Friday Night Miscellaneous

April 25, 2009

Oh, it’s been a fun couple of weeks, news-wise:

  • The aggressively stupid DHS “right wing extremists” memo was released
  • Mr. Obama had a nice grip-and-grin with Venezuelan despot Hugo Chavez
  • The Taliban advanced to within 60 miles of the Pakistani capital
  • The head of the DHS revealed her ignorance on the most basic facts about the 9/11 atrocities
  • We’ve decided that it’s better that thousands die than that we dunk a terrorist scumbag in water
  • We’re going to release Uighur terrorists from Club Gitmo into the US, with a nice little stipend (commit jihad against the West, win the lottery. That makes perfect sense)
  • We’re going to release old pictures of the abuse at Abu Ghraib next week, to further inflame the world over an issue we addressed years ago
  • Oh, and there’s a new variety of influenza in Mexico that’s killed 60 people

And there’s more. All very depressing, and it makes one long for the day when the grown-ups return to the White House. Still, we’re only 100 days in, so why spend the outrage at the beginning?

That last bullet point is a little worrying. There’s not enough information in yet to form an idea of how bad it will be. The majority of people think that those who practice preparedness are panickers. It’s actually the opposite–people who are prepared WON’T panic when things are bad. They won’t be the ones at the grocery store at the last minute. They won’t be the ones clogging the way out of town after a disaster strikes. With that in mind, be prepared for trouble. At the very least, be prepared to be self-sufficient for two weeks:

  • Have two weeks of any prescriptions you need
  • Have two weeks of cash on hand, in case the banks close (that’s a lesson people learned after Hurricane Katrina)
  • Have two weeks of water (you can store it in old 2-liter soda bottles); replace it once a year; store enough to wash with, too
  • Have two weeks of food (if it’s not ready-to-eat, you’ll have to figure out a way to cook, too)
  • Have a way to use the bathroom
  • Have two weeks of baby and feminine supplies, as needed
  • Have two weeks of first aid supplies
  • Have candles and oil lamps
  • Have cards and games to stave off boredom, and a wind-up radio
  • As far as influenza goes, buy face masks and latex or nitrile gloves. Use hand sanitizer. Cover your coughs

On top of that, be prepared in general:

  • Develop your physical fitness as best you can
  • Pay down your debt
  • Save money
  • Always keep the gas tank at least half full

There’s not much to it. If it’s not the flu, something else will happen–a storm, an earthquake. These things happen; why not be prepared?

Which isn’t to say you’ll do everything perfectly. Exhibit A:

dsc00095It’s the Great Tomato Slaughter of 2009. I’d raised them from seeds under a grow light. Now that the weather has warmed, I thought I’d put them in the windowsill to get some natural light and start hardening off.

Little did I know that the wind would be so strong. I came home to find most of them on the floor. Seven of the eight will probably survive–the stem on the eighth is broken, and I suspect it’s going to die. The plastic bin has bell peppers and echinacea, none of which are looking too hot. I’ll probably move them to the garden on Sunday and see if they make it, and start a new batch in case they don’t. Fortunately, that’s an option–if things had already gone bad, I’d be in a world of hurt.

And yes, those ARE chopsticks I’m using as stakes.

These things happen. Still, it makes you think about how you practice your self-sufficiency. I’ve been doing this for 3 years, and I still screwed up.

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