A Bold Fresh Meme

Boldly going where no meme has gone before… OK. This meme has been places, clearly. Most recently, it was at Pam’s place. The idea is that every blogger who participates has the same list of 100 Things. Then each individual blogger makes the things they’ve done bold.

Here’s my version.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneylandworld

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class.

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Read an entire book in one day

A Meme Is A Terrible Thing To Waste.

I saw this meme over at Pam’s and had to participate.

Do you remember your first favorite song? If so, what was it?

Sunshine on my Shoulders. 

What do you refuse to eat?

Butterbeans. My mother says I loved them as a baby, but I think she’s lying to me to get me to try them now. Ew. No thanks.

Have you ever injected any kind of drug before?

At a doctor’s office, yeah. I’ve never done it myself.

Do amusement park rides make you sick?

I loooooove roller coasters. Oddly enough, riding in cars makes me sick.

Who is your favorite Star Wars character?

When are we talking about? When I was a kid when the movies came out, Luke Skywalker was my fav. But then I hit puberty and it was all about Han Solo after that.

What kind of cheese do you put on your sandwiches?

Depends. On cucumber sandwiches, it’s all about the cream cheese. On grilled cheese sandwiches, I prefer white american. On deli sandwiches I like havarti. On roast beef, I like swiss. On hamburgers, I love blue cheese or gorganzola.

What was the first thing you ever learned how to cook?

I think biscuits, but I don’t remember. I grew up in the kitchen attached to my grandfather, so I’ve cooked (or at least, was allowed to pretend to help cook) for as long as I can remember.

Did you ever collect beanie babies?

Nope.

When was the last time you got a haircut?

August. I need to get it cut again, but I’m afraid. That Russian lady really messed it up last time.

Have you ever been to a bachelor/bachelorette party?

Yep. I need go no further.

Where are you most ticklish on your body?

Everywhere. If you even look like you’re going to tickle me, I’ll giggle. It’s horrifying.

Have you ever bailed anyone out of jail?

Nope.

What’s the last board game you played?

I played Settlers of Catan the last time I visited St. Louis in 2004.  Love it.

Do you still own any VHS tapes?

Yep. I have a whole collection of plays I taped off of a satellite dish way back when the satellite dish was the size of a jacuzzi. I haven’t been able to find those plays and movies on DVD; so until they’re available on DVD, I’m stuck with the VHS tapes.

Do you shop at JC Penney’s ever?

Occasionally. I’m not a big fan.

If there was a real Jurassic Park, would you visit it?

Yeah, after it’d been in operation a decade or so with no fatalities of the Oh-My-God-the-exhibit-ate-the-customer kind.

Do you ever read the newspaper?

I clip coupons and look for sales.

Do you eat your mac & cheese with a fork or a spoon?

Depends on what’s clean.

Is there any medicine/pill you take everyday?

I’m supposed to take Iron, but I haven’t in a while.

How many 20 dollar bills do you have on you right now?

None.

Would you do meth if it was legalized?

No.

Are you afraid others will judge you from reading some of your answers to survey questions?

Nope. There’s much more incriminating stuff here on my blog.

Do you think Obama will be assassinated?

Gawd, I hope not. For two reasons:

1) The last thing we need is another  presidential martyr whose “legacy” is so built up after his death that no one dares to look at what a failure he really was. (And yeah, I just called JFK a failure. Suck it up.)

2) I don’t want that for anyone, no matter how much I disagree with them.

Plus, that’d make Biden president. I shudder at the thought of that.

Have you ever made out with someone and then never saw them again?

Ha! No way. I’m too selective and cautious for that.

Do you drink egg nog?

Hell yeah! Love the nog.

What are you wearing?

Oh I see. Is this going to be one of those ? What do you want me wear, honey?

Why Bother?

Alternate Title: How Commenters Can Ruin a Perfectly Good Blog.

So there’s this political blog I like. It’s a strictly political blog with a libertarian bent that appeals to me. I used to comment a lot, but not so much now. (The blog in question isn’t on my blogroll anymore. And I’m not writing this to start a blog war. So no revealing the blog name for me.)

The trouble isn’t the blog or the blogger; it’s the commenters. Their responses to my comments are irrational. I comment A in response to a post; they argue like I wrote B. It was frustrating. I’d explain over and over that I meant A, but it didn’t seem to matter.  They’d respond over and over that I really meant B when I wrote A.

So I got into the habit of only commenting once in response to a post, no matter how later commenters reacted. It was still frustrating for me because I’d read how the other commenters would twist and turn my one comment. Over time, I found that I commented there less and less.

Now, I’ve resolved not to comment there at all. There will be no links to there from here now, either. And like I wrote earlier, I’ve removed them from the blogroll. This isn’t the first time I’ve stopped visiting a blog just because of the commenters.

The whole problem illustrates the importance of having good moderators (or at least a good troll policy involving deletion). When irrational commenters/trolls attack, they don’t do so with an intent to debate the subject. They do so with the intention of disrupting the conversation and stopping it from reaching any meaningful conclusion. 

It can kill a blog.

Few people visit blogs to only read what the blogger wrote. They visit blogs to read what the blogger wrote and converse in the comments about what they’ve read. When you shut down that conversation, little incentive remains for people to continue visiting the blog.

If a blogger wants traffic in any long-term way, they need to find a method to control the comments. There’s no way of sustaining high traffic without it.

SHTF Links

If there’s one thing we all know, it’s that we can’t expect the government to take care of us in the event of a huge emergency. Even if we have a minor emergency or a recession/depression, a well stocked long-term pantry is the way to go. Because I grew up Mormon, I’ve got the long term food storage stuff down pat. (I don’t have everything I need for three months but I know what I need to get. It’s just about money at this point and buying when I’m able to get more.)

So lately, my focus has been on emergency gear, a.k.a SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan) stuff. Food storage is a large part of that, but not all. So while I was looking for what exactly I’d need aside from food, I found a few resources for information. They’re listed below in case you’ve been looking for the same.

These links mainly focus on natural disaster emergencies, but really, having emergency supplies can help you during an economic crisis, too.

I’ve got more emergency preparedness posts in the works. One is on food storage and another will be a compilation of al the information I’ve found here. But I thought that you guys would like the raw info/sources of where I got my disaster preparedness plan.

[P.S. Feel free to add links to other SHTF resources in the comments, but be warned: if you have more than two links in your comment, my spam filter will mark that comment as spam. So if you have +2 links, comment multiple times with only two links per comment.]

 

GENERAL

Here’s the Message from Warlord at Alpha Rubicon.

Listening to Katrina has a workbook you can download with lists of things you ought to have ready.

FEMA has a fairly good site on disaster planning with separate sections for different disasters. They emphasize the three day kit, which is fine if the disaster can be cleaned up in three days. When it snows here in Georgia we can be days without power. After a tornado? Please. We’re looking at a week or so with no power. So I don’t think that the three day food storage is enough. Sure, it’s a good start, but not enough to keep you in the event of a huge emergency.

Enter stage right, the LDS church (aka, the Mormons); they know all about food storage and long term self reliance. The LDS church created Provident Living, a website devoted to self reliance resources. If you go to Emergency Preparedness and Response, there’s a lot of good information there, but you have to look for it. The site isn’t well organized. Still, there’s a food storage calculator there that will tell you how many pounds of grain you should have for a certain number of people for a certain length of time. Useful information, that.

The American Red Cross compiled a disaster supplies kit list. They also sell supplies, but they’re expensive.

The Zombie Squad forum is an excellent place for survival information. Hey, if you can survive a ravaging horde of zombies, what can’t you survive?

At Captain Dave’s Survival Center, David Lee compiled the Big List of survival information.

The US government created Ready.gov for information about emergency stuff.

 

FOOD

I’m writing a whole post about this topic alone, but here’s a few links to get you started.

FEMA has a useful page about water storage.

About.com has a neat little food calculator based on the LDS Church’s Essentials of Home Production and Storage booklet that calculates how much food your family will need for a year.

Provident Living has a list of the shelf life for certain food storage items.

Provident Living also has a list of food storage packaging recommendations.

Vicki Tate wrote about the 7 mistakes of food storage.

The Survival Center has a food storage FAQ.

Shelf Reliance is a great place to buy food storage supplies. You can even buy a shelf that has automatic food rotation. Sigh. I am suffering from a severe case of shelf envy. You can even buy enough fruits and veggies for two people for nine months there. Oh my. They even sell emergency supplies. Nice.

NASD has a great list of the shelf life of “every day” foods.

Portland Preserve has a lot of good info about food preservation. If you garden, this is a great (but small) source for canning recipes. (Gardening should be a large part of food storage/self reliance. I hoard seeds like crazy.)

Oh, and BTW… Jolly Ranchers melt easily. I found that out last night while inventorying my Big Blue Tub. Thankfully, they were in a ziploc bag and didn’t get all over the place.

Something else to watch out for: those easy-open pull tops for canned foods? They open a little too  easily. Don’t use them for long-term storage and especially don’t put them in a bug out bag or box.

 

BUG OUT BAG

Sometimes you have to get your ass out of Dodge. That’s what the bug out bag is for. For most people, it’s a backpack full of supplies you’d carry to hike out of an emergency situation. For me, it’s the Big Blue Tub I can shove in my Sportage. Sure, if I have to hike out on foot, I’ve got a backpack in my BBT with essentials. But if I have to evacuate, and if I can do it in a car, I’d rather have my BBT on hand since it can supply a lot more stuff than my single backpack.

Kim du Toit listed the items in his SHTF Grab ‘N Go Stuff. There are pictures, too, and a checklist I printed out and adapted for my family’s needs. It’s a great list.

Amazon has a list of items for the Ultimate Bug Out Bag.

Here’s the contents of SayUncle’s bug out bag. His commenters provided some handy links, too.

SurvivalTopics has a list of items for bug out bags. Included in their list are links to handy information like how to pick a survival knife.

Survivor Magazine has a list of what the Ultimate BOB should contain.

At Alpha Rubicon, Bulldog6 wrote about assembling an ultralight bug out bag.

Also at Alpha Rubicon, Duncan Long wrote about Backpack Survival and why a backpack alone isn’t enough to truly survive for any significant length of time. Getting out of Dodge with a backpack only works if you have immediate plans for heading back to Dodge (or another safe secure location) after the crisis is over. That’s one reason why I have the Big Blue Tub; it’s enough to get me out of the immediate crisis to a safe location where I can sit and wait until it’s safe to get back home (or until it’s safe enough to get me to a safe, secure, preplanned location).

 

STAY AT HOME EMERGENCIES

Not every emergency will have you rushing to get your bug out bag in the car. Some will require that you stay at home and deal with the mess there. These are links to help you out on the home front.

From Instapundit Glenn Reynolds, a reminder: Wet/Dry vacuums are essential if you are likely to have any sort of rain or flood emergency, which includes just about everyone. The map to all the emergency equipment is also a good idea. Even if you live in the house, you may not know exactly where everything is if you live there with other people and each person is in charge of a different storage area. Also, you might just forget where you put something.

Here’s an Amazon list of items to help you prepare for a hurricane without leaving your desk. But really, that stuff is good for just about any emergency.

Edmunds.com created a roadside emergency kit list of items to keep in the car. 

 

BOOKS

There are a ton of books on survival and emergency preparation out there. Does anyone have a good one they can recommend?

Here’s a list of 7 reviewed books at Amazon.

Sign of the Times

I’ve lived in this subdivision since 2006. My parents have been here since 2002. And until a few days ago, no one in this neighborhood has ever been evicted from their home. And yesterday, it was a sheriff-come-out-and-throw-your-stuff-out-on-the-yard eviction, too. Nasty stuff, that.

It’s sad, all their stuff sitting there on the main drag of the subdivision, exposed to the elements, deer, dogs, feral rabbits, and whatnot. I hope they have somewhere to go; I think they do since there was a large caravan of cars at the house carting stuff away yesterday.

Some of their belongings are still out on the yard, piled up in a big mess. At this point, I don’t even know if they’re going to come back and get the remainder. It’s sad.

I hope it doesn’t happen again.

The Overqualified Middle Class

I can’t find a job here in Georgia in engineering. I’ve talked to headhunters, both in and out of Georgia. There are so many civil engineers in Georgia and Florida looking for jobs in other states that the market is saturated with civil engineers. The market is so saturated that companies aren’t offering to pay for relocation. As one head hunter put it, “Civil engineering is dead in Georgia and Florida. NC is great right now. Can you relocate?” I can’t afford to relocate.

I’m not proud. I’ll work where ever I can. So I’ve applied at places like Wal-Mart and Home Depot and JC Penny’s. They won’t have me. They won’t have me at any price. And believe me, I’ve dropped my price.

I talked to a woman at a local government employment agency about it. Apparently, I have two problems that prevent me from finding work: 1) I was disabled for two years and 2) I’m overqualified.

Well, hell.

Her advice was to keep pestering friends and family for information on jobs where they work. I’ve done that. The companies they work for are barely holding on as it is. They’re finding people to lay off in the near future, not looking for people to hire.

The kind lady at the government also said that eventually I’d find a job. I just have to find someone who doesn’t care or doestn’ notice that I haven’t worked since September 2006.

So between emailing resumes, I’ve been getting the house in order. I’ve been cleaning for the holidays, checking my SHTF (Shit Hits the Fan) stuff,  doing genealogy, etc. While researching SHTF preparedness, I came across a forum where such issues were being discussed, from the position of someone who has actually been through a SHTF scenario in Argentina in December 2001. The quote that most struck a chord in me:

You see, we have a middle class that suddenly turns to poor, creating a society of basically poor people, there is no more middle class to cushion tensions any more. Middle class suddenly discovers that they are overqualified for the jobs they can find and have to settle for anything they can obtain, there for unemployment sky rockets, too much to offer, too little demand.

Well, hell.

It’s a good read. If you’re preparing for when the SHTF, you should go read the whole thing. Especially enlightening for me was the list of things he’d buy if he could go back in time and get them before the SHTF.

[Via Twisted Spinster.]