Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Been a while...

Well it has been a while since I posted anything to the blog and I thought I would just put out a update.
Recently I have been very busy around the house and with my personal life.  For starters I have been working in the backyard which is a disaster IMO.  The previous owners of the house installed privacy fencing in oddball places around the yard, that thanks to google earth, have revealed they had at one time a above ground pool.  My guess is they wanted privacy for the pool.  Sadly the pool went away and then so did the fencing right when we bought the house due to a storm.  I knocked down every panel of fencing and left holes, some of which are filled with concrete and some that were not (no wonder they fell down) that I have to dig up and fill in.  I am only one man and I have also started getting myself ready for either school of possible employment with a local police department.  As such I have only done about a quarter of the holes.  I will mention that it is a PAIN to mow thanks to these little potholes, but I am working on it.  Also there are a number of oddly places flower beds that I have to dig up as they make the yard look odd.  I'm sure at one time they made it look nice, but now they look like they just randomly put them all over the yard.  So I am in the process of digging up refilling and laying down grass seed in these problem areas for two reasons, one: it makes my yard look better, and two: makes it easier to mow.  I did also dig up one of the flower beds next to the house and put down new topsoil and conditioners then I put down grass seed in one area to make the bed a rectangle rather than a "L" shaped bed.  In that bed I put down some herbs to begin on my production side of my preps.  I put down basil, chives, cilantro, dill, and parsley to start and as of this post going out they have all sprouted and begun to grow nicely.

Also above I have mentioned that I have started to get my things in order for school.  I have not attended a civilian course in like 11 or 12 years, so I need to get all my things together for that.  And a few days ago I received in the mail a letter from one of the local police departments that I am scheduled for a oral examination board next week.  Looks like I will need a suit, so my wife tells me.

So as you can see I have been kinda busy, but I will continue to update as often as possible.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Things like this sadden me

Now look I know that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and opinions, but sometimes you just got to respond. This particular video was something that was posted on my Facebook where pretty much all of my friends are people that are either in the military or were in the military. Now keep in mind this video looks like it was uploaded the day before Independence Day so I am sure there is some symbolism there. The video is a rant on why she DOES NOT support the troops and gives you her reasons behind that. I understand that a lot of people don't like the military because we are an arm of the government and there have been some people who did things to really tarnish the image of every soldier, sailor, airmen, and marine. But they tend to get caught and tend to be punished for their actions.

In her video she says those who are in the military fall into one of three categories:

1. They are stupid.

2. They are evil.

3. They are morally compromised.

And that’s it people, because we swore to defend our country we MUST be one of those things, must be, she said we were. Now again she is entitled to her opinions, but let’s look at the facts and see if we can fish up a little truth. In her video she talks about how we have killed a million people in Iraq. It’s possible, it may have happened but nobody can agree on what the real number is 500,000 or 1,000,000 or maybe 250,000 or hell 20. I have been to Iraq and I know that people get shot, which happens. So I know that people get shot. Now I do know that before we even set foot on the ground there Saddam invited anyone with a grudge against America to come on over and join the fight against the evil, stupid and morally compromised Americans, and they came by the busload, and they continued for years to just keep coming and the urgings of other morally compromised men using the veil of religion to get them to come and pull the trigger.

Now I have been in the military for a while and in that time I have come to know some of the best people I will ever know.  Men and women that inspire with actions no sane person would do, such as getting up before anyone and running 5 miles and punishing themselves to be better. Then they go to work and lead others and manage equipment worth millions of dollars.  They willingly leave their families and friends and go where they are told.  They endure harsh conditions and long hours for little pay considering what they do and where they do it.  They are willing to sacrifice themselves and of themselves to save their friends or even people they have not met.  Guess they must be dumb…

Oh well, it is what it is I suppose.  Anyway luckily even though I cannot agree with her point of view seems very few do.  On her YouTube channel see has 400 comments and most are of the same opinion as me.  Good to know that even if people don’t like the government or their policies, they don’t hate the troops who volunteer to defend our nation. 

Just remember right now, at this very moment there is a soldier, sailor, marine, or airmen who is away from their family and they miss them. And right now they are defending our freedoms.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

When will it end...

For those of you out there that are paying attention the August 2nd debt deadline talks are in full swing. So far I have seen dozens of articles pitching for both sides on what should be done, but no agreement in sight. Folks, I tell ya its going to get worse from here, IMO. As a member of the Army it was a little scary when it came down that we might not be paid with many wondering what they were going to do. For us we were going to be OK my wife works and her pay came from a pre-paid contract on post, so her check was coming. We also had 3 months worth of savings as well. But now the band aid is starting to fall off and so we went back to the hospital only to have a hundred doctors whom all disagree on what should be done, all the while our wound festers.

On one side we have people saying that we should increase the debt ceiling, or increase taxes, or cut spending to this or that... Well OK it might work, but it might not. On the other side we have people saying well OK lets cut spending but we should maybe keep still unnecessary programs or continue to send our money elsewhere. Now I'm not an expert and I don't have all the facts, due to a glazing over effect in the eyes when watching C-Span or watching the news... But I try to keep myself somewhat informed, somewhat.

I think changes do need to be made, but we will probably not see them, I read on a printout on a bulletin board once, I think someone put it up there to be funny, but I can't forget one of the things it said, it said " the best way to double your money is to fold in half and put it back in your pocket" Sound advice...

That can be applied here as well, in that we can stop sending aid to countries with dubious control of their own countries...not going to say any names.....*Pakisurrruum* yeah OK well you get it. Now I did see that they are planning to withhold $800 million in foreign aid, but I'm sure there are other places this can be applied....maybe some middle eastern countries that have prolly drained a fair share and given nothing in return..nada...
So what else? Simple, cut spending to large over inflated programs...maybe curtail that oddball health care bill that's gonna cost us 10 trillion dollars over 10 years (but will most likely cost more) and work on improving the current system that in place...I'm not saying is perfect...but it gonna be better that starting from scratch. Next lets look at a even cut in spending to the military...oh it pains me, but there is a lot of wasted money in the military...the constant uniform changes, the search for a better bullet catapult...the newest gadget that will detect the speed and direction of a sparrow but is unable to reliably detect a incoming mortar..(it exists... oh does it), lets not forget the massive digital upgrading, for those of you that are in and have had CAC card problems you feel me. And that is just the Army. I can imagine there are some super projects that can be... forgotten? maybe just put on hold. Now things that can actually keep the great country in the lead, something that can ensure we are safe because seriously that what the military really is, a deterrent. I think maybe we should keep working on the F-22/F-35 system to keep ahead of the new Chinese and Russian and... European Air systems. It works, its expensive but it works, and its ready. but no they want to scrap it in favor of maybe another system that is only on paper. So there is a good bit of spending that can be pulled back.
I would say lets create more jobs, but really we should setup a few new industries for that to be really effective. Sometimes as it happens and I am noticing many Americans are over-qualified for a job, so an employer won't hire them for fear of that person finding a new job and leaving or said employee will want more money just because he has a shiny degree. If its really that bad them maybe people should just take the jobs they can find. what I mean by that is if McDonald's will hire a 16 year old with no experience then they will probably hire you with that fancy degree. its long hours, its hard and at times annoying work, but its WORK. There are all sorts of jobs that are out there, but nobody WANTS to do them, because they think just that "I have a degree, I should have better". That is not always the case.
And lastly in this rant lets look at out elected leaders... oh yeah they think I forgot them, no not me...not the regular guy. Lets curtail some of their benefits, maybe shave off some of their pay. We all know that know Congressman, Senator...whatever, is hurting. For the little actual work that they do they get paid a ludicrous salary and because it was so hard being them, they get easy retirement. Now look it won't fix our problems but it will put them in the same camp as the rest of us...the regular guys who work 40 or 50 or more hours a week and complain about our jobs, because we do work. Maybe they would start to see it from where we are, maybe.

Small Victories

Well today my wife gave me the go ahead to start putting money aside towards the purchase of 2 things:  A generator and small solar power system.  After I returned home from Afghanistan we had a 6 hour power outage.  So yes in the middle of February in the freezing cold my house had no power. Afterwards my wife said we should but a generator to run some things around the house and more importantly a small heater.  While that is no longer a problem as the house we have recently purchased has a fireplace (for which we had started to stockpile wood) we still have some thing that she just CAN'T live without, such as her hair dryer and other small appliances.  The other day we had a small power outage, and so she brought it up again and I also edged in a small solar system to help run the lights and charge our electronics.  To that end we have set up a small allotment to automatically put $75 every 2 weeks in a savings account to accomplish that goal.  This gives me time to shop around and do my research on what would be the best fit for my house. 

I can through some local companies put a lot down on a household back up generator, by which they would come and install it and set it up for us so that it will kick in as soon as the power shuts off.  The downside is its cost and its advertisement during a crisis.  The upside is it massive convenience and of course reliability through warranty.  I on the other hand am considering going the other route, the one of space and mobility.  I would still have to pay a fair amount for a good generator and that is fine by me.  The generator would have to have a good wattage and be small enough to transport in my truck if my family and I have to leave the area.  Also such a generator would need a fuel source that is just as mobile and I can accomplish that by acquiring some mil-spec fuel cans.

When it comes to the solar power system, I will need to do more research and improve my skills when it comes to electricity so that I can be ready to build what many on YouTube and other sites call a power box or portable power unit.  That would be a excellent way have my cake and eat it too so to speak.  Such a system would be easily mobile and simple to operate all the devices that we REALLY need.

Well that's my little hooray for today.  Just goes to show you that out of some small inconveniences in life you can set yourself up to put you and your family in a better overall position to be ready for whatever life throws at you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

1st Time Blogging!! :)

Hello Internet,

This is as you already know my first time blogging so here it goes.  I have seen a lot of people out there setting up there own blogs and websites, I had dabbled back in the day on Geocities with a website but it never really went anywhere but of course Geocities did...

Oh well, anyway a little about myself.  I am a Army veteran who is just getting out of the military thanks to the massive downsizing...  Like a lot of people they simply decided to not let us re-enlist, so there will be a lot of people getting out in the next 2 years.  I spent just over 11 years in and have had 2 MOS (JOB) the 1st was 19D Cavalry Scout, and the other was 89B Ammunition Specialist.  I have deployed to Bosnia, Iraq (2 times), Egypt, and Afghanistan (2 times).  I am stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky and will be ETS (End Term of Service) and moving to Clarksville, TN with my wife and 2 children.  I am originally from Texas, as is my wife. 

OK now what my Blog is primarily going to be about is preparing for the future as best you can and mostly from a Suburban setting.  No I don't own 25 acres of land with a log cabin (It would be nice), I own my nice little suburban home with a rather large backyard.  I have many plans for the backyard as does my wife which include setting up a composting bin and raised gardening beds so that we can begin to grow some of the things that we like to eat.  While I am no a big fan of greens my wife and kids are, so I'm still saving because now I won't have to buy it for them to eat it.  Also I am looking into getting some chickens or rabbits, I still have to look at my city ordnance's concerning these things.

I will also be going over some of my trial and error skill processes, such as learning to do some things that I did not previously know how to do such as: gardening, woodworking, working with animals, canning and preserving food, and getting my yard to actually look like something.  Also I will be doing all this while going to school.  If there is any questions that you think I might be able to help with send me a email at tennprepper81@yahoo.com and I will do my best to answer them.

Thank you,