Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Well that was the hardest exam I have ever taken. Still passed it first shot, which saves me $175. Now I get to do the "easy" Microsoft exams, Next one is in a week.

There is one rule when it comes to the IT field. "He who has the most initials after his name wins." I already have the A+, Network +, MCSE NT4, VCP. One more M$ exam and I add MCDBA 2000, and MCSE 2000 to the list. I never finished college so I make up for no 4 year degree with having more certs than the people that bothered.

If I do lose the job I'm going to look into getting a degree. Since I'm a minority I'll check into a grant or something to pay my mortgage while I go to school. Most people do 4 years, I figure I could do a double major in 3, so long as the classes are available. Who knows?

I have been completely slacking off on preps for the last month. Been to busy and stressed out. After this next exam I should be in a good spot to jump ship. There are not many VCP's running around, so I have a good shot of getting the fuck out of there. The Boss tld me that there were no decent applicants out there for the positions we have open. He tried spinning it that I would have a hard time finding a job. HA! If I'm competing against shitheads I'll have no problem at all upgrading, never mind getting an equal position. Typical. Just because I'm not the best at Microsoft Project the paper-pushing boss thinks I'm a bad engineer. No one else knows perl, VB, ASP, T-SQL, CSS, or even VBscript in my team. The web guys know vbscript, but they report to a different manager. The DBA's know T-SQL, but no other engineer does. Typical.

Whoops, rant off tangent. I was talking about preps. I think I need a summer gun. The Sig is WAY to big to carry with just a T-shirt on. I might get a small .45 for a summer gun. Something smaller that hides well. The local shop has a Para Ordance Lite Hawg for $900. Tempting. I think I'll see if they can order the single-stack Slim Hawg. 6+1 is enough, since I'm looking for concealment. I would make sure I have an extra mag on me anyways.

I need to do a full inventory. It's been a while, and I should go through everything and see what I got. Plus, I need to make room for hard, red, winter wheat. I've inquired at m local source, but they never called me back. I'll have to swing by Saturday and light a fire under their asses. I'm still waiting on the price of a ton as a group buy too. Dammit.

Well i'ts 8:40 and I'm going to bed. Stayed up most of the night studying and memorizing crap that didn't help me on the exam. Be safe out there, poop is coming hard and fast. There's a little fly on it onderign why the spinning thing is getting so close so fast :P

Thursday, May 21, 2009


So I saw an article on bloomberg.com that the job losses for last month were 12,000 less than projected. Gee, you think that the losses would lessen more considering we are losing 650k jobs a month!

It's common sense to me that if we have 6.66 million people collecting unemployment insurance that the numbers of initial job losses would slow down. That isn't the issue so much as no one is hiring! If 600k factory workers loose their jobs but are hired as UPS drivers... it sucks if your one of them but at least you got another job! With the current economy a job loss is a sentence of poverty as no company is hiring.

Where I work has had an on-again off-again hiring freeze for two years now. We are way understaffed and management just wants us to suck it up. Well working all the time means burnout, and I'm making mistakes I never would have in the past. I, and my fellow teammates, are just too tired to get it done right.

So the bigger question is what does this mean. I think this is definitive proof that there is active stock market manipulation going on. With sustained job losses of this magnitude there will be no recovery anywhere in the near future. The CBO estimates our budget deficit of 9.3T over the next 10 years. In 2009, it will be about 1.75T. Did I mention that is with an unemployment rate of 8.1%? Silly me, that number will skyrocket as our unemployment numbers will top 11%. those are the cooked numbers, not the real ones. Real numbers for unemployment is at 20%, courtesy of shadowstats.com.

There is no flipping way there are any "green shoots" or any of that other malarkey. This bear market is just a false rally that is trying to suck in whatever fools money they can. Do NOT invest one cent in the stock market. Buy tangibles! Fill up your heating oil tank now, buy precious metals. Buy land, livestock and farm equipment. With the gun-grabbers in power it might be a good idea to buy additional firearms just to sell them later. If I wasn't in the shit at my job I would. I was about to buy a popgun(ar-15 clone) and 200 rounds of ammo to sell it years later at a slight profit (inflation, don'tcha know). But there went that idea.

Buy tangibles. Buy food, water, medicine, heirloom seeds, etc.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

so tired

Well I'm taking a break from studying to post. I have been slacking off a lot lately, and for that I am sorry. I am studdying to get my VCP certification, and it is a lot of just dumb memorization. That's how they get you in IT certifications. I'm close to being ready to take the exam. This will be a big step in my "marketability" as not a ton of people have it. To get the cert you need to take a $3,000 class, then pass an exam. You have to take the class, It's VMware's way of seperating the "paper" VCP's and the real ones. No one is going to pony up $3k for a class when they can use braindumps to get a dozen Microsoft and Cisco exams for the same cash.

After that I got to do one more exam and I become a 2000 MCSE and a 2000 MCDBA. These don't mean anywhere near as much, but then 2 more exams and I can get my 2003 MCSE. Then I need to pass 3 more for my 2008 MCSE. The M$ exams don't carry as much weight, as the brain dumps make them so much easier to take.

I did spend some cash on myself and saw Star Trek last weekend. OMFG it was really, really, good. Cast and acting were spectacular. So good I didn't need to be wowed by FX to get through the movie. I highly recommend it.

I also am looking forward to Terminator: Salvation. I'll see that in a couple weeks.

The garden is doing well, not as good as I hoped, but I am rather new to the whole growing green things. Mold is no problem, just look in the back of the fridge. Plants are a different story. Garlic is doing tremendous, and I finally planted the peppers, beans, and cukes. The tomatoes and peppers have flopped over no matter what I have tried. Next year it was suggested to me to have a fan blowing on the tomato plants to beef up the stems. If we have electricity, I will.

The market is scaring the crap out of me. Not just because I need to switch jobs but because we are still losing 600k jobs a month. Obammy's budget figured a 8.1% unemployment rate (faked numbers) but we will hit 11% no problem even with the government's cooked books. We are right now at 20% unemployment - real numbers.

Mum is getting her class A license as well. The tough thing is she has her eye on a 9mm and I can't find jack shit for ammo. Primers are non-existent. I have cut way back on my centerfire shooting, and using the .22LR pistol and rifle for shooting practice. I placed an order for shotgun supplies for skeet, and no one in the club ha any idea when our order will be filled. Between all the guys it's like $5k in stuff, and we can't get it. Damn.

Well I hope everyone out there is safe, and enjoying the early summer. Wish me luck on the exam, I think I'm going friday or the tuesday after.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fiction - Part V - No Rest For the Wicked

Saying to himself, “No rest for the wicked!” Natog got up off of the couch and stretched. While letting the dogs back in, he got the grill fired up for dinner.

His second stop was his gun safe. Pulling his holster from off the top, he put it on his belt. Opening his safe, he pulled out his Sig p220, two magazines and a box of .45ACP jacketed hollow points. Loading a magazine in the Sig, he racked the slide to load a round in the chamber, and then decocked the hammer. Ejecting the clip, he loaded a round from the box of ammo into the magazine and loaded it into the pistol again. Slipping the pistol into its holster, he adjusted it until it was comfortable. After filling the second magazine and slipping it into his pocket, he put the box of ammunition back in the safe, locking it up.

His dogs were watching him and begging for food with their eyes.

Turning to the dogs Natog asked, “Should I load up the shotgun?”

Thor turned his head with his ears perked up, looking very much like he understood exactly what Natog was talking about and gave a small bark. Loki looked bored with the whole situation.
“Yeah I guess Loki’s right, no need to get hasty. The golden horde won’t be running amuck for a while yet. Heaven help me if the cops show up to check in and see it, I’d get my ass kicked like that old lady on the hurricane Katrina video.”

Puttering about the kitchen, Natog fired up the stove to heat up some baked beans without thinking about it. It wasn’t until he tossed his steak onto the grill he realized he still had gas pressure for his stove.

While the steak was cooking and the beans warming, Natog raided his linen closet. Using a stapler from his garage, Natog blacked out the windows in the common area of the house with extra dark colored blankets and sheets.

Natog’s home was a small cottage that had an in-law apartment attached, with a garage on the far side of the in-law apartment. It was built in the 40’s and a lot of work had been done updating the electrical system. Half of the cottage was a living room – kitchen area, connected to the kitchen by a very large hole in the common wall. The rest of the house had three bedrooms, one of which was used as an office, the other as a guest room, aka the dog’s room.

The in-law apartment was almost done being refinished for rental to a “roommate”, i.e. tenant. The heat was currently off, and the only way the pipes were kept from freezing was by keeping the doors between the apartments open. The only items of value in the in-law were a few hand tools and assorted ‘antique’, more like junk, pieces of furniture Mum had stored down in the basement.

Once the windows were blacked out, Natog lit a few candles in the kitchen then hurriedly grabbed a plate to get his steak from the grill. While eating dinner at the table, Natog began jotting down ideas on what needed to be done, and when, if the power outage lasted for a long time.

Natog didn’t finish his list until well after dinner was finished, the dogs fed, and let outside again. The list was based on the idea that something knocked out the power, and it wasn’t coming on anytime soon. One item of note was to determine if the transformers were blown.

First things first, though. He went down to the basement and turned off the main breakers for his home and the in-law apartment. He also flipped off all the other breakers for the individual circuits in the house. This way if he hooked up the generator he wouldn’t power up anything outside the house and only what he specifically wanted.

The second item on the list was to consolidate his living area. He checked the windows in the spare bedroom, then closed the door to the spare room, and stuffed some old t-shirts he was going to cut up for rags under the door to stop drafts. He did the same for the office door after moving any computer equipment he had lying around.

Fighting off a yawn, Natog went out to the shed and grabbed a few buckets. While there he checked his generator and made sure he hadn’t forgotten to fill up any of the eight 5-gallon gas cans he had in the shed. One was half-full, but the rest were full and had been stabilized.

After locking up the shed and the door to the house behind him, Natog went down into the in-law apartments basement and shut off the water supply with a pair of vice grips. He then emptied the water in all the pipes by opening the main outlet in the basement and all the faucets upstairs. Bucket after bucket was emptied outside in the snow after he filled the bathtub in the inlaw apartment. As the pipes trickled dry, he left the drain open and a bucket to catch the last drops.

Turning his attention to the main part of the house, he filled the bathtub and another bucket with water. It must have been well past midnight when Natog let the dogs back in the house, and pulled his winter sleeping bag from the hall closet. After some deliberation he curled up on his bed with the dogs and fell quickly into a deep sleep.

* * *

He felt as if he just closed his eyes when Loki was barking in his ear to go out. Forgetting for a second what happened the day before, he crawled out of bed in his boxers to let the dogs out. He was halfway across the kitchen before the cold really sank in. Now that he was wide awake he hustled to let the dogs out then dived back under the warm covers.

His conscious wouldn’t let him fall back to sleep for long. Well, it was more of the dogs barking outside, but either way he hastily dressed, then ran around to warm up the clothes. It felt like it was 30 degrees in the house, but it couldn’t have been less than 50. Modern homes are too well insulated to drop in temperature that fast.

Natog stumbled into the kitchen still rubbing sleep from his eyes. Pulling back the sheet he stapled up in front of the back window, he saw it was about 8 am or so. The dogs were happily playing in some fresh snow from late last night, chasing each other around the back yard.

Firing up his stove he put on a frying pan to heat up and a kettle of water to boil. Shortly thereafter Natog had a hot breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage and hot cocoa. He cooked the whole packages of the bacon and sausage, and put the leftovers back in the fridge. He pulled a couple of frozen steaks out of the freezer and tossed them into the fridge to defrost for lunch and dinner. The defrosting steaks would help chill the fridge too.

He let the dogs back in, made sure they had water, and locked the back door. Suiting up, Natog went out into the bright sunshine.

It was clear and cold. A cold sun shone across the fresh snow. Kids were laughing and running through the neighborhood with the simple joy of a day off from school.

Natog turned south, and started walking towards the train station in the south of town. Trudging along the unplowed road, he waved at the few adults up and about. Most were shoveling out their driveways into the unplowed street. It was only about three inches of fluffy snow, but a few New England thaw-freeze cycles and it would turn into a sheet of ice.

After a half mile, Natog opened up his fleece to keep from sweating. After a mile, he took off the outer fleece pullover. As he approached the train parking lot, he was reassured by the sight of car tracks leaving the parking lot.

“At least I might not have to carry all of my crap back!” Natog said to himself as he rounded the corner and walked into the parking lot. Natog’s Cherokee was off by itself covered with snow. Thankfully, there were not footprints around his Jeep, and the snow looked undisturbed.
As he walked up, he mashed the remote button on the key fob repeatedly with no effect. Dusting the snow away from the seam for the door, he manually unlocked the door and opened it. A surge of relief passed through him as the interior light came on. Brushing out the snow that got sucked into the car when he opened the door, Natog jabbed the key in the ignition and turned it. The jeep started up first try. Natog cranked up the heat, and reached into the passenger side to grab the ice scraper.

He quickly cleaned off the car, and climbed in. Shifting into 4WD, the Jeep easily navigated its way through the parking lot. Out of the two hundred or so parking spots, only a dozen or so were empty. The rest looked untouched.

As he drove back along the unplowed roads with dark traffic lights, Natog scanned the radio. There were no broadcasts on either AM or the FM bands. It was nothing but the hiss of static. Popping in a CD, Natog made sure the radio was actually working. As Big Black blared out of the radio, Natog wondered what would take out the radio stations, but leave his car working.

The drive back was uneventful with the exception of occasionally stopping for kids sledding in the streets. Back at the house, Natog went into the garage workshop and moved the tools into half of the garage, so he could back the jeep into the garage. Natog had all of his tools on mobile bases for just such a purpose. Usually, it was for a vacation to Las Vegas or a fishing trip, normally he just parked outside so he could use the wood shop without moving all the tools every time.

With a sigh of relief, he locked up the garage. Having a working vehicle was a Very Big Deal. Turning from the garage door, he noticed the tire tracks leading to his garage. With a slump of the shoulders he grabbed his snow shovel and shoveled the driveway.

By the time he was done with that he was stripped down to a hat, gloves and a t-shirt. Hastily grabbing his sweaters and fleece, he scampered into the house. He carefully set the clothes out to dry and got a drink from the fridge.

Grabbing his list off of the table, he collapsed on the couch. As he relaxed and caught his breath, he ran through the list again. The next item would be to make sure his Mum and brother are ok. Mum and Bill recently got on board with prepping, but focused on weapons and had little in the way of food stores. Natog remembered warning them over and over, but Bill insisted that his friend in Maine would let the family go there and there would be plenty of food. Unable to make them see reason, Natog put up additional food for them by himself.

Throwing on a light sweatshirt, Natog went down into the basement. Using the stapler, he blocked out the windows in the basement with some scrap carpet. Turning on an LED lantern, Natog cleared out all the crap out of the way, including his weight set. Once there was room, he began pulling items from a recessed closet in the back of the basement. It took over an hour, but he pulled out all his food stores and laid them out for an inventory. As he inventoried what he had, he was kicking himself for not doing this earlier. Turns out he was desperately short on ketchup. Starting a list on a blank piece of paper entitled “Stuff I need”, the first item was “Ketchup!” in big letters.

Once his inventory was complete, he packaged up 10# of beans, 20# of rice, a package of hot cocoa, some granola bars, 10# of spaghetti, and two jars of spaghetti sauce into a plastic tote and brought it upstairs. He made note of the change of inventory, and then put all his food stores back into the closet. He packed as much as he could into plastic totes.

He bought a pallet of these totes from an auction years ago. They were from a stocking company, and were about 24 x 18 x 18 and were made of very heavy duty plastic. After selling enough to friends and family to pay for the pallet’s worth, he had about 10 left. They were sturdy enough to be filled with cans and carried, although they couldn’t be stacked on top of each other when that full. Natog made use of these when camping all the time, and was one of the best investments he made.

Natog brought the tote out to the Jeep, and added one of the 5 gallon gas cans from the shed. He made sure his toolbox was in the Jeep along with the Jeep’s BOB. The Jeep’s “bug out bag” had a pair of boltcutters, tow straps, a 2 ton come-along, funnel, hoses, bottle jack, hatchet and a set of extra fuses, wiring, etc. After thinking about it, he got one of his two spare tanks of propane out of the shed and used a strap to secure it and the gas can in the back of the jeep. Running back in the house, he grabbed a couple of 2 liter soda bottles filled with water from the freezer in the in-law apartment. He then went down to the basement and grabbed a package of toilet paper and a roll of paper towels. He brought all that to the jeep, and tossed it in the back.

Natog fired up his grill to warm up, and went back in the house to make some lunch. While eating lunch, he heated up a large pot of water. Turns out he still had water pressure. He then used water sparingly to do his dishes in a 5 gallon bucket. Filling the pot of water back up, he put it on the stove for later. After thinking about it for a second he filled all his large pots and put them on the stove.

Natog lived on top of a small hill. After he began prepping he figured that the sewer line would back up at the lowest points first, so he didn’t have to worry about that. But his water supply would go out first. Rather have to melt snow for water than have poop backing up in the house.

With a full belly, Natog bundled back up, grabbed his BOB and the aluminum little-league baseball bat by the door. He then shouldered his BOB and locked up the house. Loading the last of his stuff into the jeep, he fired it up and pulled out of the driveway.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Year One

Well it's been a year since I started this project.

There has been a lot of work, and more importantly, a lot of learning. This journey has only begun. I fear we all will be burdened with hardship over the next few years at least.

For anyone not currently prepping, there is still time to get ahead of the game. I'm not talking about building NBC bunkers with field hospitals like Mr. Rawles. Just some simple food and water and you will increase your survivability in a natural disaster by a lot.

That reminds me. We are so focused on the pending economic collapse, no one saw the swine flu coming. We need to stay vigilant, not just for the obvious threat, but the potential threats as well.
To think I started by worrying about the upcoming hurricane season. From there the veil of deceit was lifted. I have grown in so any ways I couldn't begin to count them. Although I have to admit that in one major way I am even more close-minded. I'm now a militant agnostic... :p

I used to be politically agnostic, now I am (mostly) a Libertarian. I still cannot stomach their drug policy, though. I've seen first hand what happens to youth who use hard drugs.

I have gone from being an unarmed sheeple to a rather well-armed man with some solid shooting skills. I still need to get some better training, especially in defensive pistol, but I have a foundation to work from.

I used to keep barely 3 days of food in the house to having months of food stored. I also have plenty of ways to have water. I have some stored, plus I have the means to make an infinite supply.

I used to have a few band-aids, hydrogen peroxide and Tylenol in the house to a extensive medical kit. No birthing kits, but trauma patches, surgical staples, etc. I guess I'm more worried about getting shot than pregnant.

As I have changed so has the world. Even if this economic situation resolves itself (it won't) then we are looking at the inability of the Federal Government to pay Social Security, etc. for all the baby-boomers that are retiring.

There is no certainty in the economy, in politics, or even religion (I really don't like the new pope). Will it be this year that the American Catholic Church splits from Rome? Will unemployment go over 20%? Wait a sec, it's AT 20% now!!!

We don't know what the future holds, that is precisely why we prepare. So keep on prepping, I will.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A kick in the beans

Just what I needed was a kick in the balls. Looks like my financial situation wasn't as secure as I thought. I got in trouble at work, and it's been made clear that I need to become a devoted slave working 70+ hours a week, or I need to move on. Step 1 of the official process has been taken.
Just goes to show, the one area of preps you neglect will bite you in the ass. I was hoping to have an extra mortgage payment or two set aside, but I don't. I'm not fired, but I don't have 100% job security. So now I'm in miserly mode, only spending on what I have already committed to, or necessities.
I've been focusing on another kind of prepping, and I've had to cut back on my news reading and blogging in order to get this done. I've been studying for my VCP certification which would be a very, very good resume builder. Some claim with the VCP I can write my own ticket. That is not the case, but it certainly helps since I don't have a collage degree.
This summer I'm going to go down to Tampa to get a copy of my father's birth certificate. With that I prove I am a minority, Cherokee Indian, and qualify for all kinds of stuff. Most of which I don't care about because I'm no mooch, but the small business loans, the educational loans and grants are worth it. This makes it harder for them to fire me, as my company is terrified of firing any minority. It also gives me options if I do lose my job. I might be able to get a degree, or open a small business.
We will see. The stress is getting to me though.
On a more practical side my brother got his class A LTC here in Mass. Mum is applying for hers too. For mothers day we bought a .22 Thompson rifle for her, although I have possession of it until she gets her license then I'll transfer it over. All legal.
Mum hated guns growing up and it was forbidden for us to have them. Funny how she loves to shoot now. She's not that great a shot with iron sights, but she's decent with a scope.
I joined the New Bedford range. It's closer to Mum, and they have a 500 yard range for me to flex those .308 muscles. Not a bad place, but there are some safety rules I don't like. They don't have lights for a warning and the other shooters don't check if everyone is all set before firing. Some old fuck yelled at me for being across the range when he got back and started fucking with his pistol, he never checked if we were done setting up targets when he got back.
In my book this is how it should go.
1) make eye contact with everyone at the range, and make sure everyone is ok with you going down.2) step back from your weapon3) people go downrange and do their thing.4) once everyone is back, make eye contact and make sure everyone is behind the line and everyone is ready for the range to go hot.
This boob yelled at me that I wasn't safe when he ignored #4. but then again he was in a big rush to shoot 6 shots then pack up and go home. You cannot rush around and be safe.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Now I'm not one to panic, but there is definitely something up with the ammo supply here in New England. I had me a day off on Monday and went up to Kittery Trading Post to stock up on some reloading supplies, and buy a box of 9mm Luger for a brother's friend.

Well Kittery is renowned for it's supply of ammo. Truth be told they were out of almost all reloading supplies. The only primers they had were shotgun and magnum large rifle. That's it. That is crazy. They didn't know when or if they were goign to get any more of it, either.

It blows my mind. they did have .308 and .45ACP American Eagle rounds, but I could care less. Al I saw for 5.56mm was 3 cases of 500 rounds. all the 20 round boxes were gone. They had plenty of the weird ammo types, but little else for .357 Mag, .38 Spcl, 9mm, .380, etc. but they had .308 and .45ACP. About a case of each... How sad is that.

I had to go to several stores to finally get the 9mm. Suc a pain in the butt. That store was out fro 5 months, just got some in the other day. I had to resist the urge to buy extra. Mum's going to get a 9mm at some point, but I didn't have the extra cash this week to invest in ammo she might need. I got a huge order of supplies coming in through the gun club. At least $400 worth of goodies. Including 1000 CCI military rifle primers and 8# of H4895 powder. the M1A will love that.

Well there is an ammo shortage, as soon as it comes in it's flying off of the shelves. I wasat bass pro shop and some guy had 500 rounds of shotgun ammo in 00 buck, #4 buck, #6, #2 and BB. Along with 250ish rounds of .40 and 500 rounds of various rifle ammo. I had to help him lift the baskets into a carriage. nuts.

If you can it's time to stock up. Although all the stores were short of ammo none were gouging. A buck or two extra a box is all I saw. That's a refreshing site.

Oh yeah anyone looking for the see-through polymer AR15 mags, Kittery had cases of them for $20 a pop I think. No good for us Mass people (cough) but for those in other places they had plenty.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Working for the MAN

I heard an old classic, by Devo, "Working in a coal mine" today. got me to thinking. Thinking for me is dangerous, you see. It usually gets me to the point of being pissed off at something.

Today As I was busting my ass in my cube, that the "Man" everyone is talking about is plaing the average American like a fiddle. The sheeple are dancing to the beat of these media-savvy monsters, and too busy to see what's going on. Just grinds my gears.

I'm going down to green, the swine flu is sort of a bust, but it got the Health and Human Services director posted without a squawk. They didn't have time to see if she cheated on her taxes...

Work has been real tough on my lately, sorry for the lack of regular posts. It's dangerous for me to go to non-work sites from work computers so I'll have to post once I get home. Just an inconvenience, but it is a work pc I'm using while there, bitching won't get me anywhere.

Hope everyone in the interweb's doing well, haven't had time to catch up on what's going on. Well just wanted a short post before I hit the rack. Another long day tomorrow... ugh.