Monday, August 31, 2009

Disaster Recovery

I work as a Server Engineer. Recently my company has been looking into planning for Disaster Recovery (DR). In the I.T. biz, that means making sure we have all our data and applications online in case something really bad happens. Things like flooding in the Data Center (DC), or some nitwit in a backhoe cutting all our fiber links to our remote DC. Stuff like that. Computer systems are not designed from the get-go for DR. For example you cannot have a subnet online in two geographical locations without some big $ being thrown around.

So I thought I would see if some of these thoughts would work for prepping. In a DR scenario you split your applications up into different tiers. Let's take a fictional company's applications for an example.

Accounts payable
Accounts receivable & billing
Home directories file share
HR file share
Intranet web site
Extranet website

Ok so that's a small list of the applications used by a small company. Most of the mail order companies of any size will have at least this many apps. The hard part is to group them into levels of importance.

Tier 1
Accounts receivable & billing
Extranet website

Tier 2
Accounts payable

Tier 3
HR file share
Intranet website
Home directories file share

So for our example let's say we are an online survival store. Now, the idea of the I.T. department is to make sure orders go into the system as the most important. This way users out in cyberspace don't go run off to your competitors when your DC gets flooded. Picking tickets need to be printed so the warehouse guys can pull orders while the rest of the systems are brought back online.

A word about the tiers. The tier 1 applications are your core. You cannot operate without these at all. Tier 2 need to be available for weekly or monthly tasks, and tier 3 are the little things that make life easy. I think I see some parallels already.

But onto this company. Now what most DR planners forget is that none of these systems will run at all without some infrastructure. A network, account authentication, etc. So let's add a tier 0.

Tier 0
Active Directory

So many DR consultants forget to plan for power. That wafer of silicon ain't doing jack shit without some electrons there, buddy!

Well you get the idea. Now in DR planning we talk of an alternate site. This site is either a Cold, Warm, or Hot site. If you are a fortune 500 company we can talk about hot sites, otherwise your too poor. A hot site is fully online simultaneously with your primary site. Downtime (if at all) is measured in seconds.

Warm sites are up, but might need infrastructure to be changed in order to go online. Like shutting down a subnet in one data center and bringing it up in your DR network. Recovery is measured in hours.

Then there is the Cold site, which is just about useless. Sometimes hardware needs to be ordered, or physically carried form your production site, dried out, then powered on and tested. Trust me from past experience this sucks hairy monkey balls.

Ok now after that hour long explanation, let's see how this works in the prepping world. Let's start with the sites.

A hot site would be where you have all the equipment and supplies pre-staged and ready to go. Now if you live at your retreat, that's not a hot site. That's your primary site, and your DR site might be a debris shelter in a national park... Anyway, very few people will be able to afford this. Since I didn't win Mass Millions, I'm still poor, and cannot afford this.

A warm site would have the infrastructure ready, but not everything is ready to go. This could also be a friend's or family member's house out of state.

A cold site is just that. You got what you can carry, that's it.

Now onto the tiering of the prepper's infrastructure:

Tier 0

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Now it's interesting that I made Health a Tier 0. I did this because you're not doing squat if you got dysentery, a broken leg, or a new hole somewhere there ain't supposed to be one. The rest I think are self-explanatory. Hope this simple system helps a few out there get rolling on planning what is important, and what isn't. Sure, a gas grill is nice to have, along with that nifty new flashlight, but a tent is more critical to your survival.

I also hope people start to think about the next step. There are a lot of people ready to make a stand at their remote homes, but your still need a backup site in case a forest fire or flood, or who-knows-what-else happens. Even if it's a barn at your brother-in-law's on the other side of the valley.

Don't forget now is the time to stock up on mason jars. I bought 5 cases of quart jars for ~$10 a box. I'll be working my foodsaver overtime this week packing away food.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Declaration of Dependance

IN AMERICA, August 25th, 2009
The popular Declaration of the fifty Progressive States of America

When in the Course of human incompetence it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the rights and freedoms which have connected them with one another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of God, Allah, Buddha, Ganesh, Isis, and the Force entitles them, a political correctness to the opinions of mankind requires they should declare the causes which impel them to the suppression of free will to that of the State.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all humans are created equal, although some are more equal than others, that they are endowed by the State with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Welfare, Political Correctness, and the rejection of thought. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among humanity, deriving their just powers from the mindless submission of the governed, That whenever Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is by the Right of The Progressives to alter it to their ends, or to overthrow it and institute a new, Progressive, government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Welfare. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that humanity are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of neglected entitlements and benefits, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to make their own living, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future welfare.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these States; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present Constitution is a history of repeated neglects, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Free Society over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
This Free Society has refused their Assent to Entitlements, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

This Free Society have protested the passage of bailouts of immediate and pressing importance, they have protested increased taxes which were for the betterment of some.

This Free Society have refused to increase Entitlements for the accommodation of large numbers of non-citizens, unless those people would go through the lengthy process to become citizens.

This Free Society travels to town hall meetings and does its best to usurp the carefully choreographed audience membership, They demand to be seen, nay, even heard! For their views are alien to us, and therefore unable to be understood by rational peoples of this Welfare State.

They have refused to obstruct the Administration of Justice by enacting Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

They have made Judges accountable on performance alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

They have protested the erection of a multitude of New Offices, and refused to embrace the hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

They have kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies to protect this society from enemies foreign and domestic.

They have combined with others to subject us to a just constitution, and acknowledged by laws; giving their Assent to their Acts of Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed citizens among us:

For attempted reduction of the Trade deficit:

For reducing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by the Media:

For establishing the second amendment, for all of God's, Buddha's, Allah's, Isis', Zeus', Odin's, Ganesh's etc. children know that guns are Evil, and therefore if we disarm the population then the criminals would no longer need firearms to steal, rape, or murder:

For the attempting to balance the wages of the unions with the businesses need for cost-management:

For fighting globalization by every available means:

For repeated attempts to discern the true nature of the Federal Reserve, and to bring that institution's accounting into the light of day:

For asking for proof of global warming:

For refusing to acknowledge the feeble shreds of evidence our scientists hath gathered, pointing out such nonsense as the lack of evidence and the neglect to include solar activity into the results:

For refusing to play the race card:

For taking away our Entitlements, abolishing our most valuable Pork-barrel projects and refusing to alter the fundamental Forms of our Governments:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the Main Stream Media: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated inquiry as to why our cranium is inserted into our rectal cavity.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Free Society brethren. We have warned this Free Society from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their compassion and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably cause us to have to work for sustenance. They too have been deaf to the voice of our justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, as something we can mooch off of.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the Progressive States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these States, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Welfare States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the United States of America, and that all political connection between them and the United States of America, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Welfare States, they have full Power to levy Taxes, condone Looting, break contracts, establish Entitlements, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other your Fortunes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Great P220 article

I love my Sig P220, and this blogger does too. Check it out.


How do you know when you are crazy? When do you know that line between the sane and the insane has been crossed? I think our brains have evolved a way to police itself, and try to keep from going off the deep end. It makes sense. If we went nutty too easily, then how as a species would we have survived so far.

Don't get me wrong, we, as a race, are a little tapped. A bit off kilter. It's an advantage to (sometimes) think in non-linier paths of thought and reasoning. But there is a line that has been crossed. The government of America is now bat-shit crazy.

I think, as a nation, we are about to cross that line. The Tea-Parties are like a white blood cell for the psyche, trying to fix the damage before it gets to far. As a nation, we are on the road to ruin. Even if we are out of this depression, there is another just on the horizon. Every time we manage to make it through a depression by direct and drastic action, we make the next one exponentially more dangerous to our economy.

When was the last time in this nation we had such a crisis? We have a federal government completely out of touch with the average American. Our economy is failing from too much debt and a middle class taxed at an unsustainable level. We have been invaded by a non-incorprating population that is leeching off of our health and social services system. Our military is involved in four major wars (drug, Afghanistan, Iraq & Terror) with no exit strategy or clearly defined goals in any of these conflicts. Our neighbor to the south, Mexico, is on the verge of complete collapse - a failed state in all but name. Let us not forget the unemployment rate is 21%!

And now the Democrats want to ram through health care reform at a cost of $9,000,000,000,000 over the next 10 years. Of course this is assuming the unemployment rare remains at 8.5% which it hasn't. Even the government-published unemployment rate is ~9.4%. The lack of tax revenue will add to these deficit numbers.

I fear there will be a time soon when the house of cards comes tumbling down. For the preppers like myself, it will be an interesting time (to say the least!). What we must do during the collapse is lead whatever is left of America into a new age. We need to be the councilors and confidants, the psychiatrists and priests to the fledgling nation that rises from the ashes.

There will be a lot of hurt in the world, and we will need to help heal it. Many will be lost without the teat of uncle sugar. Those that survive should be free of their addiction. We will need to act as a preventative force - preventing the system of dependence and encouraging the virtue of what this nation was founded on - INDEPENDENCE.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Threat Assessment

I've been thinking (and writing) a lot lately about the government, politics, healthcare, etc. It's time for a threat re-assessment. Periodically you need to look at the threats out there in the world and make sure you are doing your best to plan for these threats, and make sure you and your family will be prepared for any of these catastrophes.

The way I am looking at things now, here is the list of "bad things" and the percentage chance they will be the "bad thing" if a "bad thing" does happen.

Economy 45%
Pandemic 10%
Solar Storm/EMP strike 10%
Hurricane 30%
Food Shortages 5%

First on the list for me is economic collapse. My preps in this area have gotten much better, but I still am short in regards to having hard currency at the house. Silver has been a bitch to find anywhere near the spot silver price. I have been saving, and I'm currently on my way to building up 6 months of cash for bills. That is a lot of cash, though. It seems that every time I get past a month's worth, something I've been wanting a really long time goes on sale. The most recent culprit was the vises I need for my woodworking bench. Ah well.

Hurricanes are a fact of life on the east coast. Just because we haven't had one for a few years doesn't mean squat. I'm within 60 miles of the cost, so any cat 3 or better storm can cause a lot of damage before it swings back out to sea. I have all the supplies I'd need for this disaster. This was the first thing I worried about way back when I started this journey, so I am the most prepared for it.

Next up is a Pandemic. It could be Swine flu or bird flu or who-knows-what. I'm not as concerned with this as some are. Avoiding human contact is quite easy for me. I did get some N95 masks before the prices shot up. which was good. I also bought several big bottles of the alcohol gel stuff at the dollar store. The hard part would be laying low while FEMA rounded everyone up. I seriously doubt the local fuzz would let me stay in my home. Regardless of my personal rights, In this scenario I fully expect LEO to forcibly try to take me to a FEMA camp if I'm found out. That would be bad. It's not like I'd be able to hide, as odds are they would go house to house to check for the dead. Of course while they are in there they will search the place top to bottom confiscating guns and such. I need to think about this some more and see if there is a way to keep the LEO's hands off of me, without a big confrontation.

We are in a low point in the Sun's natural cycle of solar activity. When the Fusion furnaces kick up again we will see a huge spike in the frequency and intensity of solar storms and CME's (Coronal Mass Ejections). Our antiquated power grid cannot handle a huge EMP pulse, so I fully expect weeks to months without power. The whole northeast corridor is flagged red on NASA's danger area for EMP strikes. So if this happens, I expect it to get real bad real fast.

There has been talk of food shortages. This wonky summer weather really has caused a lot of crops trouble. Even my small garden isn't a lush as it should be. The corn is at least 3 weeks off schedule, it started flowering the week I was on vacation. On the trip out no flowers, on the way back the fields were filled. I recall that usually happened in July. I'm not too concerned as long as I have a job I can make the cuts to buy food at the inflated prices, using my preps when the food riots and rationing breaks out. An unlikely scenario IMHO, so I've assigned it a low priority.

Finally we have a small chance of getting nuked. I think New York, LA, or Washington DC would be a higher-value target, but I'm no terrorist and have no clue what they have up their sleeves. But in this day and age, we need to think about suitcase nukes, dirty bombs, chemical or biological attacks. This is the weakest area of my preps, and I don't see it getting any better anytime soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Barney Frank

What a tool. Getting into a shouting match with your constituents is a good way to continue your alienation of the moderates, driving more into tea-party demonstrations.

Barney the Boob got angry because the woman was comparing Obamacare to the policies of the Nazi's. And Barney got his boxers in a bunch about it. Is such a comparison so unfair?

Now Obammy isn't a Nazi. Since he is half black half white, either side of the race war Tim Mcveigh tried to start would toss him out on his ear (or much, much worse). But the policies of the modern Democratic and Republican parties are very much of a progressive nature.

Let's establish a timeline. In the early 20th century the progressive movement started here in America. Some of the key points of the Progressive Movement were betterment of mankind, and government reform. Sounds good on paper, but the reality was this. Prohibition, eugenics, the welfare state, ICC, FDA, FTC, Income Tax and The Federal Reserve system are all direct results of Progressive policies.

The Nazi's liked a lot of the progressive policies. The Nazi's were not all evil. We would like to think so, but I can assure you they were not. I've talked with some, and they are horrified to what happened. I'm convinced some had no idea about the death camps, but that doesn't excuse their anti-semmitism.

The Nazi's were elected on the promise of stopping the spread of communism, restoring pride in Germany, lowering unemployment, governmental reform, so on and so forth. Sound familiar? In fact, the ideas of eugenics resonated with the Nazi elite, and led directly to the deaths of millions. Not just the Jews, but Homosexuals, the mentally retarded, the crippled, the blind, etc. The Nazi's were so intent on the master race crap that they killed off millions of their own citizens in order to keep the bloodline pure.

Now progressivism is back in style. In this day and age of yellow journalism, i was shocked at the lack of outcry when Hillary Clinton called herself a progressive. Shivers ran down my spine. What if these days the "impure" are those that don't support homosexuality or the welfare state? a committee of nitwits could condemn anyone to forced sterilization for harboring anti-state thoughts.

I'm all for choice, and it looks to me that is the target of this administration. I see a removal of free enterprise and choice in this health care "reform". We didn't have a choice with all these economic bailouts. We have no choice as the economy is buckling under the load of debt, and he is adding more and more.

Barney Frank is the classic example of what is wrong with congress. His unabashed incompetence as he lied to the press on how financially secure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was. His smug attitude, and vile demeanor to voters who hold a different viewpoint. His inability to talk rationally, as he spouts hate and raises his voice to elicit emotion. All he needs is a pencil mustache and a podium in a beer hall.

Truth be told we cannot say if the current crop of progressives are worse than the Nazi's. I have no idea what they are up to. On thing these progressives have learned from the Nazi's is how to manipulate and control the press. So we won't see what the Truth is until history is written, long after these events unfold.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back from Vacation

Well, I slacked off on vacation. I went on a personal news blackout, and not surprisingly, there wasn't a whole lot to bitch about.

I took the northern route through Canada on my drive. I like the drive especially the great lakes and rivers I cross on the way there. I'm so used to the "dingy" Atlantic, that the pure blue of the water is shocking. And it's all (mostly) drinkable with a filtering and a boil.

I did take my BOB with me, in case something really bad went down when I was 700+ miles and 60ish gallons of gas away from home. I'm back so all is well, but it was comforting to have it. Glad customs didn't search the car, they might have figured out I'm a "right wing extremist" or whatever I'm labeled as. Now that I think of it, why did I need to get a passport to get back into my own damn country? bah!

I did notice all the border guys were wearing tons of body armor. I thought the American customs agents looked positively comical in their faux combat gear. No webbing, but the boots, and black BDU's and flack vests. The Americans were armed to the teeth with 9mm pistols, the Canadians had body armor over their old, blue uniforms. no guns for the Canadians.

Looks like more of the same shit while I was gone. The messiah is going to make us bend over and take the obamacare right in the pucker.

They figured out who made the obamajoker poster. whoop-dee-doo. The MSM said nothing intelligent, even the Michael Vick 60 minute interview was a complete pillow fight. bleh. Ask the hard questions you sissies.

I've added another blog to the role call "The Coming Depression" not bad, they link to articles all over. I find the perspective a bit heavy on the doom and gloom, but it does give a good feed of information you can use in making up your own mind.

Last night I went fishing on the ocean again with my brother. It has been a long, long time since I was on the water. I didn't realize how much I missed it. We didn't catch squat, but it was relaxing - a perfect nightcap before I had to come to work again.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

On Marriage

I'm getting ready for vacation. I am off to WIFCON out in Lansing, MI for 9 days of gaming. Yes, I am a wargamer geek. I've gone before and it is fun and challenging at the same time. Due to domestic and logistical issues the local group has been unable to play, so I am a bit rusty.

I'm going to try to post from the con, we shall see how that goes.

Anyway, I wanted to collect my thoughts on marriage and a few other things from my earlier post.

See I don't really care who marries who, as long as they are of consenting age. Marriage is a cultural and religious ceremony. Despite the terrible divorces I've witnessed in my family and friends, I still think it's a good thing.

Now from the state side of things, marriage should be pretty much irrelevant. Yeah you read it right. No tax breaks, no insurance for the spouse) zip, nada, nothing.

There are a few reasons for this position I'd like to go over.

1) In our current society, I am penalized for being single. If you give one group a benefit, then the other group gets penalized by omission. Why should I pay higher taxes?

The assumption is that the wife stays home while the husband works. This model is simply a way of re-routing the dependency so everyone can feel good. The truth of this model is since the wife wasn't working, why shouldn't the breadwinner claim her as a dependant on his taxes?

2) Society is evolving and changing. Fifty years ago polyamory wasn't on the cultural radar. It was there, but way, way out in the fringes. Now how does an insurance company insure a workers 4 spouses? Wouldn't that bump up the rates for everyone, single, monogamous relationship, etc?

Even the simple problem of who can pick the kids up from school is an issue. Can husband C pick up wife A and husband B's kid from school if the student feels sick?

3) The State has no right into my bedroom. If I want to be hog-tied and smothered in pepto-bismal while wearing a Don Knots mask while I get spanked by a Democrat - that is my own business and no one else's, as long as both parties are consensual.

4) The State has no right to tell me who I can have a relationship as long as everyone is an adult. The one place the State has in the marriage is with blood relatives. There is untold amounts of documented proof that marrying your sister is a bad idea. There are whole communities where this crap has been going on. One I have seen with my own two eyes is in Wareham. It's a trailer park we called "pinkeye village" because of the rampant Albinism. What if it was a more sever genetic disorder? Why damn your children to that?

5) Let's get real unconventional. In the very near future, you will be able to buy or rent a "love robot." When AI gets here in the next 50 years, that robot could be controlled by another sentient life form. Can I marry it?

The conservative mantra of "family values" is shouted from most rooftops when dealing with marriage. How can these people have any idea what my family values are? People should worry about teaching these values to their children, not forcing them on other people. Lead by example.

Businesses will need to change their benefits packages, and insurance companies will need to re-think how they insure their customers. In the end I don't see it costing any more than it does now.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Middle class tax

The federal government cannot get anything right, therefore we need to minimize the impact of it's ineptitude by reducing what the Federal Government is responsible for. So let's recap my position on the responsibilities of government. And you can quote me on this.

1) Protect my inalienable rights - Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

That's it. Seems a small thing, just one line of text. then again there isn't a lot that needs to be done. We need to defend our borders. I can't be free when under the thumb of a foreign power. I cannot pursue happiness when I'm robbed, assaulted, or killed. I cannot be happy when I get defrauded.

Liberty to pursue my own religion in whatever form I see fit, so long as it doesn't infringe on anyone else's rights. So I cannot marry a 16 year old, even with parental consent, as the child bride's rights are inviolate until she decides to act on them as an adult - 18 years old. I can marry 12 women, if I wanted that many headaches (ha ha) so long as all did it of their free will. Heck, if a woman in Boise wanted 55 husbands to rub her feet and peel grapes for her, so much the better.

Likewise if a group wanted to all marry each other I could care less, lust like I don't care if two men or two women married. When it comes to the secular side of the marriage - NOTHING APPLIES! More on that in another post.

Freedom to assemble, freedom of the press, all part of my pursuit of happiness.

After that, there is NOTHING I want from the government. I give you a case-in-point, the "cash for clunkers" program. Poorly designed, ineptly implemented, and stomps on my liberty by taking over my PC when I agree to their splash screen. That is the face of the modern federal government. Any car that was affordable to a low-income family is now $4500, since that's what the government will buy it for. So if Cindy Citizen, a single mother of three, needs a minivan because hers died is now unable to commute back and forth to work, and goes on welfare. The $500 shitbox she would have bought is now $4500. Good job Fedz! Aren't you supposed to help people get off of the government teat?

I could not even begin to enumerate how the current federal government is unable and/or unwilling to provide my basic rights.

How many millions of people, not just south Americans, but east Europeans, Africans, etc., cross into America illegally? Time to secure the border. If that means pulling troops from Germany, Turkey, Greece, Cuba, and so on and so forth - then DO IT. It's a hell of a lot cheaper to house troops here in America than it does to put them up in South Korea or Okinawa.

Taxing me 50%+ of my income is not part of my happiness. Some taxes and fees are inevitable. This tax rate is inexcusable. I do not want government healthcare or retirement. We have already seen time and time again that the federal government cannot run any program in an efficient and profitable manner.

Eliminate the bulk of spending and tax me the same as everyone else. 7% across the board is fair. How can I enjoy liberty when I pay for everyone else to loaf around? I can do a better job managing my retirement money than the government. I can pick my own health insurance company. I am financially responsible for myself.

One thing that needs to be changed, which has been changed recently but not enough is bankruptcy law. I know people that maxed their cards buying stuff, flipping it for cash, then burying the cash and declaring bankruptcy. 7 years later they have a great credit rating, and can buy a house with all the $ they stole. I'm leaning that people should not be able to declare bankruptcy. But then again, what if someone gets sick and cannot work, so they cannot afford the mortgage and bills... I would have to say personal bankruptcy should be available, but only under extreme duress. the advantage for this is people will have to think before borrowing money.

It is so simple, I can see it so clearly the strength and prosperity we could enjoy. The best part of it is we wouldn't have to invade other countries or such militaristic nonsense. We would have a negative impact on those countries who we give aid too. But then again America is not supposed to be a welfare state. Perhaps in time these countries would turn themselves around as long as we could lead the way. The American revolution sparked massive change around the world for the betterment of all, I think the second revolution could do the same.