Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Doomsday Fear Mongers Get It Right Again

By now, you’ve likely come across the recent 60 Minutes segment titled State Budgets: Day of Reckoning. If you have yet to view it, you can do so below.

Millions of Americans who have been told that our economy is now in a period of recovery may be surprised to learn that most states are so broke that they are left with no other choice but to cut spending on literally everything. Governor Christie of New Jersey is, according to 60 Minutes, the canary in the mine:

We spent too much on everything. We spent money just crazily. The credit card’s maxed out. It’s over. It’s over.

For readers of this web site and other alternative news and contrarian outlets this report was to be expected. We’ve been reporting on, and our readers have been contributing their insights via comments for quite some time - at least a couple of years now - about the fundamental problems facing our country. For those who have questioned their own sanity, or have had their sanity questioned by friends and family when trying to spread the message of preparing for the Greatest Depression, Governor Christie just proved that you’ve been right all along:

Where am I getting the money? I don’t have it. I literally don’t have it.

It’s not like you can avoid it forever because it’s here now. We all know it’s here. And the Federal government doesn’t have the money to paper over it anymore either for the states. The day of reckoning has arrived. And it’s going to arrive everywhere.

Unlike the federal government, states don’t have the ability to issue debt and print as much money as is needed via the digital presses at the Federal Reserve. They are left with no choice but austerity measures via spending cuts. And, as Charlie McGrath pointed out recently, Austerity will hit America like an Eight Pound Sledgehammer.

Earlier this year, we discussed the Collapse of Dysfunctional States as Another Step To The Federal Bubble Detonation, and according to mainstream reports as of late, we’re well on our way to complete destruction of the way of life as we have come to know it in our spend and consume society.

If you thought the housing bubble was bad, consider what financial analyst Meredith Whitney has to say about state and local governments. Take note that it was Whitney who blew the doors open on the problems in housing and the excessive leverage in the banking system - which led to the collapse that has left us where we are today. And while investment houses and ratings agencies are still promoting municipal bonds as a great way to preserve wealth, you might want to sleep on Whitney’s latest comments before you go all in:

It has tenticles as wide as anything I’ve seen. I think next to housing this is the single most important issue in the United States and certainly the largest threat to the US economy.

When asked why no one is doing anything about it, Whitney provides an answer that is as true today as it was before the housing bubble pop:

Because they don’t pay attention until they have to.

It is only at the precipice of disaster that people, especially politicians and vested interests, are willing to change.

The worst thing about all of this, is that, as Meredith Whitney suggested, the states will likely find a solution to their problems. Our view is that this solution will come down to massive, unprecedented bailouts from the Federal government. Not billions - not trillions more will be printed.

We maintain our previous forecast, though we can’t put a specific timeline on it, that the collapse of state governments will eventually lead to the largest bubble detonation in history - financier George Soros refers to it as the Super Bubble and trend forecaster Gerald Celente calls it the Government Bubble:

How long will this be?

It’s hard to say, but in terms of the states, we’re likely looking at sooner rather than later. States are already broke, with California, Illinois and New Jersey already showing serious fiscal strain. In the near future we’ll begin seeing states requesting bailouts directly from the federal government. Eventually, we suspect that the majority of states will be standing in the welfare line looking for hand outs.

For now, the US dollar remains fairly strong given our economic problems. In fact, any time a financial emergency spreads across the globe, investors seem to be running to US bonds for safety, so there is still confidence in the US government’s ability to service our existing debt.

However, we believe that once the states begin to require federal involvement to pay government workers, emergency responders and pensioners, we will be much closer to a serious collapse of not only our economic system, but the monetary system as well. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world realizes that we’re completely broke and takes action accordingly.

The states blew a government spending bubble, and that bubble is about to pop. The federal debt bubble will not be far behind.

Naturally, there will be skeptics. In fact, most are skeptical of the possibility of a complete collapse of the US Dollar and our way of life, but it is in process as we speak.

Just like the states, the federal government will soon be on the precipice.

Meredith Whitney says that municipal bond defaults will start occurring in scores over the next 12 months. We’ll see what the federal government does, but our guess is more bailouts - hey it worked before!

But who will bail out the $150 Trillion (official figure) government debt bubble?

Any takers?

Yeah, we didn’t think so.

Author: Mac Slavo
Date: December 22nd, 2010
Visit the Author's Website: http://www.SHTFplan.com/

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sing the health praises of parsley and sage

Those of us who go back a few years likely remember the line about parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme in the huge Simon and Garfunkel hit song about two ill-fated lovers, "Are You Going to Scarborough Fair". Many have speculated that the reference to the four popular herbs was due to their use in Medieval Europe to help cleanse the air and ward off the infamous black plague. Others have thought that the reference to the four herbs was because the combination may have been used as a love potion. Whatever the reason for their inclusion in the popular song, the many health benefits of parsley and sage are worth loving and singing praises about in their own rights.


Parsley is an amazing medicinal herb with a world of health benefits. The root contains calcium, B-complex vitamins, and iron, which nourish the glands that help regulate the uptake of calcium. It is a source of magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Among the many benefits reported for parsley are:

*It is a diuretic which helps the body produce more urine to keep the urinary system operating smoothly and which helps prevent problems such as kidney stones and bladder infections.

*It is wonderful for removing toxins from the body, such as heavy metals.

*It is an effective breath freshener. It is believed that the practice of including parsley on a dinner plate began due to its breath freshening abilities and not merely for its decorative effect.

*The root and leaves are good for the liver and spleen.

*It helps relieve bloating during menstruation.

*It provides relief for edema, often helping when other remedies have failed

*Parsley root and seeds help relax stiff joints, often making stiff and unmanageable fingers work again.

*It helps remove gallstones when used properly by taking a pint of the tea daily.

*It is beneficial for the adrenal glands.

*It is a powerful therapeutic aid for the optic nerves, brain and sympathetic nervous system.

*Parsley juice is an excellent tonic for the blood vessels.

Note: It is best to avoid large amounts of parsley if you are pregnant, especially the use of the volatile essential oil.


Like rosemary, its sister herb in the mint (Labiatae) family, sage contains a variety of volatile oils, flavonoids and phenolic acids, including rosmarinic acid. The oils found in sage are both antiseptic and antibiotic, helping it fight infections.

Besides the antioxidant and other properties shared with Rosemary, sage`s other health benefits include:

*It is effective for symptoms of menopause, night sweats and hot flashes because of its estrogenic action and because its tannins help dry up perspiration.

*Sage helps provide better brain function and has been used in the treatment of cerebrovascular disease for over a thousand years. It helps provide better recall and research has suggested that it may be an effective option to help treat Alzheimer`s.

*There`s also compelling evidence that sage may be of value to people with diabetes for whom the hormone insulin does not work as efficiently as it should. Lab studies indicate that sage may boost insulin`s action.

* The ability of sage to protect oils from oxidation has also led some companies to experiment with sage as a natural antioxidant additive for cooking oils that can extend shelf life and help avoid rancidity.

In an upcoming article, we will also sing the praises of the other two herbs mentioned in the popular song - rosemary and thyme.

Sources included:


About the author

Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for baby boomers and others wishing to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year.
Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near San Antonio and Austin to give lectures in health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Uses For Dryer Lint

Just about everyone has dryer lint. I suppose most people just toss it out in the trash. But I don't. I've been saving dryer lint for what seems like ages. I happen to know that there are lots of other folks out there that do the same thing. How do I know this? Because not only have I had LOTS of people actually admit that they save lint, I have seen it with my own eyes.

Walk into most laundry rooms and you will probably see a pile of lint somewhere. On top of the dryer, in a separate trash bag, in an old coffee can and some even have a "special container" just for lint saving. I'm one of those. I have an old trick or treat bucket stuffed to the rim with dryer lint. Somewhere I even have ANOTHER container to dump the bucket into when it gets full.

I was thinking about it one day (yeah I do tend to think of off the wall stuff sometimes) and asked myself just what in the world I was going to do with all that fluffy, multi-colored recyclable material. I don't know why I even started saving it to start with. I just kept thinking " There must be something I can do with this stuff". I also decided to ask around and see what others had to say about the stuff. The number one answer, hands down, was to use it for firestarter.

I started searching around and came up with a few other things that dryer lint can be used for. I'm kind of glad I did too. Somehow it makes me feel better to know that I'm not alone in my "harvesting" of lint!

Here is where I have to put in a serious warning. Dryer Lint is EXTREMELY flammable. Which is, I suppose, one reason that the #1 use for it is for starting fires!

You have to be careful when you burn dryer lint as well. Remember that how it burns depends on what the lint was made out of. Things that are man-made will melt and/or smoke. It might smell like burnt plastic or even put out fumes. Cotton, wool and linen dryer lint will work just fine. If you aren't sure about what's in it you might want to take it outside in an open area and burn some. If it morphs into something ( like little beads etc) don't put it in your fireplace or bbq pit.

Some of the things people use it for call for caution and a bit of common sense. If you decide to use any of these ideas please use your head and remember just how flammable this stuff is ok?

Alrighty then.... We have the warnings out of the way. Now on to some of the interesting things you can use all that harvested dryer lint for......

Here are a couple of ways to use that fluffy stuff as a firestarter. I like a couple of these ideas because not only does it call for using your dryer lint but also some of the other things just laying around the house "just in case".

Try using it instead of lighter fluid the next time you fire up your BBQ pit. Lay little pieces around your briquettes to start your coals.

Lint also makes a good woodstove or fireplace tender. Just ball up some of the soft lint and place it in your starter kindling. They should ignite quickly and get your fire started easily.

Take an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll and stuff it with old newspaper and dryer lint. Close up the ends and you have a great firestarter. Use it in your fireplace or put a couple in your stash for your next camping or hiking trip.

This idea seems to be one of the most popular in the searches I've done. Take a cardboard egg carton and stuff lint into it. Then, using old candles, paraffin, or even used crayons, Pour melted wax over each cup on top of the lint. Use one or two of your "lint eggs" to start your fire.

Make firestarter "kisses". Take a small piece of wax paper and wrap lint and little wax bits in it. Then twist the wax paper ends like a candy wrapper. Put them in your stack of wood and light the end of the waxed paper. This would be a good way to use up some of those little bits of crayon pieces that the kids have laying around too.

Something else I ran across while reading about lint is to use it when making small dolls and teddybears as well as the batting for quilts. Stuff your home-made cushions with it. I saw where someone used it in their old farmhouse for insulation against drafts. Personally I'm not sure I would want to do this though because of the possibility of it catching on fire. I only mention it because it actually would work.

You could leave some out in the yard somewhere for birds to make their nests from as well as using it in your worm beds. Again, I would do a bit more research before trying one of these ideas.

How about using it to make a draft stopper? It would work well on a tile floor, especially if you have a metal door or one of those metal kickstopper on the bottom of your door. You could use a tube sock and stuff it with dryer lint and then sew the end closed to keep the drafts from blowing in under the door.

You know that nesting box material you pay an arm and a leg for at PetSmart for your hamsters and guinea pigs? Try using dryer lint instead. Warm, clean, cuddly and cheap!

How about using it for packing material? It can't be any worse than using those dang peanuts that get everywhere when you open up a package.

Use your artistic abilities and make a masterpiece from old dryer lint. Use it for kid's craft projects. You can shape the lint into almost anything or even use it to replace cotton for things like snowmen or clouds. Just glue the "shapes" onto construction paper. How about using it for things like hair or even fur for your craft projects! You can make some dryer lint clay from it or even make paper out of it. There are several places to get recipes for either of these projects on the internet.

You could make candle wicks from it, as well as rope. Just roll it the same way that the Indians used to make rope from plant fibers. It would take a bit of time but it would work!

You could use it to help with growing your plants. You don't want to put the lint on the soil next to the plant. It could mold. But you could use it in the bottom of your pots. It will keep the soil IN the pot and let the water OUT. If you are going to do this though you might want to be careful with what kind of lint you use. Some fabrics and some laundry detergents have chemicals that you might not want on your plants. But if you use the dryer lint from natural fabrics like cotton and linen and eco- friendly detergents it should work just fine!

Here's another use. Use dryer lint to soak up used motor oil. Before you change the oil in your car, put down a "sheet" of lint under the car and on the sides of the front of the car. If you spill oil, cover it with another layer of lint and firmly step on it so it soaks it up well. Be sure to discard the lint carefully.

So there you have it! Some actual uses for that stuff that seems to magically "grow" without much help.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Montana Preppers Roll Call

The Montana Preppers Network is conducting a Roll Call on our forum.  If you are a prepper please check in.

* Here is a link to the Roll Call:

You have to be registered to check in.  If you aren't registered please join here:

* If you are a HAM Radio Operator check in here:

* If you are an A.N.T.S. member please check in here:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

We have a new members in Montana

Please welcome our new members:


My wife and I have made preparations for the last several years and would like to meet and converse with locals "in the know" regarding bug-out preps and long term Off the grid living. We are located in southwest Montana and will meet with folks within 100 miles of us. Any contacts appreciated.

Welcome our new member by following the link below:


hey im new
im a cook from missoula montana

Welcome our new member by following the link below:

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How To Join The Montana Preppers Network

Come learn survival, preparedness and sustainable living with us!

The Preppers networks are all about volunteering our knowledge and skills with each other. We share ideas, tips and basically network with each other to survive any type of disaster whether natural, man made, or economic. Information that you learn and share with others will help everyone learn how to find "Freedom Through Teaching Others Self Reliance."

Joining the Montana Preppers Network is simple, and most of all, it's Free! To join, just follow these few steps.

1) Register to become a member of the American Preppers Network www.AmericanPreppersNetwork.net The registration page is here: http://americanpreppersnetwork.net/ucp.php?mode=register

2) Once you have your account, go to the index page of the forum and do your first post by introducing yourself in the new members area. http://americanpreppersnetwork.net/index.php

3) Once you know how to do posts, visit the Montana forum and introduce yourself. The Montana forum can be found by scrolling to the lower section of the index page where you will find a list of states, or you can go directly by following this URL: www.MontanaPreppersNetwork.net

4) After you've visited the Montana forum, follow this link to learn how to join the Montana Preppers Network group:

APN's success depends on your contributions. If you would like to donate to our organization by becoming a Gold Member you can join the APN Gold Members club by following this link:
Gold Membership is only $5 per month. For a list of Gold Member benefits go here

Thank you for your support!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Prepper Medical Kit

We all know the story; the quake/flood/hurricane will come and we will be on our own for 96 hours or more. This includes medical care as the nearest hospital will be reduced to gravel and the nearest doctor will be buried alive in wreckage.

We have also read innumerable posts for medical kits we can make to enable us to perform heroic measures and pull through anything medically. Many have seen the catalog ads for "field surgical kits", kits that contain just enough instruments to get us into trouble while enabling us to perform little real "surgery".

Here is my contribution to the survival med kit guide. Kit is for dealing with trauma only. Kit does not duplicate common items found in "standard" kits, such as gauze pads and medical tape. It consists only of items that will enable a prepper to provide care beyond basic first aid for a few days. This kit is based on the idea that deus ex machina, definitive, care will not be available for 96 hours or less. It will enable the careful prepper to:
  • Cleanse and debride wounds. And deal with wound infection.
  • Provide initial care for burns covering significant locations and areas of the body, such as to help prevent death from overwhelming swelling, compartment syndrome, or burn shock. As a general idea: dealing with body surface burns of 35% or less or involving hands/feet/perineum. Note that cutting burn eschar to enable better breathing or caring for compartment syndrome requires [relatively "easy"] surgical intervention, so the surgical unit described below would be required.
  • Fractures of long bones, with basic capability to deal with open fractures. Capability to reduce femoral fracture and reduce the chance of death from pelvic fracture.
  • Animal/human bite care.
  • Very basic care of knife or gun shot wound (GSW) from looters,etc. For "flesh wounds", not for organ hits, and only care to improve breathing efficiency temporarily for lung hits.
  • Provides a very basic eye and ENT capability. This is real specialist country so the kit will only cover initial care for injuries that are very prone to later complications if certain basic interventions are not applied near the time of injury. Examples: bruising of ear, heavy bruising of nose, foreign object in eye.

First, a few book suggestions. There are others out there, but these are listed on several online prepper/disaster sites as good resources. Remember, medicine is very complex. So know your limitations, only prep to the medical intervention level that you can competently deal with. You will always be a prepper trying to keep a companion alive, never an "instant doctor" who can suddenly perform as well as the professionals.
  • (Anatomy) McMinns (excellent illustrations!) or Grants are good choices for seeing where vital structures generally lie. A surgical anatomy might be useful, Skandalis' book can be found often on Amazon for under $5.00.
  • (Technique) Atlas of Emergency Procedures, by Rosen, et al, is expensive new but covers many of the lifesaving procedures preppers may need to perform, in a clear, well organized manner. Field Guide to Urgent and Ambulatory Care Procedures, by James, David M. , covers a broad range of common emergency procedures in good [text] detail, including ENT and dental procedures.
  • (Wound Care) Wounds and Lacerations, Emergency Care and Closure, Trott, Alexander; this is the best manual for learning about general wound care and closing wounds. Used copies are sometimes available from Amazon or used book stores, this one is a keeper if you buy it, you will never give it away!
  • (Online Reference) Survival and Austere Medicine (how do the pros do it under these conditions?), Borden Institute (extensive military medicine reference. Especially note the lessons-learned book for Iraq/Afghanistan), Operational Medicine (Online learning resource for many common procedures).
Dental Unit: See my previous post for a solid, simple dental disaster kit.

Pain Control Unit: See my previous posts on survivalist analgesia/anesthesia: herbs for analgesia/light anesthesia and coverage of pain control drugs not on DEA lists, with notes on local anesthesia.

Diagnostic Unit: stethoscope, bp cuff, thermometer, penlight, 128Hz tuning fork (poor man's xray machine when used with stethescope), prepackaged eye trauma diagnosis kit (fluorescein strips, cobalt blue light, eye magnet with loop), precordial stethoscope (for monitoring vitals during surgery or for prepper "intensive care/resuscitation"). This unit will cost about $150. Without eye unit, about $70.

Airway Unit: "pop-up" CPR mask with oxygen fitting, pocket CPR mask, (1) set of nasopharyngeal airways (safer to use and causes less gagging than oral pharyngeal airways). Definitive airway equipment: (1) Ashermann chest seal (for sucking chest wounds), (1) Combitube (adult size only), (1) needle cricothoracotomy kit (for tension pneumothorax. Costs about $25), (1) chest tube set (optional as the procedure is very invasive, but can save the life of someone with tension pneumothorax or bad hemothorax). This unit, without chest tube, will cost about $120.

Oxygen Unit: Oxygen tank with variable regulator with good, readable gauge (D cylinder is best generally. E cylinder provides for longer usage. B cylinder is good for mobile operations), (2) packages of oxygen tubing , (1) each pediatric and adult simple face mask, (1) humidifier unit, with sterile water. Oxygen can make a great difference in outcome if it is used safely, and properly. First and foremost: no high flow oxygen for over 12 hours for laypeople! This unit will cost about $270.

Burn Unit: (2) burn sheets, 4 oz+ of colloidal silver (for prevention of burn infection), (1-3) tubes of povidine/antibiotic ointment (for infection), (1-3) 4oz burn spray with 30% lidocaine, nonstick dressings in various sizes, (2) nonstick roller bandages (e.g. Coflex AFD), (1-5) Tegaderm(r) type film dressings ("replaces" burned skin for non-extensive burns). For treatment of burn shock, include iv setups with at least (3) 1L bags of normal saline (do not use ringers lactate for burn victims). Burn shock can require staggering amounts of fluid replacement and requires careful monitoring to prevent disaster; know the fluid calculation formulas; read up very well. This kit, without the iv component, will cost about $110.

Wound Unit: Comes as four modules: bleeding control, cleansing, closure, surgical. The first two require common sense and some reading. Closure requires some reading up to intensive study and practice on pieces of meat/gelatin film "skin". Surgical, of course requires intensive study and practice for anything beyond very basic debridement or splinter removal. Cost, without surgical unit, will be about $170 (assuming that you buy the sutures and Zerowets in bulk with others). Cost of surgical unit is about $120 or more for the items not in the closure unit.

[Dressings and bandaging] (2) Bloodstopper(r) type dressings or military field dressings. a few Tegaderm(r) type film dressings, tampons (for GSW), several Kerlix(r) type roller bandages (for bandaging and for packing wounds), good commercial tourniquet (know how to use it! Improperly used, tourniquets can kill). [Hemorrhage control] QuikClot® and/or Hemocel® gauze squares (at least one packet, consider two or more gauze squares); Vistec® type lap pad package (1 or 2), more Kerlix® type gauze rolls in 2'' and 4'' width; (2) sterile surgical towel pack.

[Cleansing] (2) 15ml and (3) 100ml Shurclens(r) ampules (excellent for wound cleansing; good for embedded asphalt too), chlorhexidine surgical/hand scrub (not as safe in wounds but does a very good degerming job), irrigation syringe packages (20 or 60ml size), (2) Zerowet(r) shields for use while irrigating wounds (make a group order: about $55/50 shields), hydrogen peroxide (dilute 1:1 with water for irrigation). Instruments: adson tissue forceps, curved kelly hemostat, splinter/dressing forceps, (several) Medipoint Splinter Out(r) packs (inexpensive and versatile!). Dakin's solution can be used for infected wound care; it is easily made from plain bleach, baking soda, and sterile water.

[Closure] (2-4) strips of butterfly strips, (2-5_ packets of wound closure strips. Sutures: 3-0/4-0 and 5-0 in nylon or Novafil or Prolene (two each size, use for closure of skin); 4-0 and 6-0 in Dexon or Vicryl (two each size, used to close deeper structures, absorbable so does not need removal, do not stock gun show-bought chromic gutit is a poor choice). Webster needle holder (one each short and long). Stapler, 5 shot (one or two). Staple removal kit, sterile (one per stapler stocked). Suture removal kit ( enough to cover the sutures stocked).

Surgical care] scalpels: (2) each: #10, #15, and #11 . Scissors: straight and curved iris scissors, curved metzenbaum or mayo scissors (one each at a minimum). Forceps (“tweezers”): adson tissue forceps, dressing/splinter forceps, curved iris forceps, Russian tissue forceps (two each is best). Hemostats: curved and straight mosquito type (at least two/each), atraumatic (one for sure, an extra, curved, would be useful for many tasks). Retractors: a pair of senn retractors, consider a pair of small rake types. Good set of magnifying glasses/loupes.

Orthopedic Unit: With this kit, we can stabilize a pelvic fracture, hopefully well enough so the victim survives until help is available. Mortality is very high for unstabilized pelvic fractures, hence including a pelvic splint. We can reduce a femoral fracture enough to pull the victim through. We can do pretty durable splinting and can, with extreme care, reduce some dislocations or fractures in order to re-establish blood supply. Unit cost will be around $600, including backboard. SAM pelvic splints run around $70/each.

SAM pelvic sling (one each: standard and small, consider also one extra-large), Kendrick Traction Device (for femoral fractures), backboard with straps, adhesive felt (one roll); SAM soft shell splint (2-4). Several commercial cardboard splints in various sizes. Consider having a roll or two of casting tape and some stockinette for lining improvised casts.

Eye/ENT Unit: This unit will enable basic, vital care for broken or severely bruised noses, bad ear bruising, persistent nosebleeds (not associated with head injury!!!), and care of simple foreign object in eye/minor corneal abrasions. Again, this is specialist territory, if you stock it, learn from the pros and read up on the procedures. Note that this unit contains prescription meds, to be prescribed by an opthamologist. Cost, without prescription meds and Desmarre retractor, will be about $110. Meds will cost around $40-60.

(2) Bayonet forceps ( usable for dental also), (1) nasal pack set , (3) #14 Foley catheters (usable for urinary catheters also), nasal speculum (1 medium), #15 scalpel, disposable ear curette ( a few in child and adult sizes), (1) Hartman ear forceps (“alligators”), spray bottle of nasal decongestant (1-2), strong penlight, packing strips for wounds, 0.25”X5yd (one)/ Desmarres retractor (one. Can improvise with paper clips); , antibiotic eye drops (5ml), diclofenac or ketorlac eye drops (5ml), sterile eye wash, 4oz (2), roll of saran type wrap, (1) fox eye shield, eye dressings-sterile (4-6, usable for many types of wounds)

May you never have to use this "extended first aid" kit.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gun Rights and the Prepper News

Gun rights issues have been in the news lately in Washington and in Wyoming.
In Seattle, a judge recently ruled that the previous “progressive” mayor's ban on gun carry on city facilities “where children may be present” was a violation of state preemption laws. As usual, the “progressives” framed their argument in terms of “protecting the innocent”. As always, their real aim was to gain more control over the peasants, for the peasants own good.

In Wyoming, the Legislature advanced a bill that would allow citizens of Wyoming to carry arms without a state permit. Their permit system requires the supplicant to provide proof of firearms familiarity training/experience and pay a fee. A reasonable system that is much like the process used here in Montana. If signed into law, this measure would exclude the federally banned categories of habitual druggies or alcoholic-types , adjudicated mentally ill, and felons from being able to carry concealed.

As usual, in both of these recent cases the gun “control” faction cites studies that“show” that carrying guns make you more likely to be shot. A current popular one is from University of Pennsylvania that shows that those in the Philadelphia study group, 677 shooting incidents, were 4.5 times as likely to be shot when the subject was carrying a gun.

Since the lions share of those carrying in the study were criminals, then of course they were more likely to be shot as they were actively engaged in “looking for trouble” as part of their occupation. High crime in an area, greater chance of being shot. As always, gang and drug related shootings are not broken out from defensive shootings. As always, the subtle message is that only the State can protect the peasant.

In other happy news, a Russian blog reported on the case of a fed up retiree who tired of thieves stealing his crops. So he constructed three land mines in his garage. The next thief tripped a mine and suffered bodily harm. When Mr. Skopintsev was tried, he was found guilty of making the landmines, not of harming the wealth-redistributor, and given 2.5 year suspended sentence.

If only more of this kind of legal reasoning was used in the USA! Less focus on keeping the peasants unarmed so that criminals' rights to redistribute wealth, indulge their sexual drive upon unwilling partners, and intimidate innocents are not “infringed”.

The Second Amendment codifies our right to keep and bear arms as a natural right, not one granted according to conditions set by the State. Requiring permits to carry arms in our states is counter to our natural right.

But, we do have to act responsibly in the exercise of our natural rights. Plus, allowing universal carry does remove one tool from the boxes of police. Being able to arrest someone for carrying a concealed weapon. With universal carry, police must give the benefit of the doubt to someone found to be carrying and run the person's name through the system to see if they have a history of using their weapon for criminal purposes.

Some argued against the Montana “castle law” which was passed last year by the common contention that allowing citizens to draw down on assailants would result in bloodbaths as people would magically become homicidal if they were not required to retreat from threats. I'm disabled, so my attempts to retreat would be nearly useless. Squishy Liberals and politicians prefer that peasants call for the police to save them. "When seconds count, the police are [usually] only minutes away."

“Progressives” do support the proposition that a woman, lying dead and
bleeding from her rapist's assault is somehow more noble that the same woman explaining to the police how her would be assailant got that bullet hole.

Perhaps some would change their opinion if one of us took the time to present the facts in an effective way? Have you tried to reason with an antigunner? How did it go?

Many studies through the years have shown that criminals' greatest fear is picking an armed victim. In South Africa, it has been found that those who used a firearm increased their chance of survival by 31 times, and 97% of women who were armed successfully resisted a rape attempt (US study). Sure, if you haven't thought it out ahead of crisis time, you could be disarmed by your assailant. But we are preppers, so we will be mentally and physically prepared.

What do you think? Should universal carry be the rule. Or should there be reasonable" restrictions on Second Amendment rights such as training requirements (that give the State a potential confiscation list) and gun free zones?

Links to help you communicate with anti self-defense people:

The arguments made by MT Shooting Sports Association for the MT armed defense bill which became law last year. Good points to keep in mind when MT law enforcement executives militated against we peasants being able to defend ourselves.

Brief article on the real implications of "gun free zones"

Editorial which asks, "is self defense murder?"

Poignant letter from the head of Jews For the Protection Of Firearm Ownership (JPFO) on the implications of allowing erosion of Constitutional principles

Short blog post on how to effectively debate

Good overview of the "gun free society" arguments' fallacies

The infamous gun webcam. Watch it, report when the gun does something evil

Dirty debate tricks used by anti gunners, and how to counter them

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fire and the Prepper

Fire is a disaster that can strike us easily. It is much more likely that we will deal with a fire in our lifetime than that we will have to face TEOTWAWKI. In the Western USA, we also often live in areas subject to wildland fires. So we do have to plan for that also. Some quick notes on fire extinguishers in this piece. A future article will provide very basic coverage of wildland fires and your family's prepping measures.

We all know enough about fire extinguishers to buy a dry chemical extinguisher. Because all the excellent public information programs tell us that they can be used on all types of fires. But how much capacity do we need? How many for our houses? What about those carbon dioxide and halon-type units?

A review. For fire to happen, there must be fuel, heat, oxygen and a self-sustaining chemical reaction between the former three . For our purposes, there are three classes of fires. Type A is fire in paper, wood, couches, and rubber or the like. Extinguishers rated to work on A use this metric to measure effectiveness: each numbered increment represents the extinguishing power of 1.25 gallons of water; so a 5A would equal 6.25 ga of water. Water breaks the heat side of the tetrahedron and the steam from application helps break the oxygen side of the tetrahedron.

Type B is in flammable liquids. The metric for this rating is that each B increment represents one square foot of burning fuel that the layperson can extinguish. So a 40-B would extinguish 40 square feet of burning liquid. Dry chemical B extinguishers attacks the chemical reaction that supports the burning process. Foam type extinguishers cut off the oxygen and some provide attack on the heat also.

Water fog, or class AB or B rated foam, can be used on a class B fire, but for the prepper this will mean having a charged hose line with a good adjustable nozzle if water fog is used.

Type C indicates fire involving energized electrical equipment. This rating on an extinguisher just means that the extinguishing agent does not conduct electricity.

For the prepper, our agent choices are: water, dry chemical, gas type, and portable foam units.

Pressurized water units are venerable performers on A class fires as they are easy for laypersons to use. Just watch out for energized electricity around them or any use on class B fires! And follow manufacturer's directions to enable them to survive Montana Winters.

Dry chemical units work well but have a few downsides: the powdery mess which can get into electronic equipment and other inconvenient places, the cloud of powder can obscure the firefighter's vision, and the agent melts onto hot surfaces, forming a very tenacious film, so cleanup is hard. But these agents work well and are versatile. Better a hard cleanup than a lost home tragedy.

Carbon dioxide, and halon-types, extinguish B and C fires with no mess and work very well for fires in enclosed areas, but do have some downsides: carbon dioxide units are notoriously heavy so can be hard to bring to bear, if a class B fire is in an open area, there is a high probability of reignition as oxygen reaches the fire again, these agents are nearly useless on class A fires, and these agents displace air so the prepper in an enclosed space who is using one of the gas extinguishers could be overcome from lack of oxygen. Plus, these units cost much more than dry chemical-based units, often easily by a factor of three.

One note here, there are small halon-type units available that are about the size of a large spray can. Maybe keep one near your computer or entertainment center for quick knockdown of electrical fire? Cold Fire(r) is one brand that is easily available at Costco and other major retailers for a good price.

Portable foam units work well, but make sure that your unit is rated for AB, not just A. The downside of these units is that they are technique sensitive. These units cost significantly more than dry chemical-based units but less than gas-based extinguishers.

The OSHA “gold standard” is a 3-A 40-BC unit for business use. the small 1-A 10-BC units that fit in the little brackets on the wall work for small spaces or for your car or SUV. If you store large amounts of flammable liquids , you might consider buying one of the large, wheeled units. These units can be surprisingly easy to deploy and feature good ratings of 100-BC and above.

Plan your placement of extinguishers carefully. An extinguisher is useless if you might have to go through the fire to access the extinguisher. For example, have extinguishers available in rooms on both sides of the kitchen so you can access a unit no matter where you are in the house. In a shop, have a unit available at the entrance as well as in high risk areas in the shop.

Whatever capacity you choose, don't forget that you have to be able to physically haul it and deploy it. A few 4-A 80-BC units in your retreat? Can all family or group members handle them effectively? Or would it be better to buy a few more smaller units that are more generally deployable? Place units near high fire risk areas. So near the kitchen, woodstove, fuel storage area, shop, barn, etc. Also consider having a unit available in your sleeping area so you can start an attack, or facilitate you and your family's escape quickly.

Here are some useful links to learn more:

Extinguisher basics and more from OSHA. Clearly written, informative

General overview of extinguishers, with area deployment suggestions

Boating related article that covers agents and basic firefighting "best practices"

Retailer's page on foam units, also carries many other types and firefighting gear

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Working Cats and Preppers

This is Montana. This is dog country for sure, what with the “Montana dog walk” (owner in pickup, dog running happily in front of the truck, up the trail) and hunting with our canine partners. But cats have their role to play for the prepper too. And not as target practice or for dog "training".

I'm talking about working cats here. Ones who pull their weight just like our dogs and horses do. For our purposes, we will call working cats barn cats to indicate cats that do not live mainly in their owners' home but rather spend most of the time outdoors, sheltering in outbuildings.

Sure the family dog can sound the alarm if intruders approach, or physically defend the family from looters. But it can't control vermin as well as felines nor is it as capable of personal survivalism as a feline. Cats can be a real help to the prepper as rodent hunters, alerters (though not as good as dogs), and “therapists”. Plus, they are small enough to function as "bioheaters" on cold Winter nights in our bedrooms.

But note that they cannot automatically “get by on their own”. So if you must move or evacuate, take your felines with you too. Felines that have been abandoned by families that move or evacuate are often scarred by the experience for life, assuming they survive. Don't “put the cat out” when the wildfire sweeps toward your compound, show the same compassion you show your dogs or horses.

Cats have been used for thousands of years for protecting stores of grain from vermin. They work as well today without the need for poisons, traps, or need to dispose of dead vermin that more “modern” methods require. The very scent of a cat in the area deters rodents and affects their reproduction negatively. Cats would also help the prepper who has berries as the cats will chase away the birds. Keep in mind that some cats will not kill birds, but will only chase them as “moving objects”. Providing wood fencing or ramps around the berries will help the cats deter birds from "harvesting" your crop.

Cats will alert to approaching strangers pretty well as their hearing is more acute than humans. Cats will have the edge over the family dog as “therapists” post disaster as felines will usually require less social reassurance by the family unit than the dog will. Cats, as "therapists", provide affection, play solicitation, and some camaraderie, though often less than dogs .They could serve as message couriers between two residences, though they would have to be taught, and given a reason, to travel between points on command.

Cats can pull their weight in the Hope and Change economic depression or TEOTWAWKI. My past barn cats have proven to be tireless workers; often following us into the fields “on patrol”, providing emotional support for humans, and alerting to deer in the flower and garden beds. I had significant feed losses until I got barn cats.

Here is a site that profiles working cats in developed areas, read it for examples of how felines can improve your operation with less “overhead” than dogs.

A few quick notes for the prepper. Cats are resourceful and can forage better than dogs. But your working cats need to be fed regularly and have access to clean water. Starving them won't make them hunt better. It will just weaken them. After all, do you go after that big muley buck when you haven't eaten properly in two weeks? A fed barn cat is a healthy, effective barn cat. Also, fixing your barn cats is vital as cats breed as well as , or better than, rabbits. When getting your new feline workers, please consider supporting a local feral rescue organization by adopting one of their fixed cats.

Cats have entirely different dietary requirements than dogs. Dogs are omnivores, cats are [absolute]carnivores. They require much more protein and fat in their diet than dogs. Unlike humans and dogs, cats require the amino acid taurine in their diet.Cats cannot survive on dog food. Always make sure that the store bought food label states that the diet has been found to be adequate by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The same applies for your dogs' food. No Dollar Store, made-in-China chow.

Other caveats: tuna is a rare treat as too much results in vitamin deficiency, occasional table scraps are ok as long as they are unspiced meat, or small amounts of grain or vegetables. Texture of cat's food matters to felines so try different presentations if one is rejected or try another texture of food. Homemade cat food takes more planning than dog food. A future article will deal with this.

Your barn cats will require shelter. We had modified dressers inside an old hen house for our barn cats that provided shelter and a refuge from coyotes, dogs, and the mountain lion in our valley. In Montana Winter, you need to provide insulated shelter that is large enough to accommodate all your barn cats so they can huddle together for warmth. If possible, the shelter should provide some elevated perches as cats have an instinctive need to survey their territory from a high vantage point. Also, don't forget toys for your barn cats. Racquetballs and sturdy commercial cat toys will help maintain the mental acuity of your cats. But do not give yarn or string toys as these are unsafe for tongues, limbs and intestines.

Veterinary care should be factored in. Worming the cats a few times a year is important as they will probably become infested with roundworms and tapeworms from their prey in Montana. Vaccination, at least for rabies is important. Annual feline 4-way vaccination is good, especially if there are other cats in the area.

Also, cats are not social by nature so it is vital that your barn cats let you handle them. Cats revert to “wild” in a single generation so early human contact is necessary. Or else, when they become injured or ill you will have to put the animal down as you will not be able to take them to a vet. Patience is necessary in approaching feral or semi feral cats. Feeding, coupled with "systematic desensitization", is a time proven way to tame down shy or feral cats.

Some of the links below describe how to tame down feral cats so that you can handle them and engage them as “employees”. I've had good luck taming feral cats ; two even served as good "watchcats", alerting to strangers and defending me when they thought I was in danger. Often, feral or semi-feral cats can be tamed but you can never trust them completely. Ferals do not just scratch you or nip you; they go all out. I once rescued a feral that destroyed my heavy leather glove in under five seconds and inflicted bites requiring medical care within seven seconds. See the movie Sleepwalkers for a sample of what damage domestic cats can do ;-)

Finally, let's put to rest the myth of the always “aloof cat”. I have done feral rescue, worked in animal shelters, and have owned felines for over twenty five years. It has been my experience that cats respond pretty much as they are treated. Sure some will only interact with humans for food and water, just as some humans are recluses. But approaching a feline in a friendly manner usually elicits a friendly response. Just like humans, many felines are wary of strangers at first, but warm up as they get to know the person.

They do show personal loyalty, though less than canines do. Dogs loyalty is to the pack. Cats loyalty is to the individual human or human family, with some cats showing generalized compassion for injured or ill humans . Treat your barn cats with at least with the level of affection that you give your horse. Friendliness and warmth elicit the same from felines as from humans.

Grooming is an excellent way to develop a relationship with a feline as it is a bonding mechanism in their “culture”. Plus, grooming your cats helps avoid serious problems like intestinal blockages from swallowed hair and burs. Pats are not well received as pats are discipline or combat gestures to felines. Running in front of the owner and dropping to the ground is a usually a play solicitation move by the cat.

See links below for more on communicating with your feline workers. Consider felines to be that guy with the pony tail who keeps your firm's computers running, who knows nothing about RBIs or who's going to the Bowl. Consider dogs to be the guys who get together after work for a few beers or a bbq. Now, work with your new feline employees for mutual benefit.


Handling Barn Cats
Working cats have care requirements that differ from working dogs' needs. Also, a site with hints on keeping felines off your property without resorting to callous savagery.

Very good coverage of how to manage barn cats
Article on how to repel cats from your property. Without gunfire or poison
A reminder that felines have a vital role to play in ecosystems. Australian attempts to save the birdies on McQuarrie Island by booting the cats resulted in rabbits damaging the biome.

Cat Behavior
Links for the newcomer to cat ownership. As well as good information for current owners.

Felipedia.org section on feline behavior. Good, basic coverage of feline behaviors and common problems, with solutions. The anthromorphic section is, of course, a joke. Felipedia is a good resource for all aspects of domestic felines, but double check as this is a wiki.
Sacramento SPCA guide to feline behavioral issues. Very well written. For new barn cats, pay particular attention to the roaming cat article as cats must be initially confined for a time until they imprint a locale as home. This is normally not a significant issue with dogs.
Simple suggestions for play therapy to help with cat behavioral problems.
Good comparison of feral vs tame cat behaviors.

Disaster Preparedness and Cats
Cats disaster time needs. For example, a pillowcase with a rope is a great way to evacuate a frightened cat. For both your dogs and cats, remember to have current photos and ID on the animal.

Disaster kit for your cats.
Vital information on evacuating with your cat(s). Felines are much more likely to run and hide in a disaster than canines. How to successfully evacuate cats.
Disaster lists for our animals. This links to the cat page. Site also covers horses and dogs. This organization also trains animal disaster workers.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How to Make Homemade Dog Food

Today's post is from our newest Prepper author about feeding our dog companions properly. More articles to follow from this writer on pet care. Our canine, and feline, companions are key partners in our prepping efforts. Let's give them the best.

How to Make Homemade Dog Food

By D. M. Du Pont

Back in the days before Iams or Purina, what did our grandparents feed their dogs? Table scraps mostly or their own recipes. There weren’t the hundreds of dog food varieties as there are now. After World War II, Gaines and Kennel Ration began with canned horse meat. Mostly as a way of getting rid of surplus horses and using up cans made for the war effort. It wasn’t until the 60’s and 70’s when dog food really come into its own.

The ironic trend is now going back to natural dog food. After the poisoned grain episode from China and the increasing cost of dog food, plus my last dog, Adam I adopted came with multiple bags of very expensive sensitive stomach dog food (he upchucked anyway). I decided I’d try my friend’s homemade dog food recipe she used.

With a degree in Animal Science, I decided to put my education to a practical use. So after several versions of the following recipe, here is the most balanced one. My dogs love it. My pup Adam went from 56 to 104 pounds and his liver functions have improved 100 points. This recipe is simple and versatile and far less expensive than canned food.

I call it the “Third Recipe”, because all the portions are in roughly thirds; Rice, Vegetables and Meat. Plus you should make more of everything every three days. Once you get into the routine, it is very easy and you’ll know what amounts you are regularly using.

Important point to remember is dogs are omnivores, not carnivores, which mean they eat all sorts of stuff, not just meat. So just feeding meat is a no no. Too much protein in their diet can make dogs hyper and overly aggressive. Too much protein isn’t good for their kidneys and they don’t get certain needed trace elements. People act like feeding dogs is an “exact” science now. However, it never was before and dogs did fine. So you really can’t make a mistake it you stick with the basics of this formula.

The “Third Recipe” for Dogs

  • White rice boiled with a chicken bullion cube – carbohydrates for energy, easy digestion and bullion cube for favor. You can substitute potatoes occasionally.

  • Vegetables - frozen or canned or fresh - green beans or peas/carrots or mixed vegetables – I prefer frozen over canned – and green beans are best. Easily digested and have fiber.

  • Meat – chicken, turkey, tuna or beef or wild game or eggs

  • Two half meals – morning and evening- and the cup portions depend on the size of your dog(s). All ingredients are roughly in thirds, but if you have an active dog, use more rice.


The most inexpensive way is to buy 25 to 50 pounds of rice is from Costco or similar retail outlet. Those little bags in the grocery store are quite pricey. I store rice in “Vittle Vaults” porthole screw top lid hard plastic dog food containers. Buy these storage units on Amazon.com, least expensive and free shipping and you use these for all sorts of bulk food storage.

You’ll need to make more rice every third day as it gets watery and becomes a great bacteria medium. You can use a rice cooker, which I don’t like to clean. Or make it from scratch in a stock pot. White rice recipe is usually 2 cups of water for every cup of rice.

If you are not used making rice, it takes a little effort at first. So for two big German shepherds, I make four –five cups of rice at a time - eight plus cups of water, bring to a boil with two boullion cubes and then add 4 cups of rice. I stir, then turn the water on to a slower boil and stir periodically to make sure the rice doesn’t stick. Making the rice is now so routine now that I get up during commercial breaks, stir and visually know once the rice is big and puffy to cover and take off the burner. I have an designated big stock pot and I know from experience to fill up to a certain point and add so many cups of rice and two bullion cubes. Brown rice is harder to digest, tastes like cardboard and the point of the white rice is carbs for energy and easy digestion.


Green beans are the best all around vegetable. Green beans are fibrous, full of nutrients and pulls particles through the digestive tract. I occasionally mix a bag of peas and carrots with a bag of green beans. Peas and carrots are a bit more sugary and not as much fiber. So as a veggie staple, don’t use all the time. Mixed vegetables, like corn and lima beans, aren’t broken down in the digestive tract and a waste of money. Shop around for the lowest frozen vegetables or seal-a-meal or can your own. Broccoli is fine if you are willing to perish from dog gas attacks.


You can use a variety of meats in this food. It depends what your dog will tolerate. Be careful not to rotate types of meat until you have a feel for what you dog can tolerate. I always cook the meat; in today’s world there is too much contamination to take a chance on causing a hemorrhagic intestinal bug. Cut or pull the meat into smaller portions for better digestion.


Eggs are a very cheap and inexpensive protein. I hard boil the eggs and add one or two to the meal. You can fry or scramble if you want to spoil your pooches. Eggs and rice is what makes up that expensive ID (intestinal diet) dog food from the veterinarian.

Chicken - is great, it is easy to digest and inexpensive. I broil up a $5 pallet of 10 chicken thighs from Wal-Mart. Chicken thighs have lots of meat and only one bone to remove and I add one chicken thigh per meal serving for my German shepherds. When traveling I bring cheaper canned chicken breast to open and add. You can use gizzard and hearts as well. Livers are a bit fatty, but okay as a baked treat once in a while

Turkey is inexpensive. You can cook a turkey up when they are on sale, then package the meat into portions, freeze and take out as needed.

Tuna – I give this for only two meals a week. It is inexpensive if you buy the store brand and the oil/water is good for their coats. Too much processed ocean fish has mercury. So limit the amount. I don’t like fish oil capsules. Oil from what fish? Goldfish? Contains too much concentrated mercury. Natural fish is best.

Beef – Is harder for dogs to digest. When I make a stew or a soup, I crock pot up beef stew meat until tender and broken down. I make extra to add to the dog’s meal with a little juice. So if you insist on feeding beef, crock pot for tenderizing and easier digestion. Hamburger is fine in limited amounts and a little grease is good for their coats, but kind of pricey to feed regularly unless you have a little foo foo dog.

Wild Game– Feeding your dog, venison or other game is okay. Just make sure it is thoroughly cooked. You don’t want your pet to get sick from some weird intestinal bacteria. Some wild game is very rich and less is more with pets. Just make sure your pet can tolerate this meat to avoid diarrhea and other intestinal episodes.


You can supplement your dog’s nutrition with a daily over the pet counter vitamin. A money saving tip is to buy the senior dog vitamins. They contain twice as much vitamin per pill. So, buy the senior dog vitamins, break them in half and you get two vitamins for the price of one.


As in all things in life, balance is the key. Dogs don’t mind eating the same thing daily. Try not to give your dog gravy or lots of fatty food, as this can cause pancreatitis and could kill your pet. You’d be surprised during the holidays how many dogs come into the vet with pancreatitis from eating gravy and fatty foods.

You can make a giant batch of this food, put it into portions and freeze. I don’t blend this food in a blender, but just hand mix the ingredients or with a spoon in their bowl. Blending breaks down the natural structures and it loses some of it’s value. Eating a paste like substance can stick on the dog’s teeth and cause problems. I have mixed this food and to put into portions to freeze to take on a trip for limited use.

Dry Dog Food

I do have some dry crunchy kibble dog food out. I prefer Purina, mostly because they are an all American ingredient dog food and never had recalls from overseas tainting like Iams or other brands. Purina One chicken and rice is a good all around dry dog food. Old Roy is a suspect dog food made in China. Science Diet is mostly corn based and not as digestible. Friend with kennels call Science Diet the poop making food, since it all gets eliminated. Eukanuba is a very fatty dog food and should only be fed to active bird dogs or dog with similar energy burn levels.

Dog Treats

Dog biscuits are fine. I just give the Milk bone or Kirkland brand. Remember each treat has between 2-5 grams of fat. That is what is holding the biscuit together. Avoid those dyed fake “meaty” treats. They are full of dye and salt and fat. Some dogs like carrots or other raw veggies. Carrots have fiber but are also very sugary.

For three days with two meals a day, it costs me about 75 cents a day per dog on average. This is for the rice, green beans and chicken, even less with eggs or more with beef. Once you get into the routine, it is a very healthy and economical solution and better for your pet’s health.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cyber Security and Stalking

We use our computers to network and to gather information on prepping, etc. We need to be careful here too about security. Here are some links dealing with maintaining a safe computing environment. And a few links for dealing with cyber stalkers. Learn, enjoy. Defend your cyber retreat!

Basic Information
This site has a great deal of basic information on cyberstalking and bullying. Simply written and has solid advice.Mostly directed toward kids and their parents. This link is to a page where further help can be requested. Note that the request will result in a volunteer contacting the questioner to help brainstorm response to the harassment. http://www.wiredsafety.org/cyberstalking_harassment/

One of the best sites for learning about safe computing practices. Little on what to do if things go bad. Consider it a site for working healthy, not a site on treating “disease”. http://www.besafeonline.org/English/safer_use_of_services_on_the_internet.htm

CyberAngels, a branch of the venerable Guardian Angels organization has a site that deals with various online threats. Also has a downloadable PDF manual that is geared toward parents but contains solid information everyone should know about online security.

A good site for home users, teachers, and business computer security people. Has a link to online security checks, I have utilized several of these sites over the years. http://www.staysafeonline.org/

Somewhat dated, c. 1998, general information page on cyberstalking. But does sketch out how to get law enforcement aid. http://www.cyberguards.com/CyberStalking.html

From the FTC. Many useful documents here that can be viewed and dowloaded: choose VIEW in the web browser, then click the SAVE icon in the PDF window. http://bulkorder.ftc.gov/index.php?showcat=Identity+Theft%2C+Privacy%2C+and+Security%3A+Privacy+and+Security

Dealing With Cyberstalking
National Center for Victims of Crime stalking page. Has a downloadable stalking incident log, legislative updates, plus the phone number to call for victims of crime (1-800-FYI-CALL, M-F 8:30 AM - 8:30 PM EST, or e-mail gethelp@ncvc.org) Good, downloadable brochures. http://www.victimbar.org/src/main.aspx?dbID=DB_Virginia3189

Very good site that covers identity theft in great detail. http://www.identitytheft.com/

2003 technical article from India on cyberstalking. Very good outlining of how it happens and covers the various associated threats, ID theft, etc. well. It is somewhat technical but is worth a read to “look under the hood” of the stalking process. http://www.erces.com/journal/articles/archives/volume2/v03/v02.htm

All of the current state statutes related to cyberstalking. Montana's laws are good enough. http://www.ncsl.org/IssuesResearch/TelecommunicationsInformationTechnology/CyberstalkingLaws/tabid/13495/Default.aspx

Friday, January 22, 2010

Disaster Preparedness: Working Together

Three links for you today on how to plan for resilience outside your home or car. The more stable our workplaces, schools, and communities, the more secure we and ours are. These three links will help point you toward possible Winter projects aimed at improving the strength of the social environment you find yourself in. All links are, of course, highlighted from body text below.

The first link is to a good article from that fount of survivalist knowledge, James W Rawles SurvivalBlog.com. Not only is the site one of the best sources for solid information on best practices survival methodologies, it also has contests for writers on prepper subjects with nice prizes. This article covers how to prepare in the workplace and the school. Both places where our vast home stores will be unavailable come a disaster. There is good information for employers and employees both on how to make the workplace an oasis of safety and sustenance in disaster situations. The advice for school age kids is good, albeit focused on high school aged kids.

The second link is to a very good Italian site that deals with the "big picture" conceptual approaches to disaster mitigation and response. Not much in the way of lists for food storage and the like, a great deal in the way of rethinking our responses to disasters and their prevention. This site is worth a look every few months to get the mind moving in new directions in re: disaster preparedness. His latest post on the Haiti quake is thought provoking.

Third link is worth a look every month or so. It is a networking site for Montana bound, or considering moving to Big Sky, preppers. This site can allow us to encourage the "right people" to immigrate here to our great state. It is also another way to network.

We need more prepper types, and people of intelligence and good values, moving here and less of the NIMBY "aristocrats". Or big city families bringing the same amorality, personal isolation, and nanny state ideologies which spurred them to leave their dying rat warren cities for Montana's beauty and healthy culture in the first place.

I hate to sound like a Balkan villager here, but we do need to do our part to keep Montana's zeitgeist healthy. We need to diplomatically let the "aristocrats" know that they are ultimately humans, just like us, who need to cooperate with their new community, not just carry on as if they are boyars of Vlad Tepes' time. They need to realize that having been a yuppie in a cosmopolitan city, living the metaphorical life of a medieval noble, matters little in [their term] "flyover country" where the traditions are of neighborliness, self sufficiency, and faith.

We must help them realize that humans come in many forms, not just "aristocrats", darling "noble savages", and bubbas/peasants. Taking people as we find them is part of the Montana culture. If a person is a fool, we treat them one way. If a person can effectively engage with us in Life's quest, then we treat them another way.

We need to gently help the big city refugee family realize that their impatience with our pace of life and schools that do not tolerate aping of "keepin' it real" rejection of academics by their kids is not within our norms, our culture, the culture that they need to accept to integrate into our state.

Sure, we Montanans need to be flexible. But we must be true to our ideals. Trying to recreate California or Kosovo here is insane, but many of the immigrants try. We must reach out to these families and inform them through good example and caring instruction. Else, they will add to the problem come the collapse or other disaster.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Montana Weather Alert



154 PM MST WED JAN 20 2010









Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Montana Weather Could Be Bad

The APN-National Disaster Reporting Service would like to thank MTJoe for this info

I just got an email from a pal at the National Weather Service, here is what she said;

"By now, your ears are probably buzzing about the talk of the winter storm coming in this Friday through Sunday. The good news, there is no arctic air associated with this storm that will be coming from the southwest (not Canada!). The bad news is that warmer temperatures mean that the atmosphere can hold more precipitation, and the snow that does fall tends to be heavy, wet snow.

Right now, it looks like we'll see some snow starting Friday afternoon continuing through Sunday. The winds will pick up from the northwest at around 15 to 30 mph by Saturday evening and continue into Sunday. Blowing and drifting snow will be a problem on area roads. Snowfall amounts of 6 to 12 inches are possible with this storm."

Be ready for it!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Ba le Partie Politique

A quick 2010 election note today. Again, part of prepping is doing our part as citizens to ensure a good political landscape for our kids and grandchildren. With that in mind, I write to you today about a vital,upcoming, election that I have heard about. The election is next Tuesday, the 19th, in Massachusetts. It is of grave importance for we Montanans also.

The grave election will be the special election to fill the US Senate seat of Ted "Swimmer" Kennedy. The election pits a complacent Party apparatchik, Comrade [Attorney General] Martha Coakley, against State Senator Scott Brown. Coakley cannot be bothered to actually meet with voters. Instead, she works tirelessly with Party officials, and their pack of special interest dogs, to spin a stream of lies against her opponent. I lived under a Party regime for years. This is what the party substitutes for actual work on solutions, ad hominem attacks on those who challenge the right of the Party's "philosopher kings" to rule we peasants as they please.

Comrade Coakley's campaign has been characterized by violence against opponents that is reminiscent of faschistii violence of the 20s. Dear Leader is even campaigning for her. No doubt here, the Party wants to maintain their stranglehold on the Legislative Branch. If Brown were to be elected, the Peoples' Party would lose their "majority" in the Senate and there is a chance that the Senate might become a Senate again, rather than a rubber stamp for Beloved Leader's drive to destroy our nation in the name of "progressive ideals".

Brown, and his supporters, realize how vital this election is. So they are soliciting help, and donations, from anywhere in the USA (before it becomes the USSA). I am going to see about volunteering to call voters. Brown has stated that one of his first acts in office, if elected, would be to oppose the "health care reform bill" and work for genuine health care reforms. He has been a National Guard member for over twenty years and advocates policies which are based on common sense, not Party agitprop.

Our US Senators have done much good for the citizens of Montana. But they now serve only the Party; supporting "hate crimes" legislation that effectively says that military members or White folks cannot have "hate crimes" committed against them. How reminiscent of South Africa, post-1994.

Plus both Baucus and Tester support the grotesque, socialist, "health care reform bill" that would force all Americans to buy a product or be fined, cut the quality of health care generally, set Party hacks up as health care "gatekeepers", and give lavish exemptions and benefits to Party minions such as unions, "kommunity o'ganizahs", and porkulus for states which joined the Dark Side to vote for this odious "legislation".

We need another real American in the US Senate, not another sycophant. Please consider supporting damage control for our sinking nation by aiding Brown in defeating the Dark Lord's, Sauron/Obama, candidate for the new Peoples' Senate.

Welcome to the Second American Revolution.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Grains: Omission

Yesterday's article on grains did not cover one important bit of information on quinoa. Quinoa is nearly "birdproof" when grown as grain because the grain is coated with a bitter saponin. So it is necessary to rinse the grain thoroughly before cooking. Note that even when the grain is rinsed enough to remove the coating, it still tends to give off a slightly "bitter smell" in the first few minutes of cooking, though this does not impact the final wonderful texture and taste of the finished product.

Wikipedia recommends soaking in water for a few hours, draining, resoaking and draining, then cooking; or rinsing in a strainer or chesecloth with running water. All the quinoa I have bought in a store has only required some rinsing under running water, warm is best, for about 1 minute.

This includes bagged quinoa from Costco which was labeled as being prewashed. The Costco quinoa had a bitter odor while cooking and tasted mildly bitter when cooked. The Costco quinoa required about 20 seconds of rinsing to render the finished product palatable. So always rinse before cooking as modern business practice is generally to do the minimum required to make an ad claim.

Obviously quinoa that you grow yourself for the grain will require more rinsing than store bought grain.

The leaves of both quinoa and amaranth contain small amounts of oxalic acid, as does spinach. So do not eat a steady diet of these greens as it does interfere somewhat with the absorption of calcium by the body.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Grains and Prepping

When squirreling away our food supplies, it is easy to make two major errors. The first is storing
"survival foods" which we would not normally eat. The end results of this error are: upset GI tract when you must rely on the stored foods, subtly lowered morale as you must suddenly subsist on food you don't like, and (probably) finding that these foods are past expiration dates because you subconsciously didn't want to buy them in the first place.

The second error is not including variety in your stored foods. This article deals with a classic example of this, the sole reliance on storing rice and wheat for the grain component. Both are useful grains and certainly belong in our food store programs. But both can quickly lower group morale as one or the other is served, day after day. Variety in stored foods will help keep the diet balanced nutritionally and palatable throughout the time of need.

This article is a brief overview of a few alternatives to wheat and rice for food stores. Quinoa is one of the few grains which is a complete protein source and has a unique taste and texture which I find wins people's taste vote time and time again. Buckwheat is a "psuedograin" which can provide both grain and greens for cooking. But see the cautions below re: buckwheat greens. Amaranth is an ancient grain which is very high in, complete, protein and very useful and versatile, easily substituting for cous cous or farina in recipes. Spelt is a great alternative to wheat for cooking as it has a yummy taste and cooks quicker than wheat. Millet is a tasty grain which is about as nutritious as brown rice, though with more minerals.

Quinoa and amaranth are ancient grains from South America and Mexico respectively that not only are delicious grains,they also produce good salad greens as well. They are members of the same family as beets and spinach so they are not technically grains.They are higher in protein than wheat and, unlike most grains, are composed of complete protein so there is no need to serve with beans or nuts to get a decent amount of protein per serving. Quinoa cooks up to over
three times its dry volume, so it is a good value for its dry volume.

Quinoa and amaranth can be grown in a rich soil. They are related to pigweed so control of this weed, and general weeds, in your quinoa or amaranth patch is important. Plants grow to about 4-6 feet in height in the garden and are relatively pest and disease resistant. Expect to pay around $3.00/pound for quinoa and around $2.70/pound for amaranth. Several heirloom seed companies sell seeds for planting.

is another "pseudograin" that is actually related to rhubarb. When cooked, it has a coarse texture and a nutty taste. It is ideal for complementing the protein in beans and seeds as well as being "soul food" for Slavs when served as a kasha ;-) The grain itself is rich in minerals, B vitamins, and iron. In addition, buckwheat sprouts and greens are edible and very nutritious. To me, buckwheat greens taste like a cross between spinach and cabbage.

But,buckwheat sprouts and greens can only safely be eaten about once a week as the plant contains a toxin called fagopyrin which, when enough has built up in the body at a time, causes moderate to severe skin reactions when the consumer is exposed to sunlight. The seeds contain only trace amounts of the toxin, so pose no threat. The toxin also affects livestock so keep your stock out of your buckwheat patch/field to avoid serious skin problems. Consume buckwheat sprouts/greens sparingly or else you will find out how those vampires in countless movies feel when they are exposed to sunlight by the film's protagonist!

Buckwheat is very easy to grow. It grows well in poor soil, indeed, planting buckwheat as a green manure is one of the best ways to regenerate poor soils. It grows about 3-4 feet tall here in Western Montana, with tiny white flowers that are very attractive to bees. It matures within about 9 weeks when grown for grain. When grown as a green manure, turn it under before it flowers. When used for sprouts, the sprouts form quickly; in about 1-2 days.

Spelt is an excellent alternative to wheat for your stores. It can be tolerated fairly well by those with wheat allergies or candidia overgrowth. It stores nearly as well as hard wheat and cooks up with little or no need for presoaking. Its taste is unlike wheat so it makes for a good change in diet taste if your survival group/family needs a little break from wheat.

Millet is an African grain, best known in the USSA as birdseed and treat for chickens and guinea fowl. It cooks up well, expanding to about twice its dry volume and with a cooking time similar to white rice. It has a nutty taste and is very attractive with its pale, yellow color. Cost is a bit more than for brown rice.

Sources for these grains in Western Montana: Good Foods (Missoula; all the above), Dancing Rainbow Natural Grocery (Butte, all the above in small packages, though bulk is available), Montana Harvest Natural Foods (Bozeman, all the above from well-stored supplies), Community Food Co-op (Bozeman, most of the above), Real Foods (Helena, all the above, but not stored as well bulk as elsewhere), 2Jays (Great Falls, all but amaranth). Wheat Montana stores, statewide, can supply spelt in #50 bags or #45 pail (nitrogen packed). I assume there are good sources for these grains in Billings, but I don't know as I have not been to Billings.

New grains to taste. New recipes to try. Enjoy. Here is a millet recipe to get you started. Recipe is a South African one that I modified to use millet.

Gheel Rhys
1c. millet
2.25c. water
bouillon powder, chicken is best
1-2 tsp. curry powder
0.5 tsp. ground cardamon

Cook up the millet with the bouillon powder. Takes about 30 minutes to cook. Add the seasonings during the last ten minutes and correct to taste; the cardamon adds a "sweet, aromatic heat". Depending on the curry powder, it adds a full, complex warmth or a blazing blast of flavour. Add the raisins a few minutes before serving. Add some ground flax seed if desired. Enjoy.
Montana Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Montana Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.