I had to bike over boat bridges to get to work.  With it raining there every day and the sharp angle down I didn’t want crappy pad brakes, so I went with a single speed pedal brake which was much handier.  When I got here to Elko I started out with a brand new Wal-Mart single speed ( I couldn’t fit the old one anywhere during the move and at the time they were still cheap enough ).  It was one problem after another from 400 miles on ( I put in about 2500 miles a year ) and I let the bike shop guy talk me into my current better quality bike.  It did perform oh so much better and was a good investment.  The maintenance cost and frequency went way down.  But a multi speed is just not what I like or prefer ( as we talked about yesterday for winter maintenance ).  I could easily keep it come unemployment and the increased parts count would be negligible.  That would save me buying a $500 bike ( $300 for the bike, near $200 for upgraded tires/tubes and front and rear racks for baskets ).  You are talking about needing an increased length chain, two brake pads, a $20 derailer and some cables from time to time.  But, all things considered, wouldn’t a bike that minimized labor and cost be worth it come long term unemployment?  If you saved on all those extra parts, you could stockpile that many extra tubes and tires and bearings to outlast both your unemployment and come post-collapse.

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Transportation is the second hardest part, seeing as how I’ve minimized my propane cost to about $20 a month for both cooking and heating by moving down into the Bison Pit Of Doom ( and that is only in the winter months.  Now that it is getting into the fifties during the day I don’t need a couple of hours a night from the heater ).  And come the end of winter my cooking propane goes from lasting one month to three months when I start solar heating water ( aluminum foil covered Styrofoam cooler with Mason jars inside, buried to its neck ).  So, four months of a bottle and a quarter each month, then eight months using a total of four more bottles max.  I can get by on nine bottles of propane a year, currently $125.  The most expensive investment I have yet to make is a rain catchment system, and that is only necessary for post-Apocalypse eating ( potatoes and chickens ).  The only reason to plan on installing it now is that while Food Stamps are 99% guaranteed, you always got to be wary of that 1% biting your ass.  Just as I can squeeze by with zero propane if necessary, I’d like to be able to start growing some of my own food to supplement stored grain.  I think I can get by with around $500 roofs ( I’d roof over my Hippie Van and the cab-over junker trailer.  No taxes, as they are vehicle mounted, and less support material ) but the plastic tank is another question I must research.  I might live just a mile from the river ( one reason to overspend on the land ) but until the collapse I  can’t trespass to get there ( and, a back-up is never a bad idea ).

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The lack of a garden is my weak point right now.  I can’t haul enough water without a vehicle, and I think that plan sucks for future viability.  So does Food Stamps of course, but if I’m to be unemployed I don’t want the expense of gas and insurance.  I don’t even know if the rain system will ever be built.  I’d then have to dig and armor raised beds ( gophers are everywhere ) and dig a pit for the chickens, AND dig a pit for the tank ( otherwise it will freeze and potentially damage the plastic ).  And then I might not even have enough water after all that ( if I can’t raise the chickens food the plan has no long term prospects ).  So right now, it is relying on Food Stamps and enough writing income for bike parts and propane.  The wife has voluntarily cut back on beer and cigarettes ( I know her well enough to understand that is as good as it gets.  Total abstinence of her vices would soon follow total abstinence of my sex life ) and that is now a mere $10 a week ( I still buy extra for stockpiling, but that can lapse if needed ).  Heck, if worse comes to worse I could live just on my current writing income without resorting to gooberment welfare ( although the food would be mostly grains and beans with meat twice a week ).   I actually have fun planning for unemployment.  I’ve invested well enough ( buying assets to minimize future costs, writing long enough to get much better ), and I’ve outlasted the ex-wife in her pissing contest ( she thinks she won, a hundred thousand dollars later.  But she never learned to spend money wisely and still has rent and car payments and etc. ) that I can now actually look forward to unemployment ( in as far as it already looks like a walk in the park compared to what will follow- which mostly will make a mockery of even the best plans and preps ).  I wish all other preps were as easy, or as guaranteed.

END
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11 comments:

  1. Lord Bison,

    What would be the cost of a well and solar pump for it? It would make life a lot easier there in Elko....just a thought....

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  2. I have 10oz AU set aside for a well, pump and panels. I'm hoping that's enough.

    You can pump 1,800 gallons a day out of your small lot homestead well in Nevada.

    Good thing about Elko is the water hitting the roof is yours. And the water table is only 125'-175' down. Most places out west you gotta go 4-500' to hit water. Or steal it...

    Speaking of stealing water, Cadillac Desert is a book and a PBS special about the West's water troubles.

    This first link is to the start of the 4 hour special.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkbebOhnCjA

    This link is to the rest of the special and is linked by playlist format.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxdemRM96mc&list=PLBDD2CEE98D9DB860

    I just finished the first hour. Dang, Los Angeles build a water pipe over 600 miles long. How far is Las Vegas from Elko...?

    Gil

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    Replies
    1. The water issue will hit be a surprise to the Rawles Redought ( sp? )new arrivals who grew up in the soggy east. That's the problem with L.A., it fooled everybody into thinking the desert could bloom forever.

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  3. It will be a challenge to have chickens or a garden with your current water situation James, but it may be doable on some level? I do think that the rain cachement system sounds like a good idea, and will extend the time in which you do not have to haul water, but might require a somewhat costly upfront initial investment? The Homesteaders in Phil Garlingtons Rancho Costa Nada, buried barrels (I'm assuming of the plastic variety?) in the nearby wash to catch the flood waters during the rainy season. How they filtered it was not mentioned? I did notice a few snow capped peaks when I last visited the Eastern Ca high desert, and I'm guessing a shallow water table exists near the base of such peaks? Might be potential for a shallow, hand dug well in your area? Pick up a topographical map of your area and see if there are any hidden springs nearby; you might get a pleasant surprise?

    A vegetable garden of raised boxes might be more doable than the chickens, as it's possible to recycle any grey water from dish washing or other cleaning chores. You will have to consider some sort of biodegradable soap or other cleaning agent that is not at odds with the vegetation. Mulching the garden will increase water conservation and is recommended. A root cellar to preserve your bounty would be most welcome. This can be something as simple as a few plastic barrels buried on the north side of your dwelling, or something simple made of concrete blocks. Old Coleman camping coolers, as well as an old refrigerator\freezer will work as well, but will need to be coated to avoid rusting out.

    As far as chickens go, maybe consider substituting the local game birds? I know that in the high desert near the Ghost town of Bodie, I saw literally hundreds of prairie chickens. The chuckar partridge is another bird that does well in the desert, as well some of the quail species ( An argument in favor of you getting a shotgun). You can also consider raising them (Not ideal) and then releasing them in order to build up the local population, and then take them as needed without having to provide for them long term, but the area must have a natural support system in order for them to stick around, which pretty much limits you to certain species. Wild pigeons exist just about everywhere, and are said to be quite tasty.

    https://www.strombergschickens.com/

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    Replies
    1. Hmm, good idea on local birds. Or, the advice over at Rawles on using Darwin tactics to toughen up chickens to survive w/o being coddled, avoid preditors, etc.

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  4. "Gophers are everywhere" Dude that is FOOD that is everywhere. You can eat gopher. And chickens will thrive on sprouts as a food source. Means making a large sprouter. Saw a plan for one in Mother Earth News once along with the article on using it to feed a flock of squawkers. Course sprouts don't grow well in cold temps so you would need to have something to feed them in the winter time but it would help. And, you could also add my idea of raising Guinea pigs for meat. Just saying -SemperFido

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    Replies
    1. Well, gophers everywhere mean enough to destroy a garden, not enough to eat all that long. Aren't you suppossed to have a book done on the guinnea pig meat for survival?

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  5. You've put a lot of thought into this - two very intresting posts!

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  6. Who needs a garden when you have "gophers everywhere" Mmm tasty (I've heard) heh
    -DSM

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  7. bigunsfan here

    Elko has less than 10 inches of precipitation a year. I don't think you can collect enough water for a garden or chickens. Hauling water from the river would work, if you get caught stealing water... better send the wife first to see if the ranchers are good shots.

    I would build a rodent proof root cellar and buy potatoes, onions and apples when they are cheaper, in the fall.

    JW

    ReplyDelete