When I started to write this post, it was going to be one of those "When you can't come up with anything of your own, steal something good from someone else" posts, and to some extent it's still that. This has been one of those periods where nothing has moved me to write. I've been to no gun shows, I've not had time to go to the range, and despite all the crap in the news, it's all the same old crap.
It has been more or less a typical spring. At home, it's clean up from the winter and make some plans for the summer's efforts around the house. Winter was hard on the landscaping; my landscaper says that it was more like a Zone 6 winter than Zone 7 (as I nod and wave hi to the Global Warming cultists). There are things that died or were badly damaged, plus there are changes that we want to make. May as well spend the money while it is worth something.
At work, my small, rural, private liberal arts university lurches on, just like all small rural, private liberal arts colleges and universities are, desperately working to find a new niche for itself, shedding old programs and adding new ones, hoping to find relevance before it becomes another Sweet Briar College. I'm putting a lot of time and effort into my job as a part of the team making the transition, since I'm not all that confident of my ability to retire with my current resources.
Hell, I'm not sure that there will be such a thing as the traditional retirement when I get there. I'm not betting on it. My plan for retirement includes such things as large-scale gardening and a small business of some sort to generate some income. I'm still trying to figure out what the business will be. Since I work with computers and technology, you might think that would be my obvious choice, but by the time I hang up my keyboard and mouse I will have been doing that for over 30 years--I'd like to do something else. Besides, there are a zillion one-man-band computer fix-it operations, and most of them are starving.
At any rate, I guess you could say I'm doing what we're all doing. I'm here, watching the show that is going on around me, and wondering where it is all going to wind up. I'm not so sure that the world in general or America in specific is "going to Hell". Historically, there have been other periods of great change, and most of those caught up in them have been just as scared/bewildered/angry/lost/etc. as we are now. The fact of it is that the world is not going to end. It's just going to change, and change a lot. The world our grandchildren live in is going to be very different from ours. The question is "Different how?" The problem is we don't know, and that scares us. We hope for Star Trek and we're afraid it will be Mad Max. Given that we don't have a crystal ball to tell us how things will come out, we're led to all those emotions I noted a few sentences ago. It's human nature when confronted by change to feel that way, and when confronted by change on the epic scale we're facing, it's a wonder we all don't lose it and start running in circles, squalking like Chicken Little.
Well, there are a lot of people running in circles and squalking, and much to their detriment. That is not how you get prepped. Our job is to not become one of the squalkers. How to do so? One way is to develop some rules, guidelines to organize your life by. Those of us who are preppers have been doing so for a long time. It's kind of surprising no one has actually written them down.
The boys at The Deth Guild (and there is a web site I'm going to have to troll through later) apparently had some time and alcohol on there hands, did so and came up with Twenty Rules To Live By as America Goes to Hell. Here they are:
- Be as self sufficient as possible without endangering folks or making life unnecessarily miserable.
- Avoid crowds. Crowds are magnets for all manner of trouble.
- Build a cushion – then one can choose when and where to interact with others.
- Plan first, consider carefully, adjust and only then do.
- Have a contingency plan.
- Create a backup for the contingency plan.
- Always have reserves in a different venue. Always.
- Practice regularly with everything you might one day depend on.
- A person can know a lot – but can’t master everything. They’ll need tribe to cover the gaps.
- Do not bring a knife to a gun fight.
- Never shoot a threat in the face when you can shoot it in the back. From 500 yards away.
- In a life or death struggle, never employ half measures.
- There is no shame in fleeing danger.
- Even in the worst of times, humans covet trinkets, toiletries, cosmetics and entertainment.
- The constabulary is not your friend. Never involve them in a situation willingly.
- Always have a reasonable lie and supporting evidence for anything you’re getting up to.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. Notice the little details.
- When in Rome, look, smell and act like the locals. Don’t stand out. Don’t gawk.
- Nothing you own is worth dying for. Get it back later, on your terms.
- One only calls the end of the world right once. Everything else costs credibility needed when the balloon really does go up.
The folks at Frugal's have already came up with two more:
- Be humble and unassuming in a room of people unknown to you. But have a plan ( and enough ammo) to kill everyone in the room if things go wrong. (Gr8shot)
- Stack the deck in your favor as much as possible. (Seventh Fleet)
And I'll add one of my own now:
- Be able to communicate over distances--the greater the better, Knowledge is power and forewarned is forearmed. (The Freeholder)
Sort of reminds you of Gibbs' Rules on NCIS, doesn't it?
I think there are a lot more of these rules lurking about out there, waiting to be written down. If you have a rule, feel free to toss it in the comments. We get enough of them, I'm going to take advantage of the Blogger "Pages" feature and set up the first "Page" on this blog, just for the rules. And everyone gets attribution for their contribution.
Now don't that sound like all kinds of fun?