Friday, September 30, 2011

My new job and the Post-SHTF town.

So I started a new job 2 weeks ago.  In a nutshell, I am the supervisor in charge of the water distribution system and the sewer collection system.  This week, I'm helping out the power and gas crew with their meter reading.  It's a town of 800 homes, and I went to about 100 of them.  I don't judge what's in one's backyard, but I will notice.

The town is small, and the lots are smaller.  Many of the houses are well over 50 years old, adobe, and are on tiny lots of 25' by 100' and the people are mostly fourth and fifth generation Hispanics.  Nice folks, though.  Mostly farm jobs, harvesters, and other manual labor jobs.

I noticed:

  • Almost every house has a garden.  Mostly a few stalks of corn, and a few squash.
  • Almost 30% of homes had chickens of some sort.
  • Most houses have well used clothesline in the backyard.
  • Most yards are fenced in, and sometimes departmentalized for a dog.
  • The more run down and beat up the house/trailer was, the bigger and better the garden produced.
  • There was at least a dozen dogs that was barking the entire time I walked down the street.
  • These people took redneck engineering to a whole new level.  
For the most part, people looked stocked up with wood, their adobe houses were well insulated, and they were trying to produce their own food. However, the general upkeep of the city blocks made it look like year one post-SHTF.  

However, the city has no backup power for the lift stations for the sewer, so 24 hours after the power goes out, sewage will start to back up into houses.  Water is fed by a water tank, but once again, no backup power. Thank goodness I get to submit budget items and get the city prepared for... power outages.  It's like prepping for a 2,300 people at once.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Iranian warships in the Gulf of Mexico?

Click here for the Fox News story.

Iran wants to deploy warships into the Gulf and East coast.  They have already tested long range ballistic missiles.  They have mentioned that they are interested in destroying the US.  They are interested in EMP nuclear weapons.

I think they are just going to the Gulf for our delicious Gulf shrimp, white sandy beaches, and fishing, right?

Friday, September 23, 2011

My family

One of the reasons I moved out here is to position myself better when the SHTF.  Another reason are my blood relatives.  I hope you never get to chance to meet them.  They are some of the most miserable human beings, only caring about money and their self.  Truly miserable people.

My family has over the years come down with a genetic disorder I like to call assholeism.  It started many years ago and has progressed to a degenerative disease that has left many of my family members without feelings, sympathy, or even the ability to act human.  I think it all started when I was 10.  I'm the oldest of 4, 3 younger brothers and my youngest sister.  When I was 10, I was hyperactive, so my parents shipped me off to Cathloic  boarding school.  With my dad working for the city as a civil engineer and my mom an ER nurse, along with my grandparents footing half of the bill, it wasn't too hard on my family to send me off.  However, when my siblings wanted something unreasonable (pony, car, weapons of mass destruction), my father always made it clear that they couldn't have that because Mudbug had to be sent to boarding school.  My rare trips home became a nightmare.  When I got home, the only words my siblings said to me was "Oh, IT's here.  When does IT go back?"  The assholism started young with them.

My parents got divorced when I was 21.  It was mostly dad's fault.  I guess they frown on tapping the secretary.  I tried as I could to maintain neutrality.  It wasn't my fight, and they were both still my parents, even if they lived apart.  My dad's parents are very wealthy, and my dad will get 1/2 of the inheritance when my grandma passes.  He used that fact to try to buy my sibling's love, as long as they treated my mother like dirt.  That, and if you ignored my mom, he would pay your bills.  Buying your love, how sad.  I didn't buy into it.  I remained neutral.

I called my grandparents (my dad's parents) once or twice a week, as they were turning 80.  I still do, and my grandmother is 94.  They ask if I need help, and I usually decline.  They did be the banker for my first home, and I paid them every cent back.  (According to my dad and his rumor mill, I stole the whole $75k and never paid them back.)

By the time my dad remarried (2004), I was going back to school.  They all laughed at me.  I was 28.  It was now not just enough to ignore and hurt mom, I was fair game.  I was blamed for more B.S. stuff over the years.  Basically, the assholism was so ingrained into my siblings and dad, that whatever disappointing happened in life, it was somehow my fault.  Every little thing, such as:  the weather, flat tire, being passed on a promotion, bad grades, bad gas, being dumped, and not having enough money in the bank.  When my sister got married, my mom agreed to pay for half, and my dad the other half.  She got married at a very nice plantation house in Louisiana (if you saw the place, you would recognize it in movies).  Dad found a way to get remarried an hour after my sister, because mom already paid her half, and it was another way to hurt her.  Dad's new wife is a total barhag, chain smoking, evil heart, golddigger.  And I am sensoring how I really feel.

When my mom's mom died 3 years ago, me and my wife went to the funeral.  Right before the service, my sister's new boyfriend (she got divorced once she found out that her new hubby, going into the Air Force, wasn't going to be stationed anywhere fun for her), turned to my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time) and just ranted for 5 minutes about all the things that were said about me over the years.  According to them, my grandparents were sending me thousands of dollars a month for me to go to school and party all the time, I stole all this money from my dad, I stole all this money from my grandparents, I kicked puppies for fun, I ... you get the picture.  It always revolved around money (it seems to be important to them).  My wife knew the real story, and kept her mouth shut.  The only way moron shut up was my brother with no personality grabbed him and told him to shut up.  It was at that time, I discovered the assholism progressed so much that they were making up stuff to be pissed at me over.

When I got remarried in 2009, we tied the knot at Walt Disney World.  Mom paid my little sister to go.  She had the balls to walk up to us during the reception and let us know that mom had paid them to go and they had stayed the required limit, then took off.  My dad was supposed to bring my grandparents, but called me 4 days before, screaming into the phone words that were so vile, it would make a salty Marine blush. After getting off the phone with me, he called my grandmother to give her the same treatment.  Yup, she called an 91 year old woman to curse her out for talking to her son's ex-wife.  Classy.  My mom and his mother talk on the phone, and my dad found out, blaming me.  So 4 days before the wedding, my dad made sure 10 people from his side didn't go to the wedding, costing my father in law $2,000 from them not showing up.  Now anyone on my dad's side, including uncle, aunt, cousins, dad, brothers and sister now avoid me like the plague.  I still called my grandparents twice a week, and my wife called them once a week.

Fast forward to 2010.  I took my one week of vacation and drove the 18 hours to visit my dying grandfather.  He passed away a week after I drove home.  We flew back.  The entire week, my grandmother wouldn't let me or wifey leave her side.  My siblings and father, who lived less than a half hour away, couldn't be bothered for the week to visit with grandma, and chose to rent a block of hotel rooms in town, even though grandma has a 6 bedroom plantation.  Just being near me, I guess, is enough to turn them into stone. It was amazing during the 12 hours I had to be around my extended family during the funeral services, how a dozen people can make it so obvious that they are ignoring you.  My grandmother wanted her granddaughters involved in the Mass, but they purposely left wifey out.  They kicked me out 0f the car with my grandmother and tried to leave me at the church (I drove her to the church, and grandma made sure my wife was by her side the entire time).  My grandmother was burying her husband of 80 years and the entire ride to the cemetary she yelled at her two sons for not including my wife in the Mass.  When we got to her house afterwards, my "family" made us feel so unwelcome that we sat in a back room.  My extended-extended family (great aunts, uncles, cousins, twice removed, etc.)  all came by to stop and talk with us,
noting that they were ashamed on how everyone treated us and how much about our lives they had heard from my grandma.  It was heartwarming to hear them talk about how they knew how crappy my "family" was to me and wifey, and how much grandma cared about us, dispite what the assholism affect member said about us (by now, grandma built us a log mansion in Aspen, and pay us to sit around and have no jobs.  No kidding.)  My grandparents estimated worth was something around $10 million with stocks, bonds, property, collectables, oil royalities, and other assets.  Their will (which uncle walrus from Florida was the exectuter of the will) says that the two sons splits it, and is SUPPOSED (ha ha ha) to share with their kids.  My dad let his kids know, and still leads them on to hate mom in the hopes that one day they might get a cut when my grandma kicks it.  I honestly think his new wife is licking her lips for that money, will spend it all, and leave my dad.  Either way, I don't care.  Anyway, the day after my grandma buried my grandfather, my uncle walrus and dad approached grandma and told her she wasn't allowed to spend any money.  They were coming next week to seize all of her books (she did the bookkeeping for 75 years, all in 15 column ledger with double entry, without a calculator, always getting it on the penny) and having her house and belongings appraised so they could divide it in half so the son's could have their cut.  She was heartbroken all day and night, because they were coming next week to claim their money the felt they were owed, and with walrus as executor of the will, he must be right.  I told her (along with my mom's estate attorney), that grandma gets everything until she dies.  And now that grandpa died (he fought alzheimer's for years), she could legally change her will. I think it killed my grandmother inside to finally see that they didn't care about her, or their father.  All they wanted was money.  

The assholism progressed so much in those morons that they barely waited until their father's body was in the ground before they were dividing up his stuff.

I wrote all of this to get to this.  My grandma was put in ICU in early September.  Her throut muscles had weakened to the point that she couldn't eat, swallow, and breathing was labored.  They did a trac. on her throat.  My mom and wifey though it was best that I fly down and visit because I may never have a second chance.  I had a new job starting the following week, so I quit my old job 2 days early to fly home to see her.  So there I was, the Thursday before the 10th anniversity of 9/11, boarding a jet back to Louisiana.  My mom, who my dad and his family hate, picked me up and brought me to the hospital.  For the first time in over a year, I see my dad and his wife.  The only noise he makes towards me is a grunt.  Typical.  So it was a long wait in the ICU waiting room.  A great cousin comes in to wait for the last 30 minutes before waiting time, and starts talking with me.  She asks me about all the info of my flight, and work, and the new job.  You know, making small talk.  She asks my dad a question about hearing that I got his old job, just in a different city, and once again, a grunt.  His wife then prattles on, changing the subject to my sister and her pregnancy, and how it's a boy and she goes shopping all the time now, like a good grandmother, for stuff for her newest granddaughter.  Every time my great cousin asked something about me, she still answered with stuff about my sister.  Never skipped a beat.

Visiting time.  We all go in.  Grandma's two favorite things in the world are talking and eating.  She was fast finding out that she couldn't talk.  The nurse said that a pad of paper and a pen usually works, and my dad and moron just stood there.  I went looking for one, held the pad so she could write, and translated because my grandma writes often enough to me that I can read her handwriting.  She did manage to piss dad off, inflaming his assholism by waving him to the side and holding my hand.  The great cousin that called me to
let me know about grandma's condition (because the assaholics couldn't be bothered) told me when I got in the night before that when they told her I was flying in to see her, she smiled for the first time since getting into the hospital.  Anyway, dad and his plaything finally left and grandma wrote me a note wishing me and my wife as much adventure and happiness that she has had, and to make sure my wife read it.

The noon visitation on Saturday, my aunt brought in her entire extended family.  She was cramming in about a dozen of her family in that room, trying to block me out.  They even managed to bring the aunt's 91 year old blind father over to "see" my grandmother.  What a couple of asshats.

Visiting time at 5:00.  Grandma has slightly figured out how to talk.  She let me know that she wanted to see my mom at the next visitation so she could thank her.  I brought mom with me and they had a moment.  None of my siblings ever showed up to see her.  At least not for the visitations that I made to her during the midday, afternoon, and nighttime slots.  The next day, I made the midday visitation, with my fat walrus of an uncle from Florida and his wife, and dad and his plaything.  They tried their hardest to make sure they hogged the room so I wouldn't be able to visit.  My grandma told them to call the nurse and she told the nurse to make sure I was in the room.  While I was there, my grandma had a small sponge on a stick with water to keep her lips wet and swallow a little fluid.  She would ask anyone to wet it for her, and her two sons ignored her (the assholism makes it easy to do that).  I would gladly do it each time, with her asking them each time what was wrong with them.I found out when I got to spend the evening hour with her alone that she had a talk with just the two of them when walrus got in last night (they scheduled private viewing times so the "family" could visit without me there) that her sons needed to make peace with me, or get cut out the will.  She asked me that night and wrote me a note that said that her dying wish was that they tried to make peace with me.  I have no beef with anyone in that family, they all have made me the villian for whatever upsets them in life.  I told her that if peace in her family meant me not being in the family, then that is my cross to bear in life, and I would gladly accept it to make her happy.  Unacceptable, she told me.  We did enjoy that hour, talking about old times, and what's happening in my life (she loves the stories of my goats and chickens), and about my new job.  If she dies tomorrow, I will always remember that last visit, where we got to hang out together.

9/11.  I guess over the night the trach fell out, making a mess, and putting her in sergery again to put a bigger one in.  Walrus was camped out in the chair, reduced to grunting.  Mom came to see her again (grandma's wishes).  Grandma was still pretty sedated, but I'd like to thing she knew I was there.

Noon.  My aunt and walrus was waiting by the ICU doors when I walked up.  My aunt was saying how grandma must be all worked up because of all the visitors she has been having (hint to aunt:  YOU BROUGHT ALL THE VISITORS!!!!!), but I knew she meant me and my mom.  The doctor came out and talked to us about how she was doing much better with the larger trach and she should start physical therapy on Monday.  Walrus asked we could go in the conference room to talk (he said he needed to sit down).  We all walked into the doors to the ICU, he turned, pushed me out, grunted with the meanest look the sack of crap could make, then slammed the doors in my face.  I'm glad he found his way to make peace with me.  When visiting time finally started at 12:30, her sliding glass door was shut, with a note that all visitors had to be cleared throught the nurses.  The nurses told me (she knew who I was, and helped me get my grandma paper and water days ago) that walrus had made a list of acceptable visitors and I wasn't on it.

I flew back the next day, without seeing her again.  I can't get in touch with her and it sucks.  Her and my mother are the only true family I have left, and it seems to me I've lost half of them last week.I moved to Colorado to live life more simply, to enjoy the scenery and seasons, but most importantly to put a time code, 1,200 miles, and a mountain range between me and those people in my life that want nothing more in life than to see me suffer.  They are a constant reminder for me to work harder and harder to prove them wrong.

I hope one day they get her money.  I really do.  I know they will run though it in a matter of months, never sharing it with my siblings and cousins.  I hope my siblings turn on my dad.  I hope one day he runs out of money and respect and love from my siblings and realize how empty and sad his life really is.  I'm happy no matter what.  Money doesn't define me.  Money may bring some happiness, but it's not the root of my being.  One day they might realize that, but I doubt it.  I do know that when I am happy and content, they are miserable.  And I would like to be as far as possible from miserable assholes with greedy black souls.

Sorry I ranted to y'all but it has been eating me up inside, and now I can release that demon out of me.  As my grandma would say, "C'est la vie."  That's life.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Odds and Ends

Sadly, I think this will become a weekly event.  I seem to have loose ends laying about and I don't want to forget anything.

First off, I promise I have the day aftermath of Katrina up in a few days.  I am looking for the email from LSU warning of looting in downtown BR (it was found to be false).  I may even add stuff from the power being out from Gustav (2008) to compare/contrast good and craptastic government.

I am an uncle to two great kids in Wyoming, Hunter (4) and Hippie(2).  The found that Uncle Mudbug is an excellent jungle gym.  However, Uncle Mudbug is now sore as heck.  Need a week off now.  I did discover that kids love poo and poop.  It was their favorite words.  Maybe it's the taboo of a "dirty" word that makes them love to say it.  All the time.  Hunter is all excited about rabbit hunting season again and cannot wait to go hunting with his dad, and Hippie runs around naked.  And talks to herself all of the time.  A little disturbing to see naked baby, but whatever.

Watched the stock market and gold prices all day.  Gold went up, Dow Jones (DJIA) went down.  DJIA was down 300, but closed down 100.96.   I can't wait to see how the President "helps" with his speech on Thursday.  Not at all encouraging.  But not surprising.

I'm trying to send rain to TX to help out.  We get an average rainfall of less than 8 inches a year, with 30 inches of snow (30 inches of snow translates into 3 inches of rain), and it has been raining every other day for two weeks.  As I am writing this, more rain is falling.  I love the rain and miss it from Louisiana, but I'm getting used to the lack of rain, and would rather others get it.  Besides, with the moronic water rules out here, the more it rains, the more water we owe to New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico from the Rio Grande.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Remington 597

I accept Stephen’s challenge and talk about my .22.  It is the second gun I’ve ever owned, and I got it a year ago this week.  It’s a Remington 597, with a scope.  It was on sale at some sporting goods store, and my wife let me get it in exchange for me buying her a new car.  My other gun is a Savage .243 with a scope. 

I’ve never owned a gun until I moved to Colorado and bought land.  I went into the Tractor Supply Store- type store and meekly told them I need a gun to shoot coyotes and other large animals threating my goats.  It’s not easy to pull that trigger for the first time in the backyard, not knowing what’s in store.  And it’s even harder to hear the coyotes in your backyard and have to arm yourself to go get your dogs inside. 

The first time I ever shot a gun was a small bolt action .22 my sister-in-law’s husband loaned me when I went rabbit hunting in south WY 3 years ago.  I liked the lightness of the rifle and it gave me time to think and plan between each loading.  I shot 22 rabbits that day, and was probably 75% accurate each time.  Doug still swears I’ve had training. 

I like the Remington because it has a 10 round magazine, and I’m ordering a couple 30 round magazines.  We have big jackrabbits around the house and sniffing around my garden.  I may have to try a rabbit gumbo after the big freeze up here.  I think with the rabbit population, the amount of brush out here, the lack of predators (thanks to my dogs), and breeding rates, I think I could shoot or trap up to 3 rabbits a day on the property and feed my family, yet not deplete the population.  I hope the .22LR will help with that. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I think the last few days OPSEC has really been a concern in the blogosphere family that we are all a member of.  I think that some security is a good thing.  More than just razor wire around the property, security is being smart on the internet.

But I think that we can all respect each other's privacy.  I know Arsenius the Hermit's real name is not Arsenius.  It may be Tyrone, Barack, Cletus, or even Brenda.  I'm not saying.  I may not even know.  I'm not here to find out where people are from, where they live, or even what they do.  I could care less.  I'm here to become friends that are like minded, go though the same challenges as myself, and as a sounding board for things that may or may not work.

I think the consensus is that we are all vulnerable if we blog, to an extent.  If someone really wanted to get a hold of you, they can.  It's not that hard with the right tools.  But really, if you go through that much trouble to find someone that doesn't want to be found, we really have to ask your true intentions.  There is a mutual respect among survivalists, I believe, and that breaks it.

 I hope that one day if I find myself east of the Mississippi, I might get to meet some of my online friends.  Hopefully at the Waffle House.  God, their food is awful, but I miss it.  And if one of them feel the need to go skiing or a Food & Wine festival in Aspen, I hope they look me up.

I know that OPSEC is important, and we are all passionate about it, but I think we have beaten that dead horse.  Let's toss that dead equine over the fence of the neighbor we all despise and resume our usual conversations of fall preps and how this gun is better than that gun.  Oh, and how the Fighting Tigers of LSU is gonna whoop all your college teams.