Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Well winter has showed up with a vengeance. Last week it was about 15 degrees F every morning when I left for work. Then we get 18" of snow over the weekend. I was ready for it, but still 18" of snow is a lot. Thankfully, it's all powder, so shoveling it is easy enough.

I had to swing by a few markets the day before the storm, not to buy anything, but to see the panicked buying of bread, milk, and eggs that precedes any snowstorm. If people panic-buy eggs for 2" of snow, I can assure you the shelves were totally bare for lat night's storm. If sheeple cannot plan ahead for a simple snowstorm, how in sam hill could they be ready for a real catastrophe?

Typically, most people forget how to drive in the snow, and as I made my way to a friends house to watch the Pats game today, I saw several knucleheads sliding all over the road. All the four wheel drive gets you is the ability to not get stuck, and allows you to accelerate without slipping. A 4x4 doesn't prevent you from sliding when trying to stop or turn, and that's what the noobie 4x4 driver doesn't get.

So part of My prepping has been to learn how to drive a 4x4. I don't get to practice often, but when I can I go out to a freshly plowed parking lot and do snow donuts. Learning how your vehicle reacts in a skid will help you if your car does start to slide in the rain or snow. Remember, we are not just preparing just for some grand disaster, but for the smaller more personal disasters that could hit us almost any time.

Being able to change a tire, or for that matter making sure your car has a spare tire. It's becoming less common in this day of "roadside assistance". I doubt AAA will be able to help you if your fleeing from a hurricane. So it's a smart idea to learn how to swap a spare tire, or change your oil, how to fill the anti-freeze, so on and so forth.

Here is a short list of skills everyone should know.

Build a fire
Change a tire
Tie the following knots: Bowline, Tautline hitch, clove hitch, sheetbend, square knot.
zero a rifle
sharpen a knive, axe and saw.
split wood & stack it correctly
perform CPR
Heimlich manuver
pitch a tent
Figure out the directions from the sun or stars.
Fell a tree
Field dress game
Clean a firearm
Use a map and compass

I could go on for hours, but this is what I could think of in the few minutes I had before going to bed. Expect the next installment of the story real soon. On the train ride to boston, I am either reading, or writing.

I just finished Heinlein's Farmer in the Sky. Although written as "youth fiction" I still found the story enjoyable, and it was a very, very, quick read. Only took me 5 hours to read the whole thing. There was a bit of deus et machina to end the book, but hey, your average movie has that to somehow have a shriveled up pitiful excuse for a plot!

Thats enough rambling for now. I need to hit the rack because tomorrow's commute is going to be brutal.


Western Mass. Man said...

I still love the old saying,
"its 4 wheel drive, not 4 wheel stop".
Glad to see you made it through the storm Nat.

Mayberry said...

Same goes for hurricanes down here. It's like a big freakin' surprise. "Oh CRAP! You mean we get hurricanes down here on the coast??!!!" Toss in the fact that Corpus hasn't had a real close one since Allen in 1980, or a direct hit since Celia in 1970, and you get a bunch of clueless NUBs (that's Non-Useable Bodies) with a severe case of rectal-cranial inversion...