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T’was the Nightmare Before Christmas 2012

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 24, 2018

Published originally December 24, 2012

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T'was the night before Christmas, when across all the  seas
Not a Doomer was stirring, not even RE.
The False Flags were in the MSM all over the place,
While Politicians mumbled their words of disgrace.

The Diners were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of Mad Max danced in their heads
WHD in his Red Afro Wig, and I in my hat
Had just settled in to watch Civilization go splat.

When out on the internet there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to the Laptop to see what was the matter.
Over to Google I flew like some birds,
To type in Apocalypse and other Keywords.

The news on the net was like new fallen snow,
Flakes of disaster everywhere I would go.
Off with my wandering keyboard fingers I went to visit
Zero Hedge, Survival.com and 8 blowhard Collapse Pundits

The news was so bad I surfed ever faster,
searching wide to find the cause of disaster.
More rapid than Assault Rifle gunfire the news came on in,
Of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and all Human Sins.

Now Kunstler! Now Orlov! Now, McPherson and even Jim Quinn!
On Ruppert! On Gail! On, on Denninger and Steve from Virgin!
To TEOTWAWKI as we head for a mighty big fall!
Now Dash away, Dash Away! Dash away from it all!

As Mall Signs and Rooftops before the wild hurricane fly
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
Every keyboard was flying, calls of the end came everywhere
The Doomosphere was just chock full of despair.

And then in a twinkling, I read on the net
Illuminati across the Globe were begining to Sweat.
Bond spreads were wide, Futures were down,
Derivatives and CDOs were beginning to drown.

Gold bugs were Frantic, piles of Maple Leafs high to the sky,
While at Safeway and Walmart not a Twinkie to buy!
Preppers were loading their Glocks full of Lead,
Hoping to be the last of the Doomers left dead.

Permaculture raised beds and hydroponics were secured,
as Industrialization's Ills could not be cured.
Heirloom Seeds in Nitrogen vaccuum packs were stored,
Ground floor windows were covered with 2×4 boards.

In Central Park all the OWSers set tents on the Grass,
the showdown with the NYPD would now come to pass.
The truckers rolled in and the Hell's Angels too,
then the Longshoremen came in from out of the blue.

In CONgress the budget went over the Cliff,
while Obama said, "Hey, what's the diff?
My Man Benny has the Inkjets all ready!"
No worries folks, the economy will stay steady.

In Brussels at the IMF the Eurocrats fumbled,
playing violins as the Euro crumbled.
In Japan the Sushi was glowing,
While Abe made sure those Yen kept on flowing.

In MENA the Drone Aircraft were flying,
with Women and Children doing most of the dying.
In the Straights of Hormuz Mines were placed to counter the Drones,
So all the tankers and carriers would be sent to Davey Jones.

In China the economy was rocking,
Ghost Cities and Bridges to Nowhere filled up their stockings.
Foxconn workers off factory rooftops went jumping,
While the Iphones out of the factory kept pumping.

The situation was dire, the whole world was on fire.
Everyone everywhere all caught in the mire.
The whole human race so utterly lost,
Happy Motoring and Industrialization exacting a terrible cost.

RE sprang to his keyboard to give the Diners some HOPE,
even though the world seems at the end of its rope.
They heard him exclaim, 'ere the Internet went out of sight,
"Happy christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!"

Merry Christmas Diners!

2019 Collapse Political and Attitude Survey

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 23, 2018

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2018 is coming to a close, and it's time once again to take a survey of Kollapsniks to see what their predictions are and their attitudes regarding Collapse as we move into 2019 and beyond.  These things change from year to year as Collapse progresses, just anecdotally based on my observations more people are becoming "Collpse Aware", and those who were already Collapse Aware are becoming more pessimistic.  However, without some data and numbers, it's hard to pinpoint the general attitudes and zeitgeist in the Collapse Community.  This survey is designed to get some of those numbers.

This statistical gathering expedition is considerably detailed, more so than any survey I have done before with the possible exception of the Human Extinction Survey I did a couple of years ago.  It covers a wider range of topics than that one did though, and has more Demographic Questions to try and get a better handle on the overall demographics of the Collapse Community.  One topic it does NOT cover in that deep detail (although there is some) is Economic aspects of Collapse.  This because I am working on a survey dedicated to this topic by itself, since it is my major focus as a Collapse Writer and Pundit.  I should have that survey ready to launch sometime in January of 2019.

Assuming we get enough respondents, I'll post prelminary results Sunday for the Diner Sunday Brunch article and end of year re-cap.  I'll keep the survey open though through January since we generally tend to get responses on these things trickling in for quite some time.

As usual, in all likelihood I forgot to ask some question that is burning in your mind about Collapse  or I forgot to provide a satisfatory enough answer for some question that actually IS on the survey.  I did put out the request for suggestions though Inside the Diner, but I didn't get a whole lot of help there.

All the questions on the survey are Optional, you don't have to answer a question if you don't want to but still want to fill out some of the survey.  The responses are anonymous, I'm not collecting IP addys or anything like that.  There is no financial benefit to me for this survey, or any cost to you to take it except in your time.  I estmate it will take anywhere from 20-40 minutes to fill out, depending how long you ponder on a question.

Please pass on a Link to the survey to your friends or on websites you participate on, or on your Blog if you run one.  The bigger the Sample Size we get, the more statistically significant the results become.

The Full Survey has 41 Questions and may take a while to load depending on your connection speed.  Hit the 🔽 Button at the bottom of the page until you finish and then hit the "2019 Collalpse Political Survey" button to submit.  You will get a confirmation page on your browser if it was successfully submitted.  You can also try accessing it directly at this LINK.

Thanks for your particpation and looking forward to seeing the responses roll in! 🙂  The Survey follows below.

 

SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

 

Collapse Meat-o-Saurus Survey Results

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 16, 2018

 

…and the Winner is…

Image result for prime rib

…Prime Rib, Medium Rare

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The final days of the Conspicuous Consumption of Beef stuffed full of hormones, injected with antibiotics and fattened up in the Chicago Feed Lots are upon us, so I took this time to gather information on the preferences of the modern Amerikan Carnivore with a survey of favorite cuts, preparations and presentations of Almighty Steak.  "Beef.  It's what's for dinner."
 

The survey is now closed, if you didn't get your vote in in time, too fucking bad.  We got a statistically significant sample based on our estimated average weekly readership of around 500 pairs of independent homo sap eyeballs of around 500.  43 Diners responded to the Survey, and the results are pretty clear.  Ribeye Cut is the most preferred by Diners, prepared as a Prime Rib Roast.

Image result for bacon wrapped filet mignon with scotched mushrooms Ribeye took the Win by a significant margin, with Tenderloin coming in to Place,

Generally speaking, the results of the survey came out as I expected they would, with a few minor surprises along the way.  We got 43 respondents to this survey in a week, which is reasonably Statistically Significant with our estimated independent pairs of Homo Sap eyeballs reading the Diner each week at around 500.  By and large, Diners are Carnivores who have not taken the Politically Correct road of going Vegan and have a general demographic of white males, usually older.  For this demographic, the survey is probably pretty accurate on a larger sample size as well.  For this survey, we come in with a 95% Confidence Level and a 15% Margin of Error.

Ribeye took highest honors as the Winner against Tenderloin (aka Filet Mignon).  This didn't surprise me for a couple of reasons.  First is the PRICE.  While I can sometimes pick up a nice juicy, well marbled Ribeye for around $6/lb ON SALE up here in Alaska, I can NEVER get Tenderloin at less than $10/lb.  The other reason is the FAT content, which Amerikans are so fond of.  Ribeye is much fattier than Tenderloin, which is quite lean although more tender overall.  Because of all that fat, Ribeye also comes out better on the BBQ, a common method of prepararation most of the time since usually the only time you would cook a full Standing Rib Roast is for family gatherings.  However, the difference between Ribeye and Tenderloin was a little less than I thought it would be.

On meat Done-ness, the majority of Diners prefer their meat Medium Rare, with Rare in 2nd, Medium Rare in 3rd and Medium Welldone finishing out of the money in 4th.  Welldone didn't even finish the race, NOBODY likes their steak welldone at the Diner!  Who wants to eat Shoeleather for Dinner?

Image result for beef carpaccio Responses to Question #3, "Do you ever eat beef raw?" really surprised me.  42% of respondents answered "Yes" to this question!  I have never been together with someone for a meal who admitted to me they liked eating raw meat.  My mom of course warned me that eating raw meat was unhealthy and you shouldn't do it, but the first time I pinched off some fresh ground beef bound for the Hamburger Grill, I was HOOKED!  In terms of getting this delicacy at restaurants, usually you only find it at top end French Restaurants in the form of Steak Tartare or in Italian restaurants as Beef Carpaccio.  I'm more of a fan of the Beef Carpacio for this meal.

Question #4 was a bit of a surprise as well, in asking whether the Carnivores preferred a Prime Rib preparation for Ribeye or Grilled on the BBQ as Ribey Steaks?  Prime Rib did win out on this, but not by as large a margin as I expected.  I attribute this mainly to the fact that BBQ Ribeye Steak is the way most people eat it most of the time because of the number of people you need to be serving for dinner to buy a whole Rib Roast, and to buy Prime Rib at a restaurant for yourself is EXPENSIVE.  It's usually one of the highest priced dishes on any menu.  Prime Rib preparation though is substantially juicier and even for me who totally loves BBQ Beef, given the choice I would take Prime Rib.

Most Carnivore Diners prefer their Tenderloin cooked over the Open Flame on a Grill, I myself tend to prefer this cut sauteed in a pan with Butter, Garlic and Mushrooms.  Filet doesn't have enough fat on it or in it to really give a tenderloin that yummy char-broiled taste, and with the pan preparation you can also do a nice reduction wine sauce for it such as a Cabernet sauce.  This adds a lot of flavor to the dish and enhances rather than covering up the flavor of the meat itself.

On the Steak Thivkness issue, here I was REALLY surprised.  Most of the respondents liked their steaks cut to a 3/4" to 1" thickness.  This is way too thin for me, although it is probably the most common thickness steaks are cut to in the Food Superstores.  However, whether on the grill, in the pan or in the oven, a steak has to have some thickness to have a rare center.  I like my steaks quite thick, between 1 1/2" – 2".  >2" is a bit of overkill. 1" – 1 1/2" is OK, but I still prefer a little thicker than that.

Image result for sauteed mushrooms For Steak Additions to spruce up your steak with an accompaniment, Sauteed Mushrooms edged out Caramelized Onions and the various Sauces you might use on a Steak, which was by no means a complete list, sauces are pretty endless actually.   One sauce I did not drop in which I should have but just forgot was A-1 Steak Sauce.  I used this one quite a bit back when I was a kid, although I no longer have a taste for that one.  Many people do though.  Overall these rankings came in pretty close with the exception of peppers which trailed badly, and I agree with them.  I do like Mushrooms the best with steak, but the onions and the sauces are also good.  Depends on your mood mainly and the quality of the meat and how it is served.  On a Steak Sandwich, I like to have the additional accompaniments.  If it's a relatively low quality Sirloin, I also like to have some additions.  I was a little surprised pappers fell so far back as they are popular with steak both in Mexican cooking in Fajitas and in Chinese cooking, especially Szechuan dishes.

For Salt, most Meatosauruses are in the Medium Range, but with a few No Salt and Heavy Salt aficionados on either end of this spectrum.  I go for Light Salt generally speaking, I feel too much salt buries the flavor of the meat too much.  I am OK with Medium Salt though also.. I have sent restaurant steaks back to the kitchen for ones that were just too salty, as I will also do if they are too overcooked.  You're paying through the nose for these meals, it should be prepared the way you asked for it!

Image result for gourmet bacon cheeseburger Moving on to Ground Beef, unsurprisingly Hamburgers were the favored method of preparation, Grilled over an Open Flame on top, Skillet braised in 2nd.  Given Amerikans eat a steady diet of Hamburgers basically from birth at Fast Food Joints and at Family Barbecues, the prefernce here is totally understandable. The middle choices of stuff like Meatballs, Meatloaf, Bolgnese Sauce etc kept changing spots throughout the polling, with Meatballs finishing finally in 3rd in the money.  Given that a larger protion of the population than I thought eats Raw Meat, I was a little surprised to see this choice come in trailing the pack in Last Place.  Raw is my favorite way to eat ground beef, but it has to be real fresh straight out of the grinder.  I actually like Ground Chuck better than Ground Sirloin or Ground Round because it is fattier.  I like an 80/20 lean meat to fat content rather than the 90% Lean stuff.  Otherwise, I would put Meatballs ahead of the hamburgers in my choices as they are more flavorful if done right and an exellent complement to your pasta.  Also great with marinara sauce on a Hoagie.  If I do have a Hamburger though, it's always open fire grilled.  I never eat a Fast Food burger anymore, not even the White Castle slider style mini burgers I loved as a kid.

Finally, in the Sauces category, Au Jus took the Win,  Worcestershire to Place and Barbecue Sauce to Show.  If you bet the trifecta, it paid 100:1.  As I mentioned, I forgot A-1 Steak Sauce in this list, a major oversight.  I wasn't surprised by this finish, although it's not my choices at all.  I'd put a Cabernet reduction sauce in 1st, Peppercorn Sauce in 2nd and Bernaise in 3rd, with Au Jus finishing 4th for me.  Again I think the sauces which won did so because most people don't usually have them with their steak and are more familiar with the bottled sauces like Worcestershire and BBQ Sauce.  Generally you have to eat at an expensive steakhouse to get a more refined sauce, and few people will make them at home.

To close, I want to reinforce that this is meant as no disrespect to Vegan Kollapsniks as one of their choices to try and be kinder to the environment, and kinder to animals too.  The issue there is that your stopping eating meat won't make any difference, if you don't eat it someone else on the planet will.  People won't stop eating meat until it's just not available to buy, or becomes too expensive to afford as it was for most of its history prior to large scale industrial agriculture farming and ranching.  As far as cruelty to animals goes, you have to remember that the animals raised for food by Homo Saps wouldn't even be alive if it wasn't for their care and feeding of those animals by Homo Saps they wouldn't be alive at all.  Life out in the wild is pretty cruel also, if you have ever watched a video of a predator taking down its prey it's not a pretty sight and the Lion or pack of Wolves doesn't worry about being humane or eating the prey while it is still alive either.

Humans evolved as Omnivores, and animal protein of one sort or another has been part of our diet since we dropped down out of the trees to conquer the Earth.  So, while it lasts, the Meatosauruses on the Diner will keep eating the flesh of other animals, and at some point in the timeline perhaps the flesh of other Homo Saps as well.  Time will tell on that one.

Below, you can scroll through the full results of the Survey.

 

 

The Meat-o-Saurus Survey

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 10, 2018

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The raising of beef and its consumption are of great concern to many Diners.  There are all sorts of problems with this, given the large population size of Homo Sap currently inhabiting the earth.  It's very water intensive, it takes over habitat from other species who use the same land they graze on, the cattle are often raised, fed and slaughtered in inhumane ways and various other reasons as well.  Many Kollapsniks advocate we all go Vegan in order to Save the Planet and be nicer to animals.  Here on the Diner though, many of us are Politically Incorrect Meat-o-Sauruses, and still love a good Steak despite all the global negatives to this diet.  Eventually of course, we will just about all end up either Vegan or Insectovores, the current production and distribution of beef can't last through Collapse.  For us Meat-o-Sauruses when this time comes, we will have to make the decision of whether to become Bug & Veggie Eaters, or Punch our Tickets to the Great Beyond.

In the meantime though, here in the FSoA there is copious amounts of beef still in the refrigerated displays at your local Food Superstore, and often enough at prices per pound BELOW the Veggies in the Fresh Produce display!  That is the result of subsidized Big Ag Industrial Ranching of course, but it is still the reality right now.  So while this condition lasts,we're still eating the beef, and enjoying the meals.  "Beef. It's What's for Dinner".

 

But…How do you like your beef if you are still a Meat-o-Saurus?  Our Survey below attempts to answer this question.  If you are a Meat-o-Saurus and want to help us determine the most favored cuts and preparations of cow flesh, please complete the Survey by Sunday when it will close.

 

Alaska Quake Diary: Page 2

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 9, 2018

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Image result for alaska railroad repair earthquakeI am taking this week off from Ranting to do an Update on the Earthquake situation up here in Alaska.  It's been a full week since the Earthquake hit, and mostly it is good news as far as repair work is concerned.

I personally have all my services back, electricity, heat, water and flushing toilets.  My unit sustained no major visible damage, although some of them did with cracked foundations, boilers ripped off the walls and so forth.  Management was rather slow in responding, but they appear to be on the job now.  Perhaps this will get them to fix some other long standing issues which predate the quake as well.

On the road and rail infrastructure front, the Alaska Railroad which carries both passengers as well as freight & coal between Seward, Anchorage and Fairbanks is back up and running after about 4 days, the track was busted up just north of where I live.  Minnesota Drive which connects Anchorage and Ted Stevens has been partially repaired and travel to and from the airport is now possible.  2 way traffic has been restored on the Glenn Highway connecting the Valley to Anchorage, although it is single lane in some sections.

What I am going to cover today is your heating issues when faced with both loss of electricity and loss of your NG supply, but before I get to that I want to answer a couple of questions posed to me both on the Diner Blog and on our Global Collapse Reddit site.  First a personal issue question:

Image result for handicap commode Q:  What do you do about Toilet & Bathing?

A:  This is not a huge problem.  For urination, I just urinate in the toilet as usual, just without flushing.  When the water gets restored, I flush it all at once.  For the poop issue, I have a "cripple commode" which uses a lined bucket system.  After the call of nature is complete, I pull out the liner and go deposit it in the dumpster, just as you would after pooper-scooping up the doggie-doo when Fido does his bizness.  You don't really need the whole commode arrangement though, just a bucket and a camping toilet seat for it will do.  It's easier to get on and off the commode though.  Far as bathing is concerned, it's Sponge Bath time until the water is restored, no showers.  I did this fairly often in my trucking years when marooned in locations without showers to buy.  As long as you have some water on hand (which you should if well prepped), you just fill a small bowl with water and use a sponge to wipe yourself down if you are getting too smelly.  Really though, for a short duration outage, you can just go without unless you have a real halitosis problem.  I also have packages of premoistened and medicated towelettes that are used for giving sponge baths to cripples who can't get out of bed.  These are also a handy prep to have around.

Q:  Can you really call it a "disaster" if nobody died and BAU is up and running again after a few days?

A:  Well, it's certainly not a disaster on the scale of say the Indonesian Tsunami which sent 100s of 1000s to the Great Beyond on a loss of life scale.  Also not nearly the disaster Katrina or Sandy were on the monetary scale, both disasters well into the 10s of Billions of dollars.  It is still a disaster though, particularly for many homeowners who don't carry Earthquake insurance, which is rather expensive for what is generally a very infrequent event in any given location.  If your foundation cracks and your home is deemed unsafe by the building inspectors, this can cost $50,000 and more to fix up.  Sometimes it's just cheaper to bulldoze the McMansion and build a new one.  Which if you are still paying a mortgage on the old one can be tough to afford to finance.  The many smaller problems with plumbing also add up and can be tough for individuals to afford to repair.

Then you have the damage done to the general community infrastructure of roads and gas, electric and water lines.  This costs the government a lot of money to fix up, and where does that money come from?  Generally disaster loans issued by FEMA, which adds to the debt carried by your community which then in theory gets paid by taxes, but many communities are already at or above their carrying capacity for debt service, while still paying for teachers, cops, firemen and sanitation workers.  Thus you end up with municipal bankruptcies piling up.

The issue is these things add up, they are part of the maintenance cost of maintaining the Industrial Civilization.  It ends up being a "Death by a Thousand Cuts", rather than one individual disaster bringing on the end, although one really "BIG ONE" could be the straw that breaks the Camel's Back and sends the whole thing into a tailspin.  A big one hitting Seattle for instance on the scale of the one that hit Anchorage in 1964 at 9.0 could do that, taking out such financial engines as Amazon and Microsoft, and numerous other smaller companies in Silicon Valley.  At some point we won't be able to keep up with this, and thus the Industrial Civilization will collapse in entirety with time, even if it doesn't happen everywhere at the same time or overnight.

Now, onto the main topic for today, which is having an Emergency Heating Plan for your domicile, particularly important if you live in high latitude and/or altitude locations in the winter.  It can be important in spring, summer & fall also, especially at night when the sun goes down.

Image result for wood burning stove Probably the best emergency heat plan is to have a Wood Burning Stove and a good supply of wood at the ready in case your regular heat source is out, but these are rather expensive to put in just for emergencies.  Off-grid Doomsteaders do use them as a primary souce of heat of course, but they have saved the money normally put toward a more standard NG or Diesel boiler arrangement and put it toward that instead.  You also can't install a wood heater in most rental units even if you had the money to do it, which most renters do not have.

So you need to use more portable forms of heat generation which come cheaper than that for emergencies.  I mentioned in the first article I am a Candle Freak and used Tea Light Candles as a heat source while my electricity was off too.  A Tea Light puts out about 100 BTU/hr, whereas a typical 1500W Oil filled space heater puts out around 5000 BTU/hr.  So to actually match that output, you would need to be burning 50 candles, which actually isn't as outrageous as it sounds and can be done with relative safety utilizing the Tuna Can method illustrated in the header photo.  3 Tuna Cans in the 4 corners of the room will do the trick.

However, depending how well insulated your room is, what its size is and how long the outage goes for matters a lot here, and you probably don't need that many to maintain the internal temperature at a livable level.  One thing to remember when burning any open flames indoors is to make sure the room is well ventilated and to run a Carbon Monoxide detector to see if there is any buildup going on.  CO can be quite deadly of course.

Cost as I mentioned runs about $.07/tea light, and they last about 4 hours.  However, you can bring the cost down from there and have longer lasting heat if you DIY your own Votive Candles, which are the size of a Shot Glass, and in fact often are sold in shot glasses which you get as a Bonus after you finish burning the candle. 🙂

A Votive size candle will burn for around 12 hours, and you can buy a new pack of 6 of them ON SALE for $5, so about $.85/candle.  That is a good deal more expensive than the 3 Tea Lights it replaces over the 12 hours, which costs you $.21.  However, that is just the new version.  The trick to getting the cost down with these is to refill them and make a new candle.  How do you do that?  It's quite EZ, does not take much in the way of apparatus and I am constantly making new candles while I sit at the computer and keyboard out the Doom.  Illustrated below is my Candle Making setup I use by the computer.

Basic Candle Making Apparatus

All it takes is some kind of stand to be melting your wax, animal fat (tallow) or vegetable shortening like Crisco, and then wicking material which you can either make by waxing twine or just buy rolls of it already pre-waxed.  It's not expensive to buy it pre-made,and I keep a couple of 200' rolls on hand which will last until after I am pushing up daisies.  For the stand, I use a metal toothbrush holder, purchased at Walmart new for $5.  If you find one at a yard sale, you could probably pick it up for $.50.  Or you could use a portable Sterno Folding Camping stove instead, although the toothbrush holder looks nicer and fits on my desk better.

Image result for pouring off bacon fat The cost for each Candle when you DIY varies tremendously, from Zero to maybe $.50 depending on the combustible material you use to make the candle.  If you use commercially available paraffin and beeswax to make a real "professional" pretty looking candle with a colored dye and a scent added, you will pay top dollar for this.  This stuff is sold in small quantities mainly to candle making hobbyists, and they charge a premium price for it.  It's cheaper just to melt down Tea Lights and then use that wax to rebuild a votive candle.  Then it costs the same as the Tea Lights, $.21.  But you can get quite a bit cheaper than this also.

What I do is save animal fat like Bacon Fat  from cooking in a coffee can by the stove, and use that as one of my ingredients in the candle.  It comes to me basically for free, since I paid for the bacon I ate, not the fat which otherwise would have been thrown out.  Then I save the leftover paraffin from burning tea lights, which there always is at the bottom of the teal light holder and add that to the mix. Finally, I'll add a scoop or two of Crisco Vegetable shortening.  This mixture is quite stiff and won't spill, so you can keep the candle stored this way until you need it.  I usually fill it this way about 3/4s full, and then when I am ready to burn it, I top it off with some cheap Wesson Vegetable Oil to burn in there as well.  Done this way, you bring your cost down to about $.10/votive candle, or about $.033/tea light equivalent.  At right you see a Votive candle topped off with vegetable oil. If you have some source to get all scrap oil such as cooking oil from a fast food joint or motor oil from changing out you car oil, you can get it down to nothing.  Same if you slaughter your own pigs or nail a bear during hunting season, you can render all the excess fat trimmings for tallow.  One pig will make a shit load of candles, lord only knows how many.

The same setup you use for candle making is useful for other tasks as well in normal times.  You can use it as a warmer to keep your coffee piping hot, or even heat up a can of soup with it, though that takes a while, about 30 minutes for a can of Chunky Soup.  I use it as a room Humidifier in the winter, keeping my stainless steel camping mug filled with water and steaming over the set up all day.  Winter air is very dry and this helps keep your lips from chapping and nasal passages from drying up, which can lead to getting more colds in the winter.

Candle Room Humidifier

If your candles aren't doing the job of keeping your domicile warm enough through the emergency, you can add more powerful heat generators like Oil Lanterns which have larger wicks and put out about 3X as much heat as a candle. Many of these are quite decorative and a decent source of light as well, so you can use them in normal times to give a nice warm light effect to the room and save on electricity.  For some real PUNCH though in the world of portable heat, go to Sterno cooking fuel.  Sterno burns HOT,  A can of Sterno puts out about 2500 BTU/hour, so only 2 of them burning will be equivalent to a 1500W electric space heater.  A 16 oz can of Sterno will last about 4 hours burning continuously.  It's relatively expensive though, but it does substitute for 25 Tea Lights, which would cost you $1.75 anyhow.  So not too much difference there.  It's also a lot more convenient to light one can of Sterno than 25 Tea Lights.

Image result for sterno

Mr. Heater  Buddy  225 sq. ft. Portable Heater  Propane Related image Finally, there are both Kerosene and Propane indoor-safe heaters that put out 20,000 BTU and more available.  The "Mr.Buddy" heaters are quite popular and widely sold, utilizing camping propane cannisters as fuel.  This is pretty expensive emergency heating though by the can, the kerosene comes in much cheaper than that.  These units all have automatic shut offs if they tip over, and some have built in CO detectors as well.  In any case ALWAYS BURN IN A WELL VENTILATED SPACE AND RUN A CO DETECTOR when you do any burning at all indoors.  Also be aware that fire department regulations often prohibit the use of such devices inside your domicile, although in an emergency situations such regulations are generally overlooked.  I can't really see a need for so much emergency heat though, for the size room I was working with during this exercise (25'x35'), 5000 BTU was enough with the exterior Temperature around 25F (-4C) to keep the room at 67F, so about a 40F gradient there.  Remember also you can substantially lower the room comfort temperature by self-insulating, aka putting on layers of warm clothing.  That should always be your first step in your emergency heating plan.  A good Sleeping Bag will also reduce the need for keeping the temperature this high when you are asleep.

OK Diners, that's it for the Doomsday Preparation Diary for today.  Stay Warm and Stay Safe, and BE PREPARED.  Collapse is coming soon to a theater near you.

Image result for coming soon to a theater near you

Fireside Rant: Mexican Standoff

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 2, 2018

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Image result for fire in fireplace   Prior Rants:  Wildfires; Politics 2018; Potpourri

For many more, go to the archives of the Diner SoundCloud Channel

 

It was another big week in Collapse storiez, and I originally started scripting this rant intending on covering 6 of them:

1- Mexico Border Conflict

2- Ukraine-Russia Conflict

3- Oil Price Crash

4- French Fuel Riots

5- GM cuts 14,700 Jobs

6- Asteroid 2018LF16

 

Image result for mexico border tear gas However, any one of these topics is worthy of a rant of it's own, and beginning with the Mexican Standoff, the script got so long that if I tried to do them all I would end up with a rant an hour or more in length.  Nobody listens to rants that long, the audience trickles off after about 6-7 minutes.  Attention spans for Audio are not very long.  Well, attention spans for text are not that long anymore either, 240 words in a Tweet is about what the average millenial will read.

So, this rant will just look at the immigration and refugee crisis as it is manifesting itself down on the Mexican border currently.  I may get to the escalating Ukraine-Russia war next week, assuming we haven't been incinerated in a nuclear fireworks contest by then, although I might rant instead on the Earthquake we recently had up here a couple of days ago that brought collapse to my doorstep.  You can read about the 1st day experiences in my Earthquake Diary.

Here's a Snippet from today's Mexican Standoff Rant.

Unable after winning the election to secure funding for his White Elephant Wall, Der Wannabee Fuhrer has resorted to sending in the Marines, deploying 1000s of military personnel to supplement the border guards and Customs & Immigration apparatchiks.  So when a few hundred of these frustrated refugees tryed to storm the bastille, the response of the trained guard dogs was to fire tear gas at them, ACROSS THE BORDER.  Now, since when can you lob weapons across the border of another country without it being an act of war?  Besides that, Tear Gas is banned on the battlefield as a chemical weapon.  It's OK to use against civilians though, including women and children.

For the rest, LISTEN TO THE RANT!

An Earthquake Fast Collapse Diary – Day 1

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 1, 2018

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As just about everybody knows, we had a major Earthquake this morning here on the Last Great Frontier.  I am still without electricity, heat or water.  The epicenter was between Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna river valley, coming in officially as a 7.0 but it felt much stronger than that around here.  This has to do with many factors, primarily the soil type, which can liquefy with enough shaking.

Damage to the infrastructure both in Anchorage and up here in the Matanuska-Susitna river valley is extensive.  Parts of the Glenn Highway which runs North-South and connects the Valley and Anchorage have completely disappeared.  The valley serves as a bedroom community for Anchorage, and many people  (relatively speaking, this is Alaska of course) do this 40-50 mile or so commute every day.

Also severely damaged were the main roads connecting Anchorage to Ted Stevens International Airport, which will make it difficult for the many Energy Industry Workers and Executives to do their shuttling down to the Bakken and up to the North Slope.  Not to mention of course this will disrupt the plans of many Alaska Snowbirds who vacate the state for Hawaii every Christmas.

Many if not most of these roads can't even be fixed before spring, and serious winter is just beginning here.  There is going to be a tremendous problem moving the goods around, and like most places the amount of food any given store keeps on hand is measured in a few days.  I expect to see shortages of many products over the winter.  I am in relatively good shape on this, I have enough Food Preps to easily carry me through the winter without doing any shopping at all.

In local infrastructure problems, I didn't do so well, although at least the building didn't come down which I seriously thought it might as I made my way to the back door to the porch to get out from under it if it did come down.  While the building did stay up and sustained very little obvious damage, our water mains and sewage pipes were fractured and we have no water, no flushing toilets, etc.  Also turned off is our NG which powers the boilers and the stoves, so we got no heat from this source either.  You really get a feel for what Collapse is like when all these things you take for granted all go out.

For me though since the building is still up this is just a test of my resilience and my Preps.  The management company for the complex ordered everyone to vacate the premises, but I refused and they can't make me leave.  I doubt I could even get a hotel room anyhow, there are so many people with worse situations than I am in who are booking them up as I write this.  I could move in to my Bugout Machine SaVANnah, a full size Raised Roof van, but I'd rather stay in my home as long as it is livable and I can make it work, which I can.

The very first thing that went out of course was the JUICE, the electricity that powers all my electronic gizmos, my lights and also controls the heating system.  Even if you have NG and Water, you don't have this source of heat until the electricity is back on.

It was pretty dim inthe early hours of the morning, and this time of year we don't get too much daylight, about 6 hours worth or so.  So out came the flashlights, and I set about reconnecting my computers and modem to my Deep Cycle Marine Battery and 1000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter.  After our last power outage I simplified this changeover to a one plug exchange, and the gizmos were back up and running after maybe 15 minutes.  Longer if you count the time I spent smoking a cancerette and calming myself down on the back porch.  lol.

Although the electricity was out, the ISP I use, GCI did not lose internet connection, so I was able to get online, find out what happened and where the quake was centered and at what magnitude, and report in to my friends on the Diner that I was OK and adapting to FAST COLLAPSE arriving at my doorstep, at least temporarily.

Shortly after that maintenance personnel showed up to turn off my water supply and my NG.  The parking lot was flooded with water from busted mains, and I have no idea when this will be fixed up at the moment.

Image result for oil filled electric heater My electricity was still on at the time though, so I fired up one of my Electric Space Heaters, an Oil-Filled model.  I didn't have any trouble keeping warm the room I most use, the Living Room-Kitchen space which is about 25'X35'.  I planned to if I had to to move into the bedroom which is a smaller space, and into the bathroom finally if necessary which is a smaller space still.  But this wasn't necessary.

Tuna Can-Tea Light 4 Burner Heater

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES[/caption]Unfortunately however, about 2 hours later the electricity went off again, so the space heater was useless.  At this point I went to Plan B, which is Candle Power.  Regular readers of the Diner know I have become a Candle Fanatic, I see Tea Lights in particular as a great Barter Item  and I keep hundreds of them on hand.  I can run as many Tea Lights as necessary to heat a space, and I started with 8 for this exercise.  It didn't completely make up for the heat loss from the room, but it slowed it down considerably.  I was going to add to this number and go up to 12 when I got another knock on the door from maintenance, who came in to make sure it was safe to turn the Juice back on.  I got the Thumbs Up and POOF power back on!  So the space heater got plugged in again.  I left it running along with my 8 tea lights for a few hours and the temperature inside the digs actually went UP to past 70 degrees Farenheit!  That is uncomfortably warm for me so I pulled the plug on the electric heater and just ran a dozen tea lights which seems to keep up quite well with the heat loss and the digs are staying at a fairly comfortable although somewhat warm 67F.  The tealights cost me about $.07 each and they burn for about 4 hours.  So I get 4 hours of very EZ and convenient heat for about $1.  I can add to this if necessary of course with more powerful heat generators, my lanterns and a kerosene space heater, but this doesn't seem necessary as long as the outdoor temperature isn't too low.  We're in the high 20sF tonight, which is relatively balmy by Alaska standards, at least historically.

With the electricity back on, besides the heat and lights I can also do my cooking utilizing my electric cooking gear, so not having the NG flowing to the stove is not a problem.  If I didn't have that back, I would go to my Propane camping stoves and my outdoor BBQ for cooking up food.  Based on this experience, I think I am good for up to around a month with no services flowing into the place whatsoever, possibly longer.  I would have to fire up my generator to recharge my batteries in that scenario though.

Is this a permanent solution to a Collapse situation?  Of course it is not, it's time constrained but if services aren't restored in a month, you have real full scale SHTF Collapse situation, which I don't expect to survive.  I think though that prior to that we will see many more of these intermittent losses of power, which get patched up and then you rinse and repeat some unknown number of times before finally they just never come back on.  In the meantime though, it's wise to prep up and be ready for these smaller collapse situations.

I am going to make a trip out of the digs today to see how my local Food Superstore weathered the storm, and if they are open load up on some more preps.  I will report again inside the Diner with what things are looking like in my neighborhood a little further than just out my front door.

Collapse Fireside 🔥 Rant: Potpourri

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 25, 2018

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Previous Fireside Rants: Compounding Conflagrations of Collapse; Politics 2018

 

Sunday Brunch has rolled around again, so it's time for another rant. 🙂  This one is a Potpourri of a variety of collapse topics which  hit the newz in the last week.  Covered in this week's edition of the Fireside Rant:

 

  • Conspicuous Consumption

Thanksgiving brings us both conspicuous food consumption and the buying frenzy of Black Friday, now stretched out over a week in the internet era to include "Cyber Monday".  The blowoff top of the Collapse of Industrial Civilization.

  • Wildfires

The big fires are now mostly contained, but the last week saw some interesting new developments worth updating on.

  • Road system limits
  • Prison inmates as firefigthers

 

  • Alcohol related death increases

Apparently people are drinking more and dieing more often from various alcoholism related causes.  Big surprise there in the era of collapse. Roll Eyes   Most notable cause to cover: Sucide.  I do.

  • Suicide during collapse

Are you surprised more people commit suicide in a collapsing civilization?  You shouldn't be.

  • Less Sex for millenials

In related newz, apparently millenials are having less sex than their counterparts of 20-30 years ago, despite greater acceptance of a variety of sexual practices and orientations and more "hookup" opportunities on the internet. Why?

  • Demographic problems of collapse

Less sex, less coupling up, later marriages (if they happen at all) means a decresing population.  Good from the POV of lowering the global Homo Sap population size, not so good from the economic end in a growth based capitalist society.  What are the consequences of this?

  • Who will be the Dem POTUS candidate?

Hats are starting to get thrown into the ring, with some early front runners and media darlings.  Can the Demodopes field a candidate who can beat Trumpovetsky?

  • Black Friday week long buying frenzy

It's not just a day long frenzy anymore in the internet era. Roll Eyes

  • smile.amazon.com donations to the SUN Foundation

Amazon now makes a Donation to your favorite Charity if you purchase some consumer item from the smile.amazon.com subweb.  Designate the Sustaining Universal Needs Foundation of Boiling Springs, SC as your favorite charity and Amazon will make a donation to help Build a Better TomorrowSUN☼ is a 501c3 Non-Profit corporation and any contributions you make are Tax Deductible.  Visit the SUN☼ website and click the donate button to make your contribution.  The Amazon donation is made by Amazon and not you, so it's not Tax Deductible.  It costs you nothing though if you were buying something anyhow.

 

Note: As usual,  I'm not providing a Transcript of this rant unless it's requested by a Deaf Person or someone else with a real good reason they can't spend 10 minutes to listen to it.  You can request a transcript by CONTACTING me on the Diner.

A Hermit Thanksgiving 2018

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 22, 2018

Image result for thanksgiving buffet

RE Thanksgiving of Yesteryear

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If you are a follower of my Diner Menu thread inside the Diner, you probably thought my Thanksgiving Dinner image would look like the one at the top of the page, and at one time they did look like that.

When we returned from Brasil and moved into My House in Flushing Queens in New York, we held a big Thanksgiving Dinner for all the relatives on my mother's side of the family.  Although we still had contact with some of my father's side of the family after the divorce, they lived down in Norfolk Virginia for the most part  The ones that did live in NY held their own family Thanksgiving celebrations so it was pretty strictly my mom's side of the family.  At the time, we had the biggest house with the biggest table, a behemoth we brought back from Brazil hand carved from Jacaranda Rainforest Hardwood that could seat 12, although 8 was much more comfortable.  We also usually had to set up a card table for the kids as well when we tried to hold it as a sit-down at the table dinner, but after a couple of years the numbers got bigger and we did it Buffet style and the crowd would find places to sit and eat wherever, TV folding tables, Coffee tables etc.  These huge family gathering feasts lasted from around the time I was 10 until I headed off to college at 16.

I took on the Turkey Cooking responsibilities in those years, I think by the time I was 12 or so.  Mom was not a real good cook, her turkey cooking amounted to buying a packaged stuffing mix and shoving the Stuffed Turkey in the oven.  She didn't pay much attention to it when it was cooking. and threw the Turkey into the oven for a couple of hours at the wrong temperature, so it would come out kind of dry, though not completely inedible if you soaked it in gravy, also a packaged product.  She didn't pay much attention to it while it was cooking,   I would watch the Turkey and baste it regularly, and adjust the oven temperature as necessary to get a perfectly done Turkey with a crispy skin and moist meat.  For my Stuffing, I experimented with many different ingredients, using stuff like sausage, raisins and walnuts to spruce up a packaged stuffing mix and make it more flavorful.  I used the drippings from the Turkey to make a fresh gravy after it was finished cooking.  I added Carrots, Potatoes, Onions and Garlic to the roasting pan to roast together with the Turkey.  I took particular pride in my Carving ability and laying out the platter of White and Dark Meat with slices of breast meat and thigh meat so it all looked just right.  You need a real sharp knife to do this, so I got good at knife sharpening to make it possible, and perfected my sharpening technique.  Later in life I got an Electric Knife for this task, and it makes it much EZier. I have never lost my love for good really sharp manual knives though, and actually bought myself a new Damascus Steel Chefs Knife this Christmas ON SALE on Amazon's Black Friday sales as a present to myself.  67 Layers of Damascus Steel!  No substitute for that, and this one is Japanese, who originated Damascus Steel as I understand the history.  Can't wait to slice up a ripe tomato or gravlax with this one!  Anyhow, after the meal was all said and done, I collected all the leftover bones and the Turkey Giblets and simmered them overnight to make a Turkey broth I would freeze and use for making soup for a month or two afterward.

Image result for beat up old volkswagen beetle Mom still held Thanksgiving feasts after I went to college, but they dwindled in size to just her 2 sisters who lived in small rent controlled apartments.  They were all aging and living on fixed incomes at the time.  I went home for these celebrations as well, which lasted right through my marriage years, I remember going to one with my ex-wife in her beat up old Volkswagen Beetle before we got married and bought our Astro Van on credit.  We got in a massive Traffic Jam on the way to the Whitestone Bridge, which connects the Bronx to Queens in NY.  We lived in Westchester, but you have to pass through the Bronx to get to Queens, unless you take a much longer route through Manhattan.  It was a manual transmission with a very stiff clutch, and my leg started to cramp up from so much pushing up and down on it in the stop & go traffic.

After my own divorce and her retirement, my mom moved out to Springfield, MO where my sister had moved some years before.  I eventually ended up there also as Home Base in my trucking years, and my sister took up the baton as host for the Thanksgiving Feast.  She took on the Turkey Cooking job, since I usually only showed up there by Thanksgiving Day itself.  Her husband the Tool & Die man also regularly got a free Thanksgiving Turkey as a Bonus from his workplace.  They had a HUGE dinner table also, an octagonal table the Tool & Die guy built himself and took up the whole dining room.  It also seated 8 comfortably, but you could wedge in a couple of extra seats for a sit down meal.  In the biggest years I remember, the eaters consisted of my sister and hubby, her son and his wife and their son, an elderly neighbor from across the street and her daughter and grand daughter, my mother and of course myself.  Others would show up after the main meal, friends of my sister.

My food contribution in those years consisted of buying a Honey Baked Ham, I didn't do any cooking.  The middle daughter of the trio brought homemade cranberry sauce, which is a totally different culinary experience than the canned shit you buy from Ocean Spray.  These fairly large group eating experiences lasted about a decade or so in total.  I made them most of the years, I think I only missed one while I was trucking.  That year I had Thanksgiving Dinner at a truckstop, although I don't remember where it was.  It was a good buffet though, so it was probably either at the Flying J or Petro, the two best buffets on the truckstop circuit.

Upon moving to Alaska and taking up coaching again as my primary profession, I would always be invited to the Thankgiving Feast at one of my prize gymmies homes, or by the owner of the gym who had a large family of his own.  I was the lonely old bachelor who they felt sorry for not having any relatives to consume food with here in Alaska.  For the first few years I accepted one of these invitations, but I never enjoyed them.  I felt like a 3rd Wheel, out of place with relatives I didn't know and nothing to really talk about with them.  Then afterward people would sit around and watch the Thanksgiving Football game, a sport I had also lost interest in by this time.  So after a few years of this rather painful exercise for me, I stopped accepting these invitations and started my new tradition of having Thanksgiving Dinner alone.

Image result for hungry man turkey tv dinner The problem here of course is it is totally impractical to cook a traditional Thanksgiving Meal for 1 person.  Obviously, you can't roast a Turkey and fill it with stuffing for one person, and even a can of Ocean Spray Cranberry sauce is more than one peron will consume.  So I went to the world of Frozen TV Dinners, or Microwaveables these days as they are now called.  I have tried all of them, and have settled on the Hungry Man Turkey Dinner produced by Swanson.  This is the evolution of one of the original TV Dinners produced by Swanson, which were Fried Chicken, Salisbury Steak and the aforementioned Turkey.  In terms of Microwaving as opposed to heating in the oven, it works a lot better than the Fried Chicken does.  Other Industrial Food companies make these dinners also, Marie Callendar, Boston Market, Stouffer's, Banquet etc (I have tried them all), but the Hungry Man one is the closest approximation to a plate I would put together for myself from the real buffets of the old days.  It's not too bad either as frozen foods go, and it has tremedous advantages.

1- Shopping for your Turkey Day feast is very EZ.  You don't have tons of ingredients to buy.  You go to the frozen food aisle and buy the box, and that's IT!

2- There is ZERO prep time.  No long hours preparing the stuffing, baking the sweet potatoes and roasting the Turkey.

3- There is NO CLEANUP!  You finish your meal and then stuff the plate into the trash and bring it to the dumpster for its final trip to the Land of Away.

Now, many of you will consider this way of spending your Thanksgiving Holiday is depressing, but it's not for me.  I morphed into a loner Hermit type in my trucking years, and took less and less pleasure over time going to the communal celebrations of conspicuous food consumption.  I do miss the greater variety of foods besides the basics of Turkey, Gravy, Stuffing, Potatoes, Cranberry sauce and mixed Veggies that a real Thanksgiving Buffet has, but for me the fact I don't have to be sociable with people I don't know outweighs that deficiency.

In point of fact here, this year I'm not sure I can even eat through the whole Hungry Man TV Dinner, but I will try.  I got this one ON SALE for $3 yesterday at Fred Meyer, after braving the massive nuber of shoppers out buying last minute foods there before the big day.  If I get through half of it and only have half to throw out, I'll be happy.

Anyhow, I hope all you Diners are having your own Happy Thanksgivings also, as we all eat our way through the last days of the Industrial Agricultre Food Cornucopia here in the FSoA.

 

RE Thanksgiving 2018

Collapse Fireside 🔥 Rant ©: Politics 2018

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 18, 2018

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Last week's Fireside Rant ©Compounding Conflagrations of Collapse did remarkably well in its first week on the air (or in this case over fiber-optic cables), particularly since I haven't done any Audio Rants in quite some time.  You tend to lose audience if you don't keep the content running regularly, but the numbers for the first week are so far very good on that Rant at 193 Listens.

For this week, I'm ranting on our sitting POTUS Donalditry Trumpovetsky and his International Diplomacy ineptness, rising Fascism in the Western Industrialized Nations, and Right Wing internet Trolls who infest the commentariat of a variety websites.  The spin down of Collapse continues to accelerate here as 2018 comes to a close, and I don't expect things to improve in 2019.  It brings out the Scum of the Earth in the commentariat, and this can be a real problem as time goes by.  It plays havoc with the idea you can both have "Free Speech" and a decent and intelligent conversation at the same time.  Anyone who watched the Commentariat on Zero Hedge deteriorate over the years knows what I am talking about.

As a note for new Listeners, I'm doing my new Rants now on the Diner YouTube Channel, where you can also find the many Collapse Cafe discussions held with a variety of Collapse Pundits and other interesting and thought provoking people over the years.  Many other Rants and Interviews can be found on the Diner Soundcloud Channel as well.

For those interested in a Transcript of this rant, CONTACT me on the Diner and I will send you one.  I'm not generally publishing transcripts of my rants, I think they lose too much in the transition from voice to text.  They need to be listened to to get the full flavor.  However, there are Deaf People out there, so I will provide the transcripts on request.

Compounding Conflagrations 🔥 of Collapse

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 11, 2018

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Numerous Diner Lurkers have emailed me expressing disappointment with the disappearance of the Frostbite Falls Daily Rant audio I did for a long time, covering numerous Collapse topics.  Mostly these rants can be found on the Diner Soundcloud Channel.  I stopped doing them for many reasons, the main one though being that with my ever expanding health problems, working up the energy to do one of these things, scripting it and producing it just got to be too much for me.  It's a whole lot EZier just to pound out a text blog on the keyboard, although generally not quite so much fun.

BUT, I am BACK!  icon_sunny Not that I am much healthier these days, but I gotta screw myself down to the task at hand of informing readers about collapse issues before I am pushing up daisies, and Audio is quite appealing to many people.  Unlike text blogs, you can listen to them while you do other things, like plant your permaculture collapse garden or drive through traffic to your bullshit job or otherwise Prep Up for the Collapse of Industrial Civilization.  Audio is great for Multi-tasking. 🙂

In the new iteration, the Frostbite Falls Daily Rant has morphed into the new "Fireside🔥 Chats", which worked well for FDR so I figured I would rip off the idea, especially considering I have recently let my Pyromaniacal side out of the closet. 🔥  The new Fireside chats will be found on Utoob rather than Soundcloud, since on Utoob I can illustrate them with the Fire🔥 of the Day.

If you want transcripts of any of these exercises in ranting, you can send me an email or a PM inside the Diner and I will provide one.  However, the written version loses a lot of contextual vocal inflections, so I'm not going to generally publish the scripts.  Listen or miss it.  You also may notice I have a nice lisp going these days, this comes from my two missing front teeth and the inability to pronounce fricatives very well at the moment.  I hope to get the teeth in some way repaired by some Dentista before I Buy My Ticket to the Great Beyond, but in the meantime you will just have to live with this little defect. lol.

In any event, this particular exercise covers the environmental issues the Californicators are suffering with these days, as the state basically burns 🔥 to the ground.   Even Lady Gaga had to evacuate her Mansion in Malibu!  If that's not Collapse, what is?   Give me a holler inside the Diner if you want me to continue with these things.  It's always motivational when I get some feedback on them.  If you hate them, don't make a comment.  As my mother used to say, if you don't have anything nice to say, Shut the Fuck Up.

🗳️ Election Special Edition

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 5, 2018

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I don't light up the Full Panentheist Shrine too often, it's only for Special Occasions like the Summer & Winter Solstice and the Spring & Fall Equinox.  However, this Midterm Election qualifies as a Special Occasion, and I felt it important to bring FULL CANDLE POWER to bear here in the attempt to sway the election.  This may not be as effective as Ruskie meddling and hacking, but hopefully it does something.  Since I am not laundering money in real estate for Ruskie Oligarchs, it's the best I can do.

Midterm elections are generally a referendum on the sitting POTUS, and Trumpovetsky hasn't exactly lit up the world with his Leadership Genius, although there still is a "base" of complete morons who will support him until the Sun goes Red Giant even if he rapes little girls on the corner of 5th Avenue and Central Park South.  Overall though, Trumpty-Dumpty opposition has been energized, and this is bound to affect the outcome of many of the mid-term elections now up for grabs.  Where it appears most potent for change is in the House of Reprehensibles, and it seems likely that the Repugnants will lose control of this branch of Da Goobermint in this round.  This is quite important, since it will throw a Monkey Wrench into the machinations of the Repugnant Party personified these days by Trumpofsky who proclaims his brilliance daily on his morning Tweets.  Not that having the House controlled by Demodopes will put a halt to Collapse of course, that will progress forward regardless.  However, with Demodopes in the Driver's Seat, it might be a slightly Kinder & Gentler Collapse than with the Repugnants in charge.  No Guarantees there, but when presented with two versions of Evil, choosing the Lesser of the two Evils can make a small difference.

More difficult to prognosticate is what will occur in the Senate elections.  There, only 1/3 if the seats are up for grabs in any given election, since Senate seats last for 6 years, unlike the House of Reprehensibles where they only last for two and the POTUS spot which gives you 4 years to fuck up the country if you are not impeached or assassinated in the interim.

Of the 20 or so Senatorial races up for grabs in this election, the MOST interesting is occuring in Texas, between the Demodope Congressman Beto O'Rourke and the current sitting Repugnant Senator, Ted Cruz.  Ted The Turkey is so repulsive on ALL levels anybody else would be better, and Beto is Better.  So I am ALL IN in support of Beto O'Rourke, and I made the prediction inside the Diner that he would win this race, despite the fact no Demodope has won a national level electoral Race in Texas since the 1990s.  The only thing Texas produces are Steers and Queers, and the Steers have been voting in force for years.  The Queers may come out of the closet this time.

Besides Ted  the Turkey down in Texas though, there are another  19 or so seats in the Senate up for grabs, many of which could go either way.  Here is the recap courtesy of The Hill:

The top Senate seats most likely to flip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Republicans believe they are on the cusp of increasing their majority in the midterm elections despite historic headwinds that seem likely to cost the GOP control of the House.

Republicans believe they have growing momentum to pick up seats in North Dakota, Missouri and Indiana, while races in Montana and Florida remain tight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The GOP is feeling more bullish about not losing any of their own incumbents up for reelection, a significant turnaround from earlier in the cycle when Nevada Sen. Dean Heller was seen as possibly the most endangered Senate incumbent standing.

Surprises are still possible on Tuesday in a quickly changing environment.

Here's a look at the Senate seats more likely to flip:

North Dakota

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) is viewed as the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent in the final weeks before the midterm elections, as she’s trailed behind Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) in the polls.

Democrats aren’t counting Heitkamp out after she squeaked out a victory in 2012. They argue that Heitkamp still has a path if she can hit her targets in the eastern part of the state, win over moderates and turn out Native American voters.

The election will come less than a week after tribes unsuccessfully challenged a voter ID law that requires a current address for the identification to be valid. Native Americans strongly backed Heitkamp in 2012.

Though recent polls have shown a slight tightening in the race, Heitkamp is behind in the polls by an average of more than 11 percentage points, according to RealClearPolitics.

The race is being handicapped by election watchers as leaning toward Republicans. And President Trump, in a sign that Republicans are feeling good about the state, isn’t expected to make a campaign stop in the final days before the election.

Missouri

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has been a top target since the start of the cycle, with Republicans convinced they would have beaten her in 2012 if her GOP opponent, then-Rep. Todd Akin (Mo.), hadn’t sparked a political firestorm by saying that female bodies have a way of preventing pregnancy from “legitimate rape.”

But she’s managed to keep her race close despite Trump winning her state by roughly 15 percentage points in 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several polls in the final month before the midterms, including a Fox News poll released last week, have shown the race between McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) locked in a tie. Others have Hawley with a slight lead but well within the margin of error.

McCaskill has tried to align herself with Trump and distance herself from the more progressive elements in her party, telling Fox News that she isn’t one of those “crazy Democrats” and that she “100 percent” supports Trump blocking a migrant caravan from entering the country.

But her strategy earned her no reprieve from Trump, who said during a rally in Missouri days before the midterms that the voters would “retire far-left Democrat Claire McCaskill.”

Indiana

Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.) is trying to hold on to his seat in a state Trump won by roughly 16 points in 2016 and where he is the lone Democrat to hold a statewide office.

Donnelly has tried to tie himself to Trump, including becoming the first Democratic senator to open the door to considering Trump’s controversial effort to change who qualifies for birthright citizenship.

A Fox News Poll showed Donnelly with a 7-point lead over businessman Mike Braun. But the race remains rated a toss-up, with Republicans viewing it, Missouri and North Dakota as their best chances to pick up seats currently held by Democrats.

Arizona

Arizona is emerging as Democrats’ best shot to flip a Republican-held seat in an otherwise brutal Senate midterm map.

Republicans hoped that when Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a frequent critic of the president, announced his retirement last year it would give the party a better shot at protecting the Senate seat.

But while Republicans got the candidate they wanted when Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) managed to survive a brutal primary election, she’s remained locked in a tight battle with Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

Unlike in Nevada, where Democrats are trying to unseat an incumbent, the open race appears to be giving Sinema and her party an easier, but still heavy, lift.

Sinema is leading in the race on average by a percentage point, according to RealClearPolitics. And a Fox News poll released last week had the race locked in a tie.

Nevada

Heller has been a top target since the start of the 2018 cycle as the only Senate Republican running for reelection in a state won by Hillary Clinton.

But he’s managed to stay in his race against Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) despite being targeted by more than $33.5 million in negative spending from outside groups.

Heller has stuck closely to Trump as he’s searched for a path to victory in the battleground state, and RealClearPolitics shows he’s leading by 2 percentage points on average.

But, in a potential sign of trouble for Heller, Democrats are leading in the state’s early voting tally by roughly 3.5 percent, which will put pressure on the GOP senator to drive up his margin among independents on Tuesday. And after predicting a Heller victory in 2012, Jon Ralston, a veteran Nevada political observer, said on Sunday he believes Heller will lose this year.

Montana

How close the race in Montana is during the waning days of the 2018 election cycle depends on which party you ask.

Democrats, while acknowledging the race is close, are quick to note Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) has maintained a steady lead in the polls for weeks despite months of battering by Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

Tester, according to RealClearPolitics, has a more than 4-point lead on average. But other recent polls show the race being as narrow as 2 or 3 percentage points, putting it within the margin of error.

Republicans are more bullish, believing the Tester-Trump feud has moved the race their way. And Republicans are hoping that a last-minute visit by Trump, who remains deeply popular in the state, will help vault Matt Rosendale into the lead just in time for Tuesday.

Florida

Democrats are feeling bullish about Sen. Bill Nelson’s chances in Florida despite Gov. Rick Scott having gone up with TV ads months before Nelson and pouring more than $63 million into his race to defeat the incumbent.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Friday pointed to early Republican optimism about the race as an example of a “GOP talking point busts,” noting that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) prediction that Democrats would leave Nelson “for dead” by mid-September didn’t pan out.

Democrats point to two main factors as the reason for their optimism: The composition of Florida, which has the reputation as a swing state, and the excitement over Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee.

Nelson only has a narrow 2-point lead in the race according to several polls, but FiveThirtyEight gives him a 2-in-3 chance of keeping the seat.

West Virginia

Sen. Joe Manchin was initially viewed as one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents up for reelection in a state won by Trump by roughly 42 points — his biggest margin of victory in 2016.

But while many of his red-state colleagues have seesawed in and out of front-runner status in their respective races, Manchin has maintained a solid lead over Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in public polling in the state over for weeks.

Strategists in both parties attribute his advantage to his gifts as a retail politician and name ID in a state where he served as governor before joining the Senate.

Republicans are hoping a final visit by Trump to the state could provide Morrisey with momentum heading into election day.

But The Washington Post reported that the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with McConnell, is no longer airing television advertisements in the Mountain State.

 

 

 

 

Tennessee

Democrats’ hopes of picking up retiring GOP Sen. Bob Corker’s Senate seat appear to be fading.

Former Gov. Phil Bredesen, like other red-state Democrats, has played up his support for border security as Trump has hammered on the issue in the closing days of the campaign, even releasing an ad touting his decision to send military personnel to the border.

But GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) has led in all but one recent public poll, and two polls released during the final week of the election have her with an 8-point and 9-point lead, respectively.

Texas

Sen. Ted Cruz’s race against Rep. Beto O’Rourke (R-Texas) has captured the national spotlight, dominating media coverage and raking in historic levels of fundraising for a Senate fight in a deeply red state like Texas.

Democrats point to the fact that O’Rourke is getting targeted with roughly $7.7 million in negative outside group spending as a sign that they’ve put Republicans on defense in what could have been a sleeper Senate race.

But national attention aside, Cruz has maintained a steady, high single-digit lead in the polls, and Republicans believe the fundamentals of the conservative state — which hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Senate since 1988 — will allow Cruz to win on Tuesday.

 

I dont't pretend to know how any of these races will work out in the end, too many variables are involved, which include cheating on the ballot counting of course.  What I do know for sure is that Repugnants are disgusting people who need to be removed from office first off, and then their supporters need to be sent in for some serious re-education.  Obviously, something went seriously wrong in the upbringing of Repugnants, whether it was poor parenting or genetics or a combination of both I do not know.  Demodopes are not much better, but at least they have some concept of fairness and creating an equitable society, which Repugnants could give a shit about.  Repugnants are the Scum of the Earth, supporters of Donalditry Trumpovetsky are Dogshit and unworthy of the appelation "Human Being".  Cockroaches are above Right Wing Repugnants on the Evolutonary Scale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diners Litigate the Civil War (War of Northern Aggression)

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 4, 2018

 

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Diners have  a constant battle ongoing about interpretations of the causes and reasons for the Civil War, or the War of Northern Aggresion as it is knowm in Old Dixie.  With all the talk of secession and new Civil War recently, I thought I would treat the Diner Blog Lurkers to some of the Diner Opinions on this topic.  Particularly apropos I think with the "election" upcoming on Tuesday.

 

From Eddie

 

I don't consider the DOC to be any kind of really legitimate organization.It's a club for women whose ancestors fought in the Civil War for the South, and at one time it might have been considered to be some kind of tie to an idealized genteel Southern past, but any connection to reality has been gone for a long, long time, and I'm not sure why any modern woman would join, except perhaps to make her grandmother happy, or maybe David Duke.

But, with that said, it never ceases to amaze me how far these "woke" people will go to vilify what is now nothing more than a silly caricature.

Let's start by debunking the first assertion. That is, that the DOC is or was an adjunct of the Klan.

Laura Martin Rose was no doubt a Klan supporter. I expect her father AND her  husband, if she was married, were both in the Klan. That doesn't make the DOC part of the Klan, any more than being a Republican makes someone a fascist, although there is no doubt some overlap there too.

And I don't see that the DOC even published that Kiddie Klan Klassic. It was published by the L.C. Graham Company in NOLA, which published all manner of racist crap in the late 19th and early 20th century. If DOC money was involved, I expect it was local money, and not that of the larger organization.

New Orleans didn't make it through 1865 without its first post-war race riot, and it's been a bastion of racism right up until now. If that has anything to do with the DOC, it's a fairly tangential connection. The contention the author makes, that the Daughters of the Confederacy is, or ever has been the "women's auxillary of the Klan", is not supported by the facts. It's pure speculation, but it's presented as if it were fact.

Do they get tax breaks? Sure they do, just like every other non-profit in the country. Big effin' deal. So does Planned Parenthood, and the AARP.

At one time they raised money to put up statues of Confederate heroes. Those statues were of these women's own grandfathers. Pardon them for wanting to glorify their service. Many of them died in the war.

The reason people today don't accept that the war was not fought to preserve slavery is because it wasn't nearly that simple. To start with, prior to the war starting, Lincoln himself had no intention ending slavery in the existing slave states. The national argument was about whether slavery would be legal in the new western states. These SJW journalists are as ignorant about history as they are about evolutionary biology.

Less than 5% of Southerners owned ANY slaves in 1860. So does that mean 95% of the Confederates went to war and almost a half million of them died to support an institution they didn't even derive the least bit of benefit from? Get real.

And just because the fiery rhetoric of the secession documents of the Confederacy (which were written by the most radical people in the South) said the war was about preserving slavery, that doesn't mean that it wasn't about several other fairly contentious issues as well.

The major impact of the war wasn't really even the end of slavery, which would have no doubt ended anyway, as it did most everywhere else on earth, without a bloody civil war.

The most lasting effect of the US Civil War was the consolidation of complete federal government political tyranny over the states, which impacts everyone alive today, not just white people, or Southerners. That has to be the most overlooked, yet most profound, effect that the war ever had.

 

From RE

 

Less than 5% of Southerners owned ANY slaves in 1860. So does that mean 95% of the Confederates went to war and almost a half million of them died to support an institution they didn't even derive the least bit of benefit from? Get real.

 


But they DID derive economic benefit from Slavery!

First of all, many served as Overseers on somebody else's Plantation.  They got paid, the slaves did not.  The Profit for the operation came from the Slave Labor.

Even if they weren't directly employed on a plantation, they may have been Teamsters driving the Cotton and Tobacco to market in horse-drawn wagons.  Again, they get paid because the operation is profitable with Slave Labor.  So do the middlemen, the wholesalers and retailers of the products produced by the slaves.

The entire economy was rooted in slavery.  Everyone who was not a slave got some benefit from that, unless of course they were unemployed.

Does this mean southern boys went to war to protect slavery and their economic system?  Of course not.  I'm sure they didn't grasp these connections.  Mostly they went to war because their Leaders (mainly the Plantation Owners) told them they had to and Conscripted them.

 

From Azozeo

 

Tariffs played a major role in the division of the Union of States

 

From Eddie (quotes from RE)

 

"First of all, many served as Overseers on somebody else's Plantation"

I think the actual truth of that is that some few whites worked in various capacities on larger plantations in a variety of skilled jobs, but that "overseer" was not the primary job description of most of them. It wasn't like Gone With The Wind. Maybe it was in a few places, like the Tidewater.

But aside from that, a good part of the population were just plain subsistence farmers, and they weren't participating in the slave economy AT ALL.  Subsistence farmers, like my father's people, had very little need for, or connection with any kind of money based economy at all. "Forty acres and mule" started with white people, not blacks.

The entire economy was rooted in slavery.  Everyone who was not a slave got some benefit from that, unless of course they were unemployed.

Actually that's bullshit.

MOST people WERE unemployed in the South in 1860, in the modern sense of that word. The big plantations were the "Big Ag" of that day and time, but most of the economy was people scratching out a living out of a garden and raising a few animals. The idea that these Southerners were beneficiaries of slavery is pretty questionable, in my view.

 

From RE

 

My guess would be that those people (besides the Owner of the Plantation) who were directly connected to the Slave Economy served as the Officers in the Confederate Army.  Subsistence Farmes were the ones who got conscripted as Cannon Fodder.

 

From Eddie

 

Not a bad guess, but the truth is slightly different. There was a war with Mexico in 1846, and so when the Civil War came, almost all the officers on both sides were the military veterans from that war.

My maternal gg grandfather was the second son of a big plantation owner, but he was still definitely just cannon fodder, with Lee at South Mountain in Maryland, in what was the very first big campaign of the war. His brother-in-law, a Mexican War vet, mustered in as a Captain and was promoted to Major. He made it all the way to Appomattox. Of the original unit of over a thousand, only seventy-odd men made it that far.

Many men in Lee's army in the fall of 1862 even then didn't even have shoes, and they had nothing to eat for the last week of their lives except for green corn they took from the local farms they passed, which gave most of them terrible diarrhea. And this was early in the war, in September of 1862.

I don't how my paternal gg grandfather died, but the was not a young man when he died late in the war the winter of 1864. He served in Texas, maybe on the frontier instead of the actual war. Unlike the other one, his bones were laid to rest near his home.

 

From RE

 

Not a bad guess, but the truth is slightly different. There was a war with Mexico in 1846, and so when the Civil War came, almost all the officers on both sides were the military veterans from that war.

 


That's true for the Texas contingent, but how many soldiers from South Carolina served in the Mexican war?

 

From David B

 

I find the civil war fascinating because it comes at a time of massive technological change. I sometimes wonder how long it took all those Mexican war veterans to say" oh fuck what have we done". Between railroads ,rifled barrels, the minie bullet, telegraphs, it must have been a terrifying new level of shitty. The intensity and "efficiency" of warfare was amplified making it possible for all out meat grinder. All those new toys came together.
Viscous but fascinating.

 

From Surly

 


The reason people today don't accept that the war was not fought to preserve slavery is because it wasn't nearly that simple. To start with, prior to the war starting, Lincoln himself had no intention ending slavery in the existing slave states. The national argument was about whether slavery would be legal in the new western states. These SJW journalists are as ignorant about history as they are about evolutionary biology.

Less than 5% of Southerners owned ANY slaves in 1860. So does that mean 95% of the Confederates went to war and almost a half million of them died to support an institution they didn't even derive the least bit of benefit from? Get real.

And just because the fiery rhetoric of the secession documents of the Confederacy (which were written by the most radical people in the South) said the war was about preserving slavery, that doesn't mean that it wasn't about several other fairly contentious issues as well.

The major impact of the war wasn't really even the end of slavery, which would have no doubt ended anyway, as it did most everywhere else on earth, without a bloody civil war.

 [/color]

 


For fuck's sake.

Are we really going to re-litigate the Civil War again for the umpteeth time?

Very clever of you to attempt (unsuccessfully ) to inoculate yourself against the Cornerstone Speech and the constitutions of the states that comprised the confederacy, which I have adduced here previously. And which call you out dead to rights. Which makes the motives of the seditionists and traitors absolutely clear. And which put the lie to your assertion above.  Holders of privilege, property and prerogatives are always happy to fight the current war down to your last son.

Interresting that you don't want the words produced by the men who enbcouraged your forebears to die on their behalf to be used as part of an indictment. Like disqualifying a murderer's confession.

OF COURSE only five per cent of whites in the Confederacy owned slaves. Strap yourself in for this reality bomb:

THEY WERE THE ONES WITH THE MONEY. THEY COULD AFFORD THEM

The 95 per cent of seditionists who took up arms against the Americans did so for the reasons all young man flock to the banner of their country: "duty, honor, country," and all that other manipulative claptrap the elites use in every generation to manipulate the proles, and the same sodden bullshit Trump will invoke to urge the next generation to Victory on Mars.

Because Grant attempted to implement Lincoln's "soft piece," we are afforded the luxury of endless justification for treason on the part of Confederate rebels. Had 3,000 Confederate politicians and senior officers swung from gibbets, we might not have to suffer the promiscuous rewriting of history by devotees to the so-called "Lost Cause" back in the day, and by Republiconfederates today.

 

From RE

 

I find the civil war fascinating because it comes at a time of massive technological change. I sometimes wonder how long it took all those Mexican war veterans to say" oh fuck what have we done". Between railroads ,rifled barrels, the minie bullet, telegraphs, it must have been a terrifying new level of shitty. The intensity and "efficiency" of warfare was amplified making it possible for all out meat grinder. All those new toys came together.
Viscous but fascinating.

 


In essence, it was a War between Industrialist Elite in the North and Agrarian Elite in the South.  The Industrialists won.  The Southerners only had Human Slaves.  The Industrialists has 22 Billion Energy Slaves.  No contest.

 

From Surly

 

I find the civil war fascinating because it comes at a time of massive technological change. I sometimes wonder how long it took all those Mexican war veterans to say" oh fuck what have we done". Between railroads ,rifled barrels, the minie bullet, telegraphs, it must have been a terrifying new level of shitty. The intensity and "efficiency" of warfare was amplified making it possible for all out meat grinder. All those new toys came together.
Viscous but fascinating.

 


Absolutely. The Spencer repeating rifle alone was responsible for a Union delaying action that was an important action on the first day of Gettysburg. John Buford's unmounted cavalry used Spencer carbines to create a rate of fire disproportionately higher than the Confederate force they were opposing, and bought the Union troops coming up from the south valuable time. The Civil War also ushered in the Gatling Gun, which had minimal impact on the Civil War but rather more at Wounded Knee.

 

From RE

 

 

From Eddie

 

Whoa, dude. I never used to write anything about the Civil War here or anywhere else. I feel dragged into it.

Frankly, I grew up without ever learning much detail about the war, even though I took American History in college and read stuff like the Cattons and the usual reading list from back in the day…..but let's face it…..you only get so much from a one semester freshman survey course.

I Have educated myself a little more  over the last several years, because I wanted to get some idea of the real story, and not just the mythology. I don't claim to be a real expert. But I know made up crap when I read it.

You might remember that my comment was directed at debunking a piece of garbage that some biased black SJW wrote that showed up on a feed YOU reposted here. It was simply an honest response to what I considered a fairly reprehensible misrepresentation of a dumb Southern women's club.

I offered a comment, because the piece was EXTREMELY biased and failed to make any of its points, yet it no doubt got taken as gospel by most so-called educated liberal people. That pisses me off.

I don't want to refight the war. It wasn't ever MY war. It's always been ancient history.

But these modern bullshit artists who try to take the words  of one admittedly racist writer from 1914 and twist that into some kind of completely imagined widespread racist conspiracy….that shit deserves to be called out for what it is, which is pure propaganda.

 

From RE

 

Whoa, dude. I never used to write anything about the Civil War here or anywhere else. I feel dragged into it.

 


I don't think you were "dragged" into it.  You started writing about the War of Northern Aggression when you went to visit your relatives in SC at the 2nd Convocation.  That was your own choosing.  Then you got riled up by the Statue Demolishing of the Dixie "War Heros" and wrote your objections to that.  Surly then felt it necessary to counter your spin with his own spin.

It just evolved over time.  Now you gotta deal with that.

 

From Eddie

 

What I gotta deal with is a bunch of ignorant modern people lying about history in pursuit of their modern agendas of social justice.

I think I've been really clear about that, and that's why I write what I write.

My own family history has some bearing on my story, but I have never lied about them or made them out to be anything other than what they were.

I actually started to get the real story, when I read about Lincoln…..the real Lincoln….you know the one who exiled a US congressman to Canada…and who locked up a bunch of people for the duration of the war without any resort to habeus corpus.

That Lincoln, not the Great Emancipator, the martyred Lincoln all the ignorant people worship for all the wrong reasons. Lincoln actually talked about sending the freed slaves back to Africa. That was his first choice. I seldom hear that mentioned in these SJW articles.

As I said, the really most important impact of the US Civil War was that it castrated the rights of individual states, once and for all. This is not even taught in the history books, so important is it that it be completely ignored and forgotten.

 

From RE

 

"States Rights" never stood a chance if everybody used the same currency created by same Banksters.  In the words of Mayer Amchel Rothschild:
 

 
 

Michael – The Path of Total Destruction

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 14, 2018

 

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We've been tracking the progress of Michael Inside the Diner in our Strafing Run of Mother Nature thread since before he ever made it to Cuba, as we do with most cyclones that are either exceptionally huge and potentially destructive or which look like they have the potential to impact the FSoA in some location.  We also watch the storms in the Pacific that generally hit the Asian continent also, but since most of the Diners live in the FSoA, these storms get more attention.

At the beginning, Michael didn't look like much, a Cat 1 bound for Cuba, but the track projected by the Supercomputer Models took it through the gap betwen Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula and into the Gulf of Mexico.  The projected track made a beeline for the Panhandle of Florida, and thus it became a Hurricane worth watching, despite the fact it was only Cat 1 at the time.

Once into the "abnormally" warm waters of the Gulf, Michael went through not one, but 3 cycles of rapid intensification, or "Bombogenesis". In the matter of 3 days, he went from a pipsqueak Cat 1 Hurricane to a devastating Cat 4 on the Landfall between Panama City and Mexico Beach in the Panhandle of Florida, getting stronger all the time, even through two eyewall replacement cycles.  On landfall where the eyewall hit, the devastation is so complete it looks like a Nuclear Bomb was detonated.

PHOTO: Storm damage is seen after Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla., Oct. 10, 2018.

Image result for panama city michael

PHOTO: A woman inspects damage to her family property in the Panama City, Fla., after Hurricane Michael made landfall in Floridas Panhandle, Oct. 10, 2018.

Image result for Haley Nelson stands in front of what is left of one of her father's trailer homes after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on Oct. 10, 2018 in Panama City, Fla. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

You can Google many more pics or find Slideshows of the aftermath on other websites to see a zillion like the above, I'm not going to drop a whole bunch more of those here.  Suffice it to say that these Beachfront Resort Communities are going to be quite some time in returning to BAU, if they ever do.  Also similarly devastated was Mexico Beach, Apalachicola and Tyndall Air Force Base.  On the latter, all to the good there.

What we will look at in this article is the development and Path of Total Destruction that Michael took from the time he passed Cuba and entered the Gulf of Mexico until he exited the shores of the FSoA into the Atlantic, now predicted to make a beeline as a post tropical storm across the pond and headed for Europe.  The images you will see here come from the marvels of modern technology courtesy of the NOAA, the NHC and the NWS.  The satellites shoot in various wavelengths, Visible, Infrared, and Short Wave Infrared.  Also a new color composite with simulated day/night layers.  Also, Doppler Radar which gives a Techs-on-the-Ground look at the ground level precipitation coming down.  This technology, along with the supercomputers and weather models that have been developed has totally revolutionized the prediction of Hurricane landfalls.  The accuracy of this technology is really only about 5-10 years old.  The track for Michael was right on, basically from the moment it became a named storm right up until it left the FSoA.  It remains to be seen if the track prediction holds true for a projected journey across the Atlantic as a post-tropical storm to possibly also threaten Europe.

Image result for monolithic dome This technology dramatically reduces the loss of life, giving people the time to prepare or to GTFO of Dodge.  The 2nd choice there for Michael if you lived along the Panhandle coastline being the only intelligent choice.  Further inland, you might try to ride it out if you live in a well built structure like a Monolithic Dome, but on the Coast a Cat 4 (nearly a Cat 5) positively FLATTENS everything.

Anyhow, that's enough words for today on Michael, now the story will be the aftermath and the cleanup which will take a while to play out.  Michael cut such a huge swath over such a long distance  in a highly populated zone that it's going to be a very long and difficult cleanup, along with the restoration of power.  About the only thing you can be sure of is it will get done faster than the cleanup got done (it still isn't) in Puerto Rico.  For now, lets just follow Michael as he makes his way in to do a Strafing Run on the Southeast Coast of the FSoA, starting with when he grazed Cuba to make it into the GoM.

 

Michael runs the gap between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula as a Cat 1

 

Michael crosses the Gulf of Mexico rapidly intensifying from a Cat 1 to a Cat 4 in the matter of 3 days.

Michael makes his approach on the Panhandle of Florida to begin his Strafing Run

Michael makes First Contact betwen Panama City and Mexico Beach, dropping the equivalent of a Nuclear Bomb across the Beachfront resort communities of the Florida Panhandle.

Michael traverses Florida to move into Georgia, still at Hurricane  Strength

Michael strafes Georgia and moves on for a Strafing Run on South Carolina and North Carolina, recently innundated and devastated by Hurricane Florence.

Michael finishes with the Carolinas to bring misery to Virginia and Maryland

Michael makes his final Strafing Run on the FSoA East Coast exiting out of New York to head back into the open waters of the Atlantic, traveling at a high rate of speed.

…and now for his next act, Michael is predicted to make a Trans-Atlantic crossing of the Pond as a Post-Tropical storm, headed for Europe for another Strafing Run before he is done.

By the time Michael makes it over to Europe, he won't be packing anywhere near the power he had on arrival in Florida in terms of wind speeds and destructive capacity, but still probably will be carrying with him a prodigious amount of rainfall which can also be quite devastating.  We will see what effect Michael has on the European continent.

For next week here in the FSoA, the cleanup and recovery operations begin, but typically the MSM is already leaving this story for the other ongoing disasters endemic to the Collapse of Industrial Civilization, that they are also blissfully unaware is underway.  How many will still be without power in week from now, will we ever know or hear about it?  Probably not.  Attantion spans are very short on these things, particularly when you have so many of them come in such a short interval of time.

Seeking a Signature Steak 🥩 Sandwich

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 23, 2018

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OK, I was WRONG!  This doesn't happen often, once a decade or so maybe, but ocassionally I am wrong.  In the aftermath of the failed Last Great Alaska Bucket List Adventure, I came home with a ton of STEAK🥩 that didn't get cooked up while cruising trapped in the Bugout Machine Jump Seat to see Denali one more time and do some Whale Watching down on the Kenai Peninsula.  So for about a solid week afterward I was eating some form of STEAK🥩 every day for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner and on some days all 3 meals, plus some snacks.  I overdosed on STEAK🥩 so bad I was sure it would be at least 2 weeks before I could eat STEAK🥩 again.  But I was wrong, it was only about 3 days before I once again craved some RED MEAT!  My addiction to cow flesh is so intense I decided that The Diner needed a Signature Steak🥩 Sandwich as a regular Featured Menu Item. 🙂

Before I get into my 2 week long search for the perfect Steak🥩 Sandwich though, I do want to respond to some criticisms I have been getting lately in my email from some of the long time readers and lurkers on the Diner Blog.

The main critique is that I don't write all the Economics blogs I used to or the History blogs.  People who came to read the Diner to get my take on why Collapse was ongoing are disappointed I don't do much of that anymore. 🙁  They aren't terrifically interested in my health problems or my obsession with food either.  For me though, I feel as though I said what I have to say on the main issues of Collapse (read the archives!) and I don't have a lot of motivation to repeat myself.  Of course there are still Collapse Newz items which crop up periodically and give my muse inspiration to write, such as the latest Strafing Run by another Hurricane, this time Florence which innundated the Carolinas and in fact is still causing plenty of havoc down there as I begin this article.

However, even this Collapse Newz Reporting gets a bit tiresome, and there are plenty of other websites concerned with Weather and Climate that cover this stuff, often in excruciatingly long detail and with a ton of Hyperbole attached as well.  The images are great though if you are a Kollaps-aholic, not to mention the videos which get better all the time with the Drone footage.

Regardless of the grumpy Kollapsniks who are unhappy with my current focus though, I write mainly for myself on whatever is occupying my mind in a given week, and these days that tends to be either my health problems or my obsession with food.  My health issues you can file under "Personal Collapse" or "Health Care Collapse", so they are at least tangentially a valid collapse topic.  Similarly, Food is a Valid collapse topic Kollapsniks concerned with life after SHTF Day worry about where their meals will come from.  Besides that, the methods of food production we currently rely on (Industrial Agriculture for the most part) and the food choices which dominate the menus in the Industrialized Nations (a lot of MEAT) are the subject of much debate.  Then there is the Methane from all the Cow Farts, not to mention the pollution from all the Pig Farms with their open air manure ponds, which are causing an environmental disaster in North Carolina in the aftermath of Florence.

Image result for florence pig farm flooding

Image result for florence pig farm flooding

Given all the problems we have as meat consumers, many environmentally concerned Kollapsniks have gone Vegan, and make a good case for why EVERYBODY should go Vegan if we want to try and save the general ecosystem of the Earth, which as the population of Homo Saps and their Domesticated Food Animals increases becomes increasingly overtaxed.  So I take a lot of heat for my diet which is basically full-on Paleo consisting of a lot of meat and cheese and FAT.  However, my quitting eating meat won't save the planet, the STEAK🥩 I don't eat somebody else will.  I also probably won't live all that much longer anyhow, so I figure to go to the Great Beyond eating the foods that I like.  Maybe that is selfish of me, but that's the way it is.

This brings us back around to the ostensible topic for this article, which is my search for the Perfect Steak🥩 Sandwich.  Searching for this over the last couple of weeks required me to eat a LOT of STEAK🥩. 🙂

Image result for philly cheese steak To begin with, one thing I definitely did NOT want was for the Diner Signature Steak🥩 Sandwich to be confused with a "Philly Cheese Steak🥩" sandwich, which generally speaking are absolutely gross, especially if you buy one from Subway.  Not sure what the meat actually IS on those heros, it is so over-cooked it's beyond recognition.  Then they load on so much cheap cheese its impossible to actually taste the beef (if it is beef and not rat or a stray cat).  I have had a few good Philly Cheese Steak🥩 Sandwiches, but not from the chain restaurants that serve them up or the street vendors.  There was a good one served up at a little hole-in-the-wall lunch place in Springfield when I lived there.  But mostly they are Puke on a Bun and don't order one.  I wanted the Diner Signature Steak🥩 Sandwich to taste like STEAK🥩!

The first main decision was on the cut of meat to use for this Signature Sandwich, and my two Leading Contenders were Filet Mignon🥩 and Ribeye🥩, but both have some issues.  For the Filet🥩, it comes in pretty pricey often topping $20/lb unless you find it ON SALE.  Ribeye🥩 comes in a bit cheaper, but has the problem of having a lot of FAT on it.  I like this on my Steak🥩 Sandwich, but most people don't like big hunks of animal fat in their sandwich and like a leaner cut of meat.  So I experimented also with other cuts of meat, including Top Sirloin🥩 and Bottom Round for London Broil🥩.  The London Broil🥩 came in the cheapest at $3.59/lb, cheaper than Hamburger!  However the downside there is this cut requires a lot of preparation and a long time marinating to get it tender enough to effectively use in a Steak🥩 Sandwich.  The marinade you use also imparts its own flavor to the meat, so you're not tasting the beef so much as you are whatever you used to marinate it with.  In my case I am partial to a modified Teriyaki-Cabernet-Balsamic Vinegar marinade which is very tasty but even after 2 days of marinating in the fridge it was still a little tough for me to eat given my lack of decent teeth.

So, in the end I decided that despite the price, the Diner Signature Steak🥩 Sandwich should be made with Filet Mignon.  To keep the price within reason for the sandwich, I keep the total weight of the filet down to about 1/4 lb, but then add some fixin's to make it more filling without losing the great STEAK🥩 flavor.

Image result for hellmann's real mayonnaise The next decision was on what to baste the bread with?  I experimented with Caesar Dressing and Blue Cheese dressing and even Grey Poupon Mustard, but in the end decided to go with straight "Real" Mayonaise.  Is there "Fake" Mayonnaise? Adds some fat and moisture to the sandwich but doesn't interfere much with the great STEAK🥩 flavor.  It also comes in cheap as dressings go, which was an important consideration considering I went with Filet Mignon as the cut of beef to use.

Next, what veggies to add?  Mushrooms were a must, I am a big MUSHROOM fan.  Sauteed up they have a nice meaty texture which goes well with beef, and I use plenty of chopped Garlic doing the sautee which enhances the total flavor of the sandwich without losing the flavor of the meat.  I added a slice of Tomato and then some Avocado as well, and it was pretty close to perfect as far as I was concerned, so this is the basics of the Diner Signature Steak🥩 Sandwich.

However, I have tried any number of variations, including adding BACON to the sandwich which makes it meatier and adds more FAT.  I used different types of fresh baked rolls and flatbread wraps and even bagels.  I tried different types of breads, Ciabatta and Foccacia and also grilled the sandwich in my Panini Press.  I tried different cheeses with it, Cheddar, Mozarella, Colby-Jack and Parmesan and Pecorina Roman cheeses.  Each different addition gives a different overall flavor to the sandwich, and you just have to decide precisely what you are in the mood for when you make it.

So while the Diner Signature Steak 🥩Sandwich has a basic form, the menu also offers choices of additions to put on it to Customize it for your lunch meal.  You can vary it endlessly, which means you don't get bored eating a STEAK🥩 Sandwich for lunch every day for 2 straight weeks!  This week I am trying out a Basil Pesto and Hearts of Palm as additions.

Moving forward into the post-SHTF Day world of the future, many of the ingredients you might drop on your STEAK🥩 Sandwich might not be available in your neighborhood, for instance I sincerely doubt I will be able to get Avocados up here in Alaska, and even right now the price on them is skyrocketing.  Beef will eventually become mostly unavailable, but I could substitute Moose or Caribou.  That would of course change the flavor quite a bit.  So before SHTF Day arrives, this is a good time to enjoy the wide variety of STEAK🥩 Sandwiches you can put together with a trip to your local Food Superstore.

Diners are welcome to add their favorite ingredients to drop on a STEAK🥩 Sandwich Inside the Diner in the Pantry thread.

London Broil on the Grill over Hickory Chips

London Broil Hot off the Grill ready to carve

London Broil carved for Sandwiches

I LOVE STEAK!

It’s not the Wind, it’s the Water

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 16, 2018

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It's now a litle over 24 hours since the "landfall" of Florence, which hit Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina as a Cat 1 Hurricane, substantially below the earlier predicted landfall as a Cat 4.  PHEW! We dodged a bullet there!  Well, except for one problem…all that WATER!

When it comes to Weather Disiaster reporting with Hurricanes, the focus is almost entirely on where the cyclone comes in on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which strictly measures the wind speed around the eyewall.  It doesn't measure the overall SIZE of the cyclone or the amount of water it drags along with it to wherever it decides on going, which is also not all that predictable,  A Cat 4 which makes landfall in a low population zone is a major YAWN, but a Cat 2 which hits a major population zone like NOLA (Katrina) or NYC (Sandy) or Harvey (Houston) is newsworthy material!

So the critical point here is in terms of being "newz worthy" is "How many Homo Saps were affected by this event?"  When you look at it from this POV, what Category the cyclone rolled in with isn't very important.  Even with a really BIG ONE, the wind field of 100+ MPH winds is quite small, maybe 100 miles in diameter.  That neighborhood of course provides the best video for the Storm Chasers and "Meteorologists" (Weathermen) who go out to report on these things.  So in terms of newz reporting, this is what gets the coverage.  It's not a whole lot different than political or economic newz reporting, where you only really hear about the biggest and most disasterous occurence on any given day in the newz cycle.  A couple of days later, there is a new disaster to report on, and the prior one gets forgotten, at least by the media.  The people stuck in the location haven't forgotten about it though.

So in the current case of Florence, we have an ongoing disaster which is just going to get worse over the next week or so.  While she didn't come ashore packing the kind of winds predicted by the Meteorologists Weathermen, she DID bring with her an epic amount of rainfall, now approaching Biblical Proportions in quite a few neighborhoods around North Carolina, and it appears true for some neighborhoods in South Carolina too.

Florence already has set rainfall records and left tens of thousands of people in shelters and more than 1 million homes without power. Officials confirmed at least 11 deaths, including one Saturday in South Carolina.

While this is clearly a big problem for the locals, much like Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Maria, it's not likely to get a whole lot of coverage past next week.  If Flo had made landfall around Norfolk, a different story of course, because we have a big fucking Naval Base in Norfolk and a lot of Homo Saps live there!  Relatively speaking however, not a whole lot of people live in North or South Carolina, and as FSoA states go they are Piss Poor with a lot of Black People living there.  So if they go without electricity for a few weeks,it's no big fucking deal!  Does anyone here in the FSoA CARE that the Ricans are still without power in many neighborhoods a year after the landfall?  Of course not!  Much different story of course if Maria made landfall on Wall Street, as Sandy did.  WEEKS of Newz coverage there at the top of the Google Newz Search Engine!

In the grand scheme of things globally though as far as climate disasters go, does it really matter whether one of these cyclones hits a high population density neighborhood or a low one?  Not really, other than the obvious impact on Homo Saps living in the local neighborhood for such a landfall.  Not a place you want to be when it occurs.  Thing is though, numerous effects occur in the aftermath of a hurricane landfall and many of those effects impact on people whether they live near where it hit or not.

As with Harvey in Texas last year, Florence isn't a big wind event so focusing on the Saffir-Simpson scale to determine the severity of the storm is very misleading.  Florence is a RAIN even, not a WIND event, and the rain is dispersed over a much wider area.  Because like Harvey Florence has essentially "stalled", she's bringing wave after wave of rain bands into North Carolina, any many of the many rivers in that state will be cresting multiple feet over flood stage over the next week, perhaps even longer than that.

Unlike Puerto Rico though, despite being poor and well stocked with the descendants of slaves, North & South Carolina WILL be the beneficiaries of the largesse of The Donald, because they are states who elect CONgress Critters, and the Repugnants NEED the votes of the White Supremacists residing in those locations to have any hope of retaining control over the House and staving off an Impeachment after the mid-term elections.  So you can be sure copious new Dollars will be printed to assist in their recovery efforts.  The amount of money they will spend there likely triples the entire debt of Puerto Rico, but they won't have any trouble finding money for that, any more than they have trouble finding money to bomb Syria when they can't find money to fund Medicare.

So despite the ongoing innundation, I don't expect the lights to be off for all that long down in the Tar Heel state, certainly not as long as they have been off for in Puerto Rico.  They have slightly over a month before people will be going to the Polls in Wilmington, so I figure they'll get the lights switched back on in a couple of weeks there.  What will the real price tag on this disaster be though, and just how many more times can we restring those wires?  How many times can people in Wilmington afford to replace their drywall?

You basically have an entire STATE which is under water RIGHT NOW, and you don't need to wait for the sea level to rise by another foot for this to occur, repeatedly.  This because the weather systems do the job of lifting up the water from the ocean and then dropping it back down when they get over land.  Pretty much every state along the East Coast is vulnerable to this sort of innundation now, as are the states which line the Gulf of Mexico.  We're pretty certain to get a couple of these multi-billion dollar disasters occuring every year now as we move into the future.

It's not just Lights Out that is the problem here either, this same pile of water is innundating Pig Farms and Coal Mining plants all through the state, and do you really believe they can clean up that mess, no matter how much money they print here?  Of course they can't, all they can do is put Lipstick on the Pig and make it look a little better in time for the elections, but the pig will still be a pig after that and North Carolina will stink like a mouldy sewer into the forseeable future,  NC is just one of the Canaries in the Coal Mine here though, as Harvey was for Houston and Katrina was for New Orleans.

This is not a good time to be living in one of these coastal locations, frankly it's not even a good time to be lving on a sailboat in such a location either.  Many a Yachtie in Corpus Christie watched from the Marina Bar as his prized Seastead went to the bottom of Davey Jones Locker when Harvey made landfall, and many more will face the same problem this year from Cape Hatteras to Myrtle Beach.  The Yachties didn't do too good down in St. John's last year either.  There is nowhere safe left to run to anymore, nowhere to hide.  It's coming soon to a beach near you too.

Related image

Image result for harvey marina wrecked boats

By Candlelight

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 9, 2018

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One good thing came out of the failed Last Great Alaska Bucket List Adventure for me, and that was a new passion for fires.  Well, it's really an old passion, but I got reinspired to pursue it in the aftermath of the LGABLA.

Image result for quest for fire The control and mastery of fire is probably the main thing which led Homo Saps down the path to an inevitable Civilization Collapse, and possibly his own Extinction and the extinction of many other large life forms currently inhabiting Planet Earth.  Along with Agriculture it is highly resource intensive and as population size increases the tendency is to burn too much and to take away habitat from other animals sharing the same space.  Over the Millenia since both Ag and Fire have been a part of the human existence on Earth we have desertified and deforested many locations, changed the local climate and precipitated the decline and fall of numerous Civilizations prior to this one.  None of those prior events of course was nearly so pervasive and global as the current one we are undergoing, but the unsustainable use of natural resources has been a perpetual feature of human existence since the Dawn of Agriculture.

Ag and Fire go together hand in hand, fire was necessary for the metallurgy which made Ag implements for farming technologically possible and the Ceramics which made pottery made it possible to store grain over several growing seasons in warehouses.  Without both those things, the type of civilizations which developed with large armies and big political systems never would have been possible.  Hunter-Gatherers did have some control of fire and they did practice some forms of horticuture utilizing mostly wood and bone implements, but ony metallurgy made the really large scale Ag civilization possible.  This major shift occured for the most part somewhere between 15,000-12,000 years ago, which corresponds to the time we have written records of Biblical Texts and Chinese scrolls for the most part there.  Go back further thn 15K years, you just look at history through the eyes of the Archaeologist with Cave Paintings, Clay Statues and worn teeth.  The extrapolations made on these observations may or may not be entirely correct, it's a pretty limited view of what went on in that time period.

Image result for oil lamp Despite the fact we gained control over Fire so long ago in our Pre-History, it's really only very recently we have been in so much control of it to use it inside our homes safely for light, warmth and the cooking of food.  Even the relatively "primitive" oil lamps I am using in the video header for this article are of fairly recent invention, they are 19th Century technology.  Such lamps provided most of the light in the early days of the Industrial Revolution, before electricity got wired in to most homes and biznesses in 1st World Nations.  These oil lamps are in fact still used in many 3rd World Nations, one of the reasons I can still go out and buy one and why they come in at a relatively cheap price.  They are still mass produced for people who live in rural areas of places like India and Amazonia.  In the FSoA, about nobody actually uses one of these things for light or heat (except if they are a Prepper who has one for emergencies), they are decorative items like Candles but they still do work and the fire they burn is a big part of the decorative charm.

Speaking of Candles, they predate the Oil Lamps as a source of heat and light for many people, although some forms of Oil Lamps have been around since Babylonian times.  You can burn almost any Oil at all in an Oil Lamp, Olive Oil was once a regular source of fuel for these lamps.  Whale Oil was very popular in the 19th Century, and in fact if electricity hadn't been discovered and disseminated, whales probably would have been hunted to extinction long ago.  Whale Oil is particularly good as a fuel for an Oil Lamp, it burns very clean and doesn't smell bad.  Today if you burn an Oil Lamp, you can use Kerosene or even Peanut Oil, but much better is to burn pure liquid paraffin, which is a petroleum based distillate.  It is completely odorless and pretty much smokeless as long as you adjust the wick properly.  It comes in fairly expensive, but a gallon of the stuff will last you a LONG time in most situations.  Will you be able to get this product after SHTF Day arrives?  Maybe not, but when that day comes to your neighborhood you can switch over to Sunflower Oil, Pig Fat and Beeswax.  I have made candles using these ingredients and they are somewhat smokey, but not too bad.  I have to adjust the percentages of each ingredient to get a real good candle, that takes practice and is an art form, there is no fixed recipe for it.  The waxes, oils and fat vary too much in their own chemical composition to be able to have a fixed recipe.

Image result for monastery candles Far as candles are concerned, you can make them with paraffin, or you can use stuff like "tallow" which is basically rendered animal fat and beeswax to stiffen up the whole mixture.  Making good even-burning candles is a real art form, one I have been experimenting with lately as a collapse hobby.  While for the most part they only perform a decorative function now, once the grid goes down having sources of light like candles and oil lamps will become a very valuable item.  Even if you don't make them yourself,they are cheap to stock up on.  You can buy a bag of 100 Tea Light candles which will give you about 4 hours each of light for around $7 ON SALE.  That works out to 7 cents a candle for 4 hours worth of light, which when its all dark in your McMansion is quite nice to have around!  Tea Lights aren't large, and will be an excellent Barter Item.  You can even boil water over them though it does take a long time and you have to set up properly to do it.

I am of course aware of many of the more modern techno solutions to the lighting problem, namely Diode Lights which consume very little in the way of electricity, and if you have some sort of Solar or Wind generation system you can probably keep your diode lights functioning for quite some time after SHTF Day arrives in your neighborhood.  I have many of these devices as well, and in a SHTF scenario, these are what I would go to first to keep the lights on in my digs, not the candles and oil lamps.  However, I really like the candles and oil lamps for their technological simplicity, as long as you can get hold of some type of burnable oil they will work.  You will of course need to learn how to make good Wicks for them to operate correctly, but that is not a very hard skill to learn.  Besides that, if you lay in a supply of a couple of 100' rolls of nylon wick material, it will last into your grandchildren's generation.  They don't burn up that fast.

Image result for diode lights The other thing Candles and Oil Lamps provide which Diode Lights do not is a source of HEAT.  Now granted this is not a huge heat source and if you tried to heat even just one room in a typical size McMansion you would need dozens of candles burning.  They output around 100 Watts/hour each, so even just to get up to the output of a small room space heater of 1500W, that means you need to burn 15 Candles, continuously.  You'll do better with the Oil Lamps which output around 500W each, but if you burn them contnuously you'll go through your supply of Lamp Oil pretty quick.  In this situation, best to switch over to Kerosene even though it has a somewhat unpleasant smell (for most people).  Comes in a LOT cheaper than Lamp Oil.

Related image The next thing to do is to partition off a section of the room to heat, don't try to heat the whole room this way.  You can use blankets and cardboard for this purpose.  A single Oil Lamp burning by your feet while you have a Space Blanket over your legs will do a pretty good job of cooking you if you're not careful there.  You can't emphasize SAFETY too much when you are talking open fires inside your dwelling.  It's not just the potential for a fire spreading either, if the space is confined and you have too many fires burning or they are too big, you have the potential for Carbon Monoxide buildup, and that can be deadly.  It's the main reason the Franklin Stove was so revolutionary and made life a LOT more comfortable for a lot more people in the 18th Century.  Again, not that long ago in the grand scheme of things and the control of fire for many millenia by Homo Saps before it was invented.  Prior to the Franklin stove,a dwelling generally had an open fireplace made of stone, which really ony provided heat and light for one Great Room.  The Castles and Monasteries that sported such things were usually built from stone themselves, so fires weren't a huge problem there, but they were a huge problem for the general population of peasants living in wood buildings.  Even if they didn't catch fire though, they were drafty and cold in winter and not the most comfortable places to live.  During this period, the only people who lived in the Far North were those who had adapted, lived in small dwellings, insulated themselves well with clothing and didn't use much fuel, which generally was not available in quantity in these locations anyhow.  They are people like the Inuit and the Athabaskans and T'lingit, you probably know all of them as a group by the term "Eskimo".  Eskimo is really a bastardization of a French word meaning "Raw Meat Eater".  Eskimos ate most of their meat raw because they didn't have a whole heck of a lot of fuel to cook with.

Image result for fire bow drill Beyond the issue of having the equipment around for making safe indoor fires for heating and cooking, you have the issue of getting the fire STARTED, which a lot of Doomers and Survival Websites focus on, often demonstrating Primitive Methods such as a Fire Drill, Flint & Steel and Fire Piston.   However, in reality in the near future we're not going to run out of matches anytime too soon, and you can stock up on gobs of these things which as long as you store them in  dry place last practically forever.  A little more expensive but also long lasting are Bic Lighters, you can buy a carton of 100 of them on Amazon for $50.  Those also will last the rest of your lifetime, although the ignition system on them sometimes gives out long before they run out of propane.  There are also some more modern techno-gimmicks which use electricity for fire starting, Plasma Lighers, which you charge up off a USB cord and create a high voltage electric arc which will light up most compbustible materials quite well.  Open question on how long these will last, although my oldest one is over 2 years old now and still going strong.  I bought it when they first came out, and I don't want to admit how much I paid for it then.  lol.  Now you can pick them up on Amazon in many configurations for $15.  The long ones are particularly good for lighting candles in long glass tubes which you can't reach with a normal lighter.  Also good for lighting propane fired BBQ grills safely.

Image result for fatwood What is more important for the Doomer prepping up for SHTF Day is having good Tinder & Kindling for building your fire, particularly if you are dealing with wet weather.  One thing you will note about just about all the Survivalists who make Utoob videos on getting a fire going do it in dry weather with plenty of dry wood available.  None of these methods work too well if you have had a long run of damp, rainy weather and your entire wood supply is soaked to the core.  To get a self-sustaining fire going in this kind of weather either your fire needs to be sheltered or it has to be big enough so that it is evaporating the water that falls on it faster than the water can douse the fire.  By far the best way to do this is to simply douse your wood pile with a good supply of an accelerant, like Lighter Fluid or even Gasoline.  You may not have too much of either of those avaialable to use after SHTF Day arrives in your neighborhood though, so it's good to practice making a fire in less than perfect conditions.

For Tinder, a good and commonly used starter is Charcloth, which you can make yourself by heating some old rags in the oven or over a fire, contained in some type of can to keep the oxygen out and keep it from burning up completely on you.  Commonly used for this purpose are the Tin Cans that Altoids are still sold in, but you can use a Tuna can also if you pull the lid off with a peeling style can opener rather than the cutting style.  Then you can recover the can after you put your rags inside it.  Also real good for tinder is the lint from your dryer, mixed with a little candle wax, or cotton balls with a little vaseline spread on them.  These will all light easily with a single match and burn long enough and hot enough to get some larger Kindling sticks going.  In the natural world, you can use things like bird's nests and birch bark for tinder.

For Kindling, there are numerous commercial Fire Starter sticks made by Coleman and Coughlan, but they come in fairly expensive.  What I like most for Kindling is Fatwood, which is made from the stumps of pine trees and has about 80% Pine Oil embedded in them.  You can buy a 5-10 lb package of this stuff off of Amazon and it will last you a long time and make many fires, as long as you don't waste it by using too many of them to get your fire going.  Usually one or two sticks will do fine, except in the worst of conditions.  What you need after that is a good supply of reasonably dry regular kindling wood to build into a decent size fire that will self-sustain, at least in moderate drizzle.  If it is raining hard, you're going to need to find some way to shelter your fire.

Image result for the little match girl When I think of the importance of fire for both Heat and Light, I can't help but think of the short story by Hans Christian Andersen, "The Little Match Girl".  It chronicles the last moments of life for a very poor little girl living in Victorian Era Denmark who struggles to find enough heat to stay warm on a cold Copenhagen night, burning up the last of the matches she was on the street to sell.  This was also the time of Dickens, and it was a tough time indeed to be alive for the poor person.  There are stories from the period and legends of kids who got a Lump of Coal in their Christmas Stocking, reminding children lucky enough to receive toys this way that there are many other children less fortunate than themselves.  For those children, a lump of coal was probably a treasured and welcome gift.

The Little Match Girl

It was so terribly cold. Snow was falling, and it was almost dark. Evening came on, the last evening of the year. In the cold and gloom a poor little girl, bareheaded and barefoot, was walking through the streets. Of course when she had left her house she'd had slippers on, but what good had they been? They were very big slippers, way too big for her, for they belonged to her mother. The little girl had lost them running across the road, where two carriages had rattled by terribly fast. One slipper she'd not been able to find again, and a boy had run off with the other, saying he could use it very well as a cradle some day when he had children of his own. And so the little girl walked on her naked feet, which were quite red and blue with the cold. In an old apron she carried several packages of matches, and she held a box of them in her hand. No one had bought any from her all day long, and no one had given her a cent.

Shivering with cold and hunger, she crept along, a picture of misery, poor little girl! The snowflakes fell on her long fair hair, which hung in pretty curls over her neck. In all the windows lights were shining, and there was a wonderful smell of roast goose, for it was New Year's eve. Yes, she thought of that!

In a corner formed by two houses, one of which projected farther out into the street than the other, she sat down and drew up her little feet under her. She was getting colder and colder, but did not dare to go home, for she had sold no matches, nor earned a single cent, and her father would surely beat her. Besides, it was cold at home, for they had nothing over them but a roof through which the wind whistled even though the biggest cracks had been stuffed with straw and rags.

Her hands were almost dead with cold. Oh, how much one little match might warm her! If she could only take one from the box and rub it against the wall and warm her hands. She drew one out. R-r-ratch! How it sputtered and burned! It made a warm, bright flame, like a little candle, as she held her hands over it; but it gave a strange light! It really seemed to the little girl as if she were sitting before a great iron stove with shining brass knobs and a brass cover. How wonderfully the fire burned! How comfortable it was! The youngster stretched out her feet to warm them too; then the little flame went out, the stove vanished, and she had only the remains of the burnt match in her hand.

She struck another match against the wall. It burned brightly, and when the light fell upon the wall it became transparent like a thin veil, and she could see through it into a room. On the table a snow-white cloth was spread, and on it stood a shining dinner service. The roast goose steamed gloriously, stuffed with apples and prunes. And what was still better, the goose jumped down from the dish and waddled along the floor with a knife and fork in its breast, right over to the little girl. Then the match went out, and she could see only the thick, cold wall. She lighted another match. Then she was sitting under the most beautiful Christmas tree. It was much larger and much more beautiful than the one she had seen last Christmas through the glass door at the rich merchant's home. Thousands of candles burned on the green branches, and colored pictures like those in the printshops looked down at her. The little girl reached both her hands toward them. Then the match went out. But the Christmas lights mounted higher. She saw them now as bright stars in the sky. One of them fell down, forming a long line of fire.

"Now someone is dying," thought the little girl, for her old grandmother, the only person who had loved her, and who was now dead, had told her that when a star fell down a soul went up to God.

She rubbed another match against the wall. It became bright again, and in the glow the old grandmother stood clear and shining, kind and lovely.

"Grandmother!" cried the child. "Oh, take me with you! I know you will disappear when the match is burned out. You will vanish like the warm stove, the wonderful roast goose and the beautiful big Christmas tree!"

And she quickly struck the whole bundle of matches, for she wished to keep her grandmother with her. And the matches burned with such a glow that it became brighter than daylight. Grandmother had never been so grand and beautiful. She took the little girl in her arms, and both of them flew in brightness and joy above the earth, very, very high, and up there was neither cold, nor hunger, nor fear-they were with God.

But in the corner, leaning against the wall, sat the little girl with red cheeks and smiling mouth, frozen to death on the last evening of the old year. The New Year's sun rose upon a little pathetic figure. The child sat there, stiff and cold, holding the matches, of which one bundle was almost burned.

"She wanted to warm herself," the people said. No one imagined what beautiful things she had seen, and how happily she had gone with her old grandmother into the bright New Year.

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly, in all likelihood those cold, dark nights of the early years of the Industrial Revolution will be coming to many people again, and having a source of heat and light is probably the most valuable thing you could possess, with the possible exception of food.  On a real cold night though, you'll freeze to death before the hunger gets you.  It's one of the things you may not think about as you prepare for collapse, having lived through the last century when both heat and light came so easily and so cheaply to people living in 1st World countries.  The Fossil Fuels which powered that easy form  of living are disappearing now, and while this disappearance will hit the peripheral countries and the economically deprived first, eventually they will hit everyone.  Now is the time you can prep up for this, and hopefully transition yourself into an existence which is less energy intensive and less consumptive of our natural resources.  Unless we can do that, the species Homo Sap is DOOMED.  Technologically, the simpler the better,  Candles, Oil Lamps and Franklin Stoves are the way to go here.  Learn to conserve your fuel sources and to use insulation both through clothing and your dwelling to reduce the need for adding external heat to your environment.  You don't want to end up freezing to death like the Little Match Girl, or a Homeless Cripple Freezing to Death on the Streets of Palmer, Alaska..

As we head toward this cold Christmas Season, stay safe, stay lit, stay warm.  By Candlelight.

61

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 31, 2018

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It's my 61st Birthday today!  Happy Birthday RE!

Longtime readers of the Diner may have read two prior Birthday Celebration articles I wrote on "BIG" Birthdays numerologically speaking, my 55th and 60th Birthdays.  I didn't think 61 had much numerological significance other than being a Prime Number, but according to the Numerology Experts it is very meaningful.

Number 61 Meaning

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61 is a number of introspection and family.

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The numerology number 61 is a number of introspection and family. It is studious, mentally sharp, and resonates with balance and harmony.

The energy the number 61 represents tends to be nurturing of family and close friends. It also tends to be somewhat protective. And tends to have an idealistic vision.

61 analyzes what it does and observes the effects it creates and notices effects that weren't created as they were expected to. It determines reasons why and changes its approach accordingly.

61 constantly acquires knowledge of and about itself and its experiences.

The energy represented by the number 61 is perpetually accumulating wisdom about itself and it's family and friends.

Social gatherings are seen as opportunities to interact with others and observe the social dynamics — people's actions and reactions in groups and the ambiance of the gathering.

61 can discuss anything. It generally prefers subjects about learning, family, health, harmony, and spiritual or scientific philosophies.

The energy the number 61 represents tends to be introspective, yet with an inquisitiveness that brings it out to experience the world.

It prefers free conversation rather than confrontation, and openness rather than self-centeredness.

There's a lot more about 61 if you go to the website, but in synopsis here, it's a pretty good analysis of RE at age 61.  Not that I am a big believer in Numerology but it's interesting to make the comparisons between what such things say and your own life.  Also true of stuff like Astrology and Enneagrams.

More prosaically on the physical end, 61 sees my Meat Package descending further into decrepitude, making even simple tasks most people do on a daily basis a constant battle for me.  I have managed to find work-arounds for most things, and my latest project is to get my own Cripple Lift for my Bugout Machine SaVANnah, a full size raised roof V-8 conversion van.  I found a used one at a good price on CL, now I just gotta find somebody who will mount it for me.  I think I can gety this whole job done for $1500.

I also need to get my teeth (what is left of them) further fixed up in some manner, and the same old problem of Dental Criminal Racketeers here in the FSoA still plagues our society.  So it looks like I will need to arrange yet another trip down to Old Mejico to get some more work done there.  I'm looking at Winter for that, a Vacation in Mejico at a Resort Hotel in mid-winter Alaska would be a nice break, and fully paid for by not handing over the money to Amerikan Dental Criminal Racketeers.  However, that means I gotta make it through a few more months with a HUGE hole in what is left of my teeth in the front of my mouth, which makes me look even more like a stinky homeless person.  Oh Well.

Bottom line here though, I am on Bonus Time and have been for quite some time.  I never expected to live as long as I have, if I did I might have taken better care of the Meat Package. lol.  How many more Birthdays will I get past 61?  I have no idea, but for now, anytime the Grim Reaper knocks on my door, I don't surrender easily.  I will leave this world the same way I came into it: kicking and screaming.

See you all on the Other Side.

Requiem for a Failed Bucket List Adventure

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 26, 2018

RE enjoys a fun vacation trapped in the jump seat of an RV

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The photo in the header here should tell you everything you need to know about my long anticipated Last Great Alaskan Bucket List Adventure.  Does that look like a Happy Camper to you?  For 4 days I rotted in the Jump Seat of an RV in the damp cold, while my Healthy friends went off galavanting around the various campgrounds we stayed at to go see Glaciers and observe the incredible amount of water we have flowing everywhere around here these days.  Right now, drought in Alaska is about the last Natural Disaster we have to worry about.  Here's what Happy, Healthy people look like when they are on a camping vacation, even if it is raining all the time:

Image result for hikers playing in the rain

Image result for hikers playing in the rain

You can read a lot more about the failed Last Great Alaskan Bucket List Adventure Inside the Diner, where I did some chronicling of the tripwhile it was ongoing, plus a few more articles since covering the failed aspect of the Cooking part of the Adventure I had hoped to undertake on this trip.  One thing about cooking though as a hobby, it takes both a Cook or Chef and people to EAT the food.  If the people you are travelling with reject your food as Unworthy, then you have a real problem if you invested a lot of emotional energy in cooking up food, which I did.  I can't help that, first off I am a life-long Foodie, and second off there isn't much left for me anymore besides Cooking.  I mean Good Grief, just LOOK at that rotting Meat Package up at the top of the page here?  Do YOU think this guy has many Happy Daze in his life?

Sadly, Healthy People don't generally realize just how unhappy and uncomfortable Cripples are, nro do they really give a shit about it as long as their own needs are being met.  I don't think my Guests on this "vacation" even grasped I was having an awful time until after we got back and I explicitly TOLD Eddy I had a terrible time.  His reaction?  Basicaly that he was sorry I did not enjoy the trip but, hey, he had a GREAT time checking out those Glaciers!  lol.  I have formulated new Rules for Cripples based on this experience, which in a nutshell say that Cripples should not take Vacations with Healthy People.  The only Healthy People a Cripple should go on Vacations with is one the Cripple pays to help him/her, known in the Cripple Community as PCAs or "Personal Caare Assistants".  These folks will drive you around, wash your dishes and wipe your ass if necessary all for the Bargain Low, Low Price every day of around $28/hr.  They don't resent you for this the way friends and relatives who are volunteers resent it because they get paid for the task, and paid decently well considering you need little to no training for this job and most of the time it isn't too hard.  Not like Coal Mining or getting behind a horse-rawn plow anyhow.  Just a little gross periodically if your Cripple has bowel issues.

Anyhowm unless you are a very RICH Cripple like David Rockefeller, having a PCA around 24/7 for a vacation is a huge drain on your savings, and not one I am inclined to spend at the moment.  I'll hire a PCA to come in an help me for a couple of hours a couple of times a week in my digs as I need it, but I am not going to pay for somebody to spend 24/7 with me for the duration of a camping trip.  Which leaves me with 3 basic options now.

1- The most obvious, quit camping!  You're about as unfit now to do that as you are to run a marathon!

2- Find other Cripples who enjoy Camping and organize Cripple Camping Trips with them where you visit campsites that have good Cripple Facilities like those great rails you need to get off the commode and back on your Cripple Cart after taking adump at the outhose at the campsite.

3- Camp Out in Luxury Hotel Suites with Room Service, Wireless Internet and big comfortable King Sized beds to sleep in.  The hotel room should also have a nice Balcony you are allowed to smoke on and an Ice Machine you can get to quickly on your Cripple Cart to fix a drink.  Do not invite any Healthy People on these vacations, let them frolick in the rain somewhere else.

Follow these rules, and you may avoid a fate where your friends and relatives feed you Dog Food and use you as Target Practice for a game of Darts.

Related image

The Last Great Alaskan Bucket List Adventure 1: Of Talismans and Shrines

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 12, 2018

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From Google
 
tal·is·man
ˈtaləsmən,ˈtalizmən/
noun
noun: talisman; plural noun: talismans

    an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck.
    synonyms:     lucky charm, charm, fetish, amulet, mascot, totem, juju  

     
    "this talisman has been in our family for more than twelve generations

 

From Merriam Webster

Definition of talisman
plural talismans

 
1 : an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune

 
2 : something producing apparently magical or miraculous effects
 

 
talismanic

play \ˌta-ləs-ˈma-nik, -ləz-\ adjective
 
talismanically

play \ˌta-ləs-ˈma-ni-k(ə-)lē, -ləz-\ adverb

_____________________________________________________________________________________

From Google


shrine
SHrīn/
noun
noun: shrine; plural noun: shrines

    1.
    a place regarded as holy because of its associations with a divinity or a sacred person or relic, typically marked by a building or other construction.
    synonyms:     holy place, temple, church, chapel, tabernacle, sanctuary, sanctum

     
    "the shrine of St. James"


        a place associated with or containing memorabilia of a particular revered person or thing.
        "her grave has become a shrine for fans from all over the world"
         

        a casket containing sacred relics; a reliquary.
         

        a niche or enclosure containing a religious statue or other object.
        synonyms:     memorial, monumen
         
        "a shrine to the Beatles

     

verb

 
literary
 

verb: shrine; 3rd person present: shrines; past tense: shrined; past participle: shrined; gerund or present participle: shrining

    1.
    enshrine    
    
     

From Merriam-Webster
 
Definition of shrine

a : a case, box, or receptacle; especially : one in which sacred relics (such as the bones of a saint) are deposited

b : a place in which devotion is paid to a saint or deity : sanctuary

c : a niche containing a religious image

 

2 : a receptacle (such as a tomb) for the dead

 

3 : a place or object hallowed by its associations

 


 

As regular readers of the Diner (do we still have any?) know, the time has arrived for myself and my Cohort in Collapse Eddie to embark on the Last Great Alaskan Bucket List Adventure.  Now, there is no guarantee this will be the LAST "Last Adventure" I take, if you remember back a year ago at around this same time I took my first Last Adventure, down to Rexburg,ID to see the Total Eclipse of the SUN camped out in the Path of Totality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting down to that one was touch-and-go right up to the last minute, and the only way I made it down there was with thehelp of my friend Brian, who flew up to accompany me and help me get my crippled ass in and out of chairs and into the planez and carz we needed to burn oil in in order to get there.  At the time I didn't think I could feel worse and still be above ground level, but I was wrong.  I am worse off now.  But still alive.  Like a Broken Clock that is right Twice a Day though, one of these "Last Adventures" will in fact be my last.  So I try to make each one special in some way, to help with the recollections as the memories grow dim and the energy level fades.

So what's with the "Talismans & Shrines" RE?  Have you gone full Matt Savinar into Astrology as a refuge from writing about and pondering on the problems of Collapse?  It might seem that way, but the reality is a little more palatable, I think.  I have always been a pretty Spiritual person, even going back to my youth as an Atheist.  In those days the Spirituality was based on beliefs in Science and Progress I no longer hold, but it was a form of Spirituality nonetheless.  None of it was provable, which is your main criteria of deciding if something is Spiritual or not. lol.

Anyhow, on metamorphosing into a Panentheist here in my later years, I found there were no modern Religions that really reflected my Spiritual philosophy, and Ancient Religions I read up on didn't appeal to me that much either.  So independent sort of guy that I am, I started to organize my own"Religion" for myself.  It's not a religion I proseletize or think anyone else should believe in, but I will answer questions about it if you ask me.  To my way of thinking, the world woud be a much nicer place if everybody had their own religion.  If you are interested, you can go back and read "On the Existence of God", an essay I wrote in response to an ongoing discussion on The Burning Platform, where I used to contribute as an Author and Commenter.

A couple of things my religion has not had to this point are any Talismans or Shrines.  You have these things in about all religions, the Christians have their Cross and the Shroud of Turin and other objects and places they worship as Holy, the Muslims have Mecca and the Buddhists have shrines all over the place. lol.

So, part of this latest Last Great Adventure was to find a Talisman and build a Shrine where I can worship the Existence of Life and the Force or Forces that direct it through the passage of Time.  I wanted it to reflect the values imbued in the SUN☼ Project as well, and visually remind you of that.  There was a lot of serendipity in terms of how I came across the objects in the Shrine, it was almost as if this was all being directed by the Finger of God.  The Shrine (or part of it) is pictured in the Header Photo at the top of this page.

Also in that pic is my Primary Talisman, but not visible as it is contained in the Black Box inside the Glass Receptacle.  This Talisman has Magical Powers, as all Talisman's do, but they are not visible to other people and don't work for other people under normal states of consciousness.  During the Last Great Alaskan Bucket List Adventure, I will hold Ceremonies to attempt to make these powers visible to my friends coming on this adventure with me.  It may or may not work, but even if it doesn't it sets this trip apart from a typical camping trip! lol.

I hope to have more on the upcoming Adventure here on these pages, though it becomes harder all the time to motivate myself to write.  I'll try to shoot pics and vids also, but the energy for editing those things is not in large supply either.  Meanwhile, don't stop following Collapse here on the Diner, though most of the good discussion is taking place Inside the Diner, so you have to go there for it not out here on the Blog.  Collapse hasn't gone away.  It's here, it's now for many already, and it's Coming Soon to a Theater Near You soon as well.

 

Image result for coming soon to a theater near you

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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