Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Security At Home Or Homestead

  • I am not an expert on home security I'm just someone who has spent a fair amount of time researching and applying what I've learned on the subject of home security.
  • This is an overview not a detailed all encompassing every possible scenario plan. Additionally everyone's circumstances are different.
  • If you choose to include firearms or so-called “less than lethal” weapons in your home security planing, I highly recommend that you already have or are in the process of obtaining an intimate knowledge of their proper handling and safe use.
  • It is your responsibility to know and understand the laws, ordinances , rules and regulations of the state, city, county, city or town concerning the use of force in defense of yourself, family and home.
Now that we've got that out of the way Let's get started with the most important part of all; Preparing one's self mentally. This is the most important element of security. You must know that there are people among us that are just simply evil. Most folks feel that they are securely insulated from crime and it’s ugliness. This is a part of what is known as “normalcy bias“ . Human nature being what it is, most of us have a deep seated need to feel safe and secure in order to be able to function. We don't like to think about all the evil lurking in the shadows in our every day lives so we rationalize those thoughts into the background. I'm not saying that we should all walk around fearing for our lives. I am saying that being aware of your surroundings while going about your daily business will help you to avoid finding yourself in less than desirable situations. The tougher things get economically, the more evil will become apparent to us. I cannot overemphasize the cruelty that some among us possess and do not hesitate to use. We must be prepared mentally to deal with viciousness and violence with extreme prejudice if the need arises.
Another paradigm that we need to avoid is the belief that the police are here to keep us safe from harm. The police are primarily a reactionary agency. That is to say; After the robber leaves (provided he/she didn't kill us, we call the police and tell them that we have just been robbed. At that point, the police can react to the information and come take a report and investigate. Once we realize that we are personally responsible for our own safety, we can take the necessary steps to more effectively minimize our exposure to crime.
A visual assessment of the exterior of your home is a great place to start. Look for places that offer resources like cover or darkness an intruder could use. Because you can't be everywhere and watch everything all the time you need to employ force multipliers. Force multipliers are things that you can deploy in and around your home to assist you in maintaining security. Are the shrubs around or under your windows covering the windows or large enough to provide an intruder cover? . A rose bush can be a force multiplier. Have you considered planting roses or some other thorny plants under your windows? This makes it difficult to use that area as a point of entry. Another easy to install force multiplier is outdoor lighting with motion detectors. These are a great way to know if someone is prowling around your home's perimeter. It also let's a potential intruder know that someone may be aware of their presence and most potential intruders tend to avoid that kind of publicity.
Another force multiplier is a dog. Most potential intruders will go elsewhere if they know that there is a dog in the house. Don’t be to worried about which breed, you only need to be made aware of noise or movement in or around your house that you can’t readily detect. Not everyone is willing to have a trained “guard” dog but any dog can be a “watch” dog. Just about any healthy dog will do. The dog just needs to let you know that there is something requires your attention. A dog is a very reliable security system and one of the best force multipliers you can have. Outside of the security aspect of owning a dog, they also offer affection and companionship for you and your family.
When you arrive at you home, don't just fumble for your keys, unlock the door and barge in. Take a quick look around first. Are the windows as you left them or is a window screen on the ground and the window half open or broken? Is your door ajar or damaged? You don't need to go all Sherlock Holmes and inspect every door and window, just get in the habit of taking a casual inventory of the visible area as you walk up to your door.
If you arrive to find that the house have been broken into and there is any chance that the intruder is still on the premises, do not enter. The last thing you want to do is initiate a hostile confrontation with an intruder who is possibly armed and possibly under the influence. If possible retreat to the safety of your car or a neighbor's house and call 911. This is a perfect example of the reactive nature of the police and the proactive nature of criminals.
If you should be awakened at night by the sound of someone breaking into your home you have several courses of action, some of which are governed by the circumstances. If it's just you and your spouse in your room, you may want to barricade the door and call 911. On the other hand, if you have children or other family members elsewhere in the home, you may want to ensure their safety first.
I'm not going to cover the use of firearms here because the subject is so complex. I will however say that any cop will tell you that a 12 gauge pump shotgun is an awesome attention getter. It is a truly devastating weapon at 50 yards or less.
Home security is an important and much overlooked subject and that requires a detailed initial assessment and consent re-assessment to be effective and to remain effective over time. Don't let fear run your life. You can't mitigate every possible threat. For now, the odds are that if you maintain the mindset that you will not be a victim and take a few simple precautionary measures, you and yours will be save and secure.
Here's a short list of things to do and discuss with your family that can add to the security of your home and those living within it:
  • Conduct intruder drills if the front door, or the rear door, or window is breached. What should you do if you arrive home to obvious signs of a burglary?
  • Get a safe. Store any money or valuables there. Make sure it can be bolted to the framing!
  • Be quiet about what you own.
  • Remove the little handle from your garage door release cord. This can be hooked  from outside and pulled down to unhook the door from the track, allowing it to be opened with little effort.
  • Place a stick in the track of your sliding door.
  • Some quick home security ideas
  • Do you keep a list of all valuable property? Is at least one copy kept outside your home?
  • Do you have a list of the serial numbers of your valuable property (watches, cameras, computers, TVs, etc.)?
  • Do you have descriptions/photographs of valuable property from each room in your home (and closets)?
  • Do you keep excess cash and other valuables in a bank?
  • Consider renting a safe deposit box for important papers.
  • Don’t “Hide-a-Key”.
  • Do your family members know what to do if they discover a burglar in your home? Don’t go in! Dial 911!
  • Do family members know to leave everything undisturbed and call the sheriff or police if they discover a burglary?
  • Are trees and shrubs trimmed to eliminate hiding places?
  • Do you have a security closet with a solid-core door, non-removable hinges, and a deadbolt lock?
  • Do your entry doors have wide-angle viewers? Needed so you can see out before opening the door.
  • Is your house number easily visible from the street at any hour? Law Enforcement and EMS need to see your house number in an emergency.

Aquaponic Update for June 12th 2013

Aquaponic Update for June 12th 2013
Zip Towers are designed for vertical aquaponic and hydroponic gardening.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Food Shortages in America - It Can Happen Here

Within days of an event like Katrina, most of those who were impacted ran out of food, water, fuel and medical supplies. They were not prepared to take care of their selves or their families, they expected the government to step in and provide them with salvation and sustenance. That didn't work out too well. What if there had been two disasters that FEMA had had to respond to simultaneously? Say a major earthquake on the west coast on top of hurricane Katrina. Do you think they could have handled it?

Most of our population no longer know how prepare for disasters. Even worse, almost nobody cares! After all it could never happen to them! (sarcasm intended). Folks just assume they'll always be able to run out to the local supermarket to get whatever they want. They assume that if something goes wrong in their lives that the government will rush in to help them. After all we live in America and these kind of things only happen to other people in other places. Wake up folks.

We, as a people, are unprepared for even a minor disaster. Only a small percentage of us even have the knowledge required to do something as basic as raise a garden. How many of you have a pantry with more than a few days of real food? Do you have a source of clean water for drinking, cooking and sanitation? What if you were to turn on the tap one day and nothing came out? What about your pets? Do you have food for them in the event of an emergency?

Hundreds of years ago when a ship set out for the new world, they took everything that they needed with them. There were no hardware stores or clothing stores along the way. If you forgot to bring something you ether made a new one yourself or went without it. A hundred years ago our great grandparents lived in a world where foods were available only when they were in season. If you wanted some peaches in January, you couldn't drive to the market and pick some out of the fruit bins. People would can and preserve their peaches when they were in season so they could have them the rest of the year. In the 1800's it was unheard of to have salads and fresh vegetables in the winter. In green beans were in season, then you could get fresh green beans to eat or can. If they weren’t then you had to eat what you had preserved when they were in season. My point being that if your didn't store food, you went hungry.

Our present day food distribution infrastructure is incredibly complex. It is extremely fragile with a multitude of points of failure. Something as simple as a spike in the price of diesel fuel could cause a truckers strike and the food chain would be broken. Modern grocery stores operate on what's called “just in time” or “JIT” inventory systems. What that means is that they depend on a two to three day inventory turnover and resupply. It's not just the stores. There is a logistical chain that involves warehouses, trucking and train distribution centers, transfer stations, ships, ports, airports as well as health and customs inspections along the way. A breakdown at any point could cause an interruption of the flow of food to your local market that could take weeks or months to correct. And while were on the subject, fuel is another commodity that relies on JIT inventory to keep the wheels of modern civilization turning.

These are but a few reasons to keep a well stocked pantry. We need to relearn and employ some of the habits of our ancestors. Putting something away for rainy day doesn't just mean money in the bank, it also means food in the cupboard.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Smart meters are smart but they are not private

Smart Meters are digital meters that the utilities (electric, gas, water) are using to replace our current mechanical meters. Both types of meters look almost identical. In a mechanical meter, a rotating wheel calculates energy usage and a smart meter uses a digital read out. That’s where the similarity ends. The difference is that the smart meter is an invasion of our privacy.
Smart meters are sometimes referred to as interval or time-of-use meters. That’s because they transmit how much energy you are using and at what time of day. With a smart meter on your home or property, your kilowatt hours can be billed at different rates during different times of the day. With some utility companies, the three main time categories are on-peak, mid-peak and off-peak and the cost per KW hour varies accordingly. Also, holidays and weekends get the lowest rates all of the time and that peak time is almost twice as expensive as off-peak.

The Federal Communication Commission has ruled that smart meters are safe based on their studies of “thermal” exposure. However, smart meters emit “non-thermal” radiation which is much higher in power density and more harmful than thermal emissions. Because of the risks they pose, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine has called for a “moratorium on smart meter installation until the serious public health issues can be resolved.”

Once a smart meter is attached to a home, It can help the utility company(s) collect data that can be used to extrapolate how many people live in the house, when they get up, when they go to bed and when they aren’t home. Also how many showers they take and loads of laundry they do, how often they use the microwave. With smart chipped appliances they can even tell things like how much and what kind of TV you watch. The information gathered from your house is sent to a neighborhood smart meter which then wirelessly transmits your information to a municipal network and in most cases to the national network which is the Smart Grid.
Privacy and cyber security are among the greatest challenges in implementing the smart grid,“ said Nick Sinai, energy and environment director at the FCC.  Eventually the utilities will control how much energy you use and when and be able to shut off “smart chip”-equipped appliances remotely.

Smart meters are also a tool assist in the implementation of UN Agenda 21. What is UN Agenda 21? UN Agenda 21 is a UN game plan for radical transformation of the global society. Think “Sustainable Development” which will allow the government to have a vice-like grip on how and where we live. As part of this, the electrical companies are installing “smart monitoring systems” to track usage of energy by residents. This represents only one area of control, but a critical one, as the government attempts to restrict individual and property rights. For those of you not familiar with "UN Agenda 21"- simply Google it. It's a program, which would eventually take away private property and tell us how to live our lives, where to live our lives, what foods we will eat and what mode of transportation we can use.

Do your own research on both "Smart Meters" and "UN Agenda 21," then make your own decisions. But you have the right to know what is happening in our community and in our country and the biased media no longer can be trusted to keep us informed. Agenda 21 with all its tentacles is real and it's here now. Incorporation of technologies such as Smart Meters are part of the infrastructure to implement UN Agenda 21.

Technology is neutral, neither good or bad. It can be used for good or otherwise. Smart Meters have some attractive features. They allow remote reading of meters which can save the distributor on having to send a person to record power usage. They also allow the distributor to shut power off remotely when someone does not pay their electric bills. Smart Meters also offer tamper resistance and eliminate many traditional means of stealing power. These are all good. When used to record your power usage, usually monthly, to ensure proper billing, Smart Meters seem like a good thing. However, this technology can easily be set up to record and monitor electrical usage on a more frequent basis, such as hourly. In today's world of computers and databases, it's easy to comprehend this would not be a difficult task. If you know someones electrical demand on an hourly basis, it’s possible to correlate that information to know when residents are home, what their usage habits are or even if they have guests.

There is a lot you can do to stop smart meters:
  • First of all, call your utility company and refuse to have one installed on your residence or property. Your utility may tell you that smart meters are mandated by the federal government but in fact, they are not. According to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the utilities may “offer” them and install them “upon customer request” but not force them on you are they’re already doing.
  • Inform your utility in writing of your refusal for health and/or privacy concerns.
  • Put a weather-proofed do not install smart meter sign next to your mechanical meter.
  • Become educated and aware of smart meters.
(PS…Smart meters are not UL approved which are required of other appliances. This is because the federal government has waived that requirement for the utilities.)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Self Sufficiency Part 2 - Canning at home

Being aware that there are many points of failure in the food chain and learning what they are is not being paranoid. It's simply having knowledge of the system that supplies you with the things you need to live from day to day. Our view of “prepping” is what we consider positive and balanced. We don't sit around in fear waiting for the end of the world. What we do is kind of what our great grandparents did. We endeavor to be as self sufficient and self reliant as possible. Producing and storing our own food is the same as money in the bank. You think nothing of buying auto insurance, medical insurance or even live insurance. Okay so what about food and water insurance? FEMA recommends that you keep a 72 hour supply of food and water. Most people don't even keep a seven day supply of food and water. I think a months worth of food is a good start and a bare minimum. It takes a little organization but it's easy.

Q – How do I find out how much food is needed for a given amount of time for my family?
A – There are several food storage calculators available on the Internet:

Q – Won't the food we store simply spoil eventually?
A – That depends on you. All food will eventually spoil if it's not used. The key is to store what you eat and eat what you store. You have to rotate your inventory. Incorporate what you store into your families menu. As you use something out of your supplies, replace it. Use the oldest first.

Q – Where can I learn to can food?
A – There are hundreds of books available on canning. There are also several videos on YouTube:

I hope this helps.  Feel free to post any questions comments and suggestions.

Regarding the "Free Shit Army"...

The folks who are getting the free shit don’t like the folks who are paying for the free shit because the folks who are paying for the free shit can no longer afford to pay for both the free shit and their own shit.

And, the folks who are paying for the free shit want the free shit to stop and the folks who are getting the free shit want even more free
shit on top of the free shit they are already getting!

The people who are forcing people to pay for the free shit have told the people who are RECEIVING the free shit that the people who are PAYING for the free shit are being mean, prejudiced, and racist.

So, the people who are GETTING the free shit have been convinced they need to hate the people who are paying for the free shit by the people who are forcing some people to pay for their free shit and giving them the free shit in the first place.

We have let the free shit giving go on for so long that there are now more people getting free shit than paying for the free shit.

… shit
Author Unknown

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Renewal a post apocalyptic tale by J. F. Perkins

Post Apocalyptic Literature can be a very positive and reassuring form of entertainment. Much of the post apocalyptic literature tends to be dark tales of men and women fighting to stay alive in a world filled with death and destruction, but there are exceptions. The “Renewal” series by J.F. Perkins is one of the most uplifting tales of hope I've ever read. I've always said that history has demonstrated that when society crumbles, it reforms almost spontaneously. People tend to come together and work together in times of strife. There are those who see turmoil as a means to power and tyranny, but that's where the spirit of humanity has it's greatest opportunity to overcome adversity as well. The story is the story told from a kid's perspective. It also demonstrates some of the problems and solutions in survival situations. There is a heavy emphasis on community building, The people in this story are deeply rooted in American values. “Renewal” is a real page turner. It's just one of those books that you can't put down.

My wife just finished Renewal by J.F. Perkins and here's what she had to say:

“I really liked it. I had stopped reading the post apocalyptic books because they were stressing me out. However, I did not find this book stressful at all. It immediately drew me in and I was fascinated by the characters. I found it hopeful without it being unrealistic. I would hope that we would be able to form a similar community to Teeny Town here. We have been working on developing relationships with people that have the same values as the good guys in Renewal. And we have been working on getting the resources in place in case we ever truly need them.”

Here is what the author J.F. Perkins has to say about Renewal:

“The Renewal Series begins with a young man in a post-Breakdown America. He is a Reclamation Engineer, tasked with recovering usable land from the ruins of old real estate development. On his very first solo assignment out of training, he stumbles across a secret community in the wilds of Coffee County, Tennessee that changes everything he thought he knew about the world around him. He meets the leader of this community, who is a generation older and who lived through the events of the Breakdown, almost forty years in the past. The older man reveals his family’s story as our young engineer is pulled into a series of adventures that promise a struggle to define the direction of a future trying to recover from the cataclysmic events of the past.”

Renewal is available at:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Self Sufficiency Part 1 - Overview

A lot of people are asking for information on prepping and self sufficiency lately.  Many are concerned about being prepared for a wide spectrum of possibilities:

  • War
  • Pandemic
  • Economic collapse
  • Earthquakes
  • Forest fires
  • Asteroid impacts
  • Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)

Or something as simple as losing your job. It doesn’t matter what the “event” is. If you survive the “event”, we all need the same things to keep ourselves alive: water, food, shelter and a means of defense. It doesn't really matter If you live in the city, suburbs, dessert or mountains, your needs will be the same.

Some people run out and buy huge quantities of freeze dried food, massive generators, 50 pound sacs of rice and beans. It can cost a small fortune and it's really not the best solution. There are some very basic simple things you can do.

Copy Canning is an excellent way to get started.  When you go to the store to buy something like a can of peaches, by two instead. Put one away and use the other can. You will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you will build up quite an inventory.

Here are a few basic tips that will help:

1 – Only buy food you would and do normally eat.

2 – Keep an inventory of what you have.

3 – Rotate you inventory using the oldest products first.

4 – Store your supplies in a cool dark dry location. It will help extend the shelf life of many foods.

5 – Try to replenish your inventory when items you need are on sale.

6 – Large Tupperware tubs work great for food storage.

7 – Learn how to can fruit and vegetables.

8 – Start a garden. Even if you rent an apartment you can grow tomatoes and such in a small balcony.

9 – Learn how to cook and bake with basic ingredients.

10 – Keep some cash on hand. In an emergency odds are cash will be your only option. If the power is out your ATM card won't work.

11 – Keep your fuel tank at least half full.
12 - Have several flashlights and a good supply of batteries.

13 – Take a Basic first aid and CPR class.

The list could go on. I'm sure that you can think of other things. 

Over the next few weeks I'll be covering several topics related to preparing to deal with disasters and emergencies.   I'll also provide you with links to a host of related information.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Citizens can can now be ordered to decrypt their encripted hard drivesl

American citizens can be ordered to decrypt their PGP-scrambled hard drives for police to peruse for incriminating files, a federal judge in Colorado ruled today (January 23, 2012) in what could become a precedent-setting case.

Judge Robert Blackburn ordered a Peyton, Colo., woman to decrypt the hard drive of a Toshiba laptop computer no later than February 21--or face the consequences including contempt of court.  Judge Blackburn wrote in a 10-page opinion today "I find and conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer,"  U.S. Department of Justice, which argued, that Americans' Fifth Amendment right to remain silent doesn't apply to their encryption pass phrases.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Big Brother Is Keeping Tabs On Your Gardens And Animals

We received a survey this week from the USDA (FORM NACS-01).  It starts off with a cover letter stating that the National Agricultural Classification Survey (NACS) is required by law.  If you do not reply, you may be personally visited or you may receive a telephone call.  The form states that a response is required by law.  However, nowhere does it indicate what law you will be breaking if you do not respond.  The entire document is carefully worded to make it seem as though you are required to answer all of their questions. 

The questions include items such as if you have received any agricultural income in the last year, how much land you own, if you have any fruit, berry or nut crops, how many vegetable or melon crops you have, if you have a nursery or a greenhouse, if you have bee hives, cattle, hogs, pigs, sheep, lambs, goats, kids, horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, burros, chickens or turkeys and if so, how many, if you have internet access or high speed internet access.  They also want to know the ethnicity and sex of the people who run the operation.

Personally, I don't think any of it is their damn business.  We finally decided we will send it back with a question as to what law we will be breaking if we do not answer the questions.  After all, a question is a response.  Therefore, I would think we will be in compliance.  Even during the census all they are allowed to ask you is how many people live in your home.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Just once I'd like to be caught up around here.

It's a new year and there's a lot of work to be done around here.  It seems that we just finished harvesting, processing and storing last years crops.  It's time to get things rolling around here for the coming year. Here's a sample of what needs to be done this winter:
  • We've got a new hen house to outfit.
  • Turn the old  hen house into a rabbit house.  
  • Cull many of our old laying hens.
  • Hatch or buy some new birds to replace them.
  • Change the oil, hydraulic fluid and lube our tractor. 
  • The 136' fence around one of our gardens has to be replaced. 
  • There are four new gates that need to be hung not to mention setting the poles to hang them on.  
  • The bee hives need to be readied for spring. 
  • Two new sixteen foot above ground planters need to be built south of our other raised grow beds.  
  • There are burn piles to be burned. 
  • Compost piles to be turned. 
  • I need to split the rest of the firewood we cut last fall and stack it in the wood shed.
  • The new sink system needs to be installed and plumbed on the patio, but before I can install the sink, I need to relocate a cabinet that's in the way.
  • Two of the roads around the property need to be re-cut and leveled.
  • Several large trees need to be cut down and bucked into firewood.  
  • The roof and one wall on our pump house need to be repaired.
  • The rabbit butchering station needs to be set up.
  • A goat enclosure and shelter needs to be built.
  • The fire break on the west side of our ridge needs to be extended.
And that's just what needs to be done before we start working on the gardens. We also work our day jobs.  Farm life is not for the lazy.

In the end we reap the benefits of our labor.  We know where most of our food comes from and how it was grown.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fire Pits Of Doom

Okay here we go again with the nanny state stuff. Scientific American magazine begins their article with “The Environmental Dangers of Backyard Fire Pits.” and “These popular landscape features may have a global impact”. They go on to weave a tail of how it may impact people who have heart and lung disorders. Really? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so-called fine particles are the most dangerous components of wood smoke from a health perspective, as they “can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose and illnesses such as bronchitis.” Oh my goodness! Just think of all the children in scouting (boy/girl scouts etc.) that have cooked their meals and roasted marshmallows over the years that that are now confined to respiratory recovery units. Their little lives forever altered by they side affects of making s'mores with their friends and families.

I have about had it with being told what to do by bureaucratic agencies who are run by political appointees. What pathetically uneventful and sterile lives we would all lead if we believed this tripe. Tell you what, if the campfire is burning your eyes, pull your head out of the fire!

Hey, here's a thought: Isn't carbon neutrality the end all of the climate change debate? A backyard fire pit is burning recently grown trees that have sequestered carbon and is releasing it back into the atmosphere - carbon neutral.

Pretty soon we will be told that baking bread is going to be bad for the environment also. We've got to stop this cultish environmental madness. Just the fact that the folks from the EPA even care about the backyard fire demonstrates radical and fanatical environmentalism. The EPA and these "Scientists" have become the modern day high priests creating sin and penance taxes to line the coffers of their politician masters.