Sunday, October 26, 2014

Indicators?

Row and Red Ant are going to the same school, and the Doctor is in daycare, so there seems to be a constant appeal for donations. "It's for the kids." But really, what kind of message is the school system sending to our kids. "All you have to do is ask for something, and someone will give it to you. You don't have to work or earn it." This is my problem and how they ask for donations.

At our house, it was either we can go to the fair OR we can go to a movie, but not both. We just didn't have the money. We couldn't (well we could have) just ask people to pay for our parking, admission, fair rides, and food.  I guess that I could have made a cardboard sign that says "Liberals wanted to pay for our tickets and popcorn! It's for the kids."


Mind you, I don't mind donating, when we have the funds and for the right cause. For example, Red Ant's class has a goody box that needs resupplying and they ask for donations. The students get to pick one item from the goody box for good behavior and good grades. No problem. The kids work for a goal and are rewarded...no problem donating for that cause.

On the other hand, Row's teacher wanted parents to send snacks for the "kids that can't afford them" so that they'd have something to eat. Nope. The kid's parents need to explain to them that they can't afford snacks because of the choices that they have made in life. We got another email from Ms. S, that she had spent $30 on tickets for three kids that didn't have the money to pay for a field trip, and was hinting around for reimbursement. Again, the kids need to stay at school while the others go on the field trip.

If the school wants to raise money, then do a car wash. Don't stand by the car pool lane with a bucket.

I know that a lot of this seems harsh, but life isn't very pretty. Do we really want to raise kids to expect someone to provide for them [edit; besides their parents] or should we expect our kids to work hard, study, and be rewarded for good behavior? I do believe in the school lunch program, and SNAP benefits for kids, because let's face it. People don't always do the right thing, and the children shouldn't go hungry.

Anyways, I'm stepping off my soapbox.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Exploration Preparations

During the Little Rock Razorback game, we took a trip down to Little Rock and visited the replicas of the Nina & Pinta that had docked downtown. The crew complement for each was 24 and 26, respectively. The crew slept on the deck, as the area below was for food and supplies. Today, the crew complement is 9 and 7, and the sleeping conditions are much much better. We were only allowed to tour the topside, but I would have loved to stomp around the ships and get a better feel of the lifestyle of the old-time sailors.

The Pinta is on the left, and the Nina on the right.
The ships were actually covered in pine tar, hence the painted black look of the ships. The first voyage lasted for 7 months, with the actual crossing of the Bahamas being 33 days. During the Q&A session, I asked about how they stored their water for the crew. It was stored below, and/or purified with wine. The alcohol from the wine killed any bacteria. This could make for another very good way to purify water...a very watery wine, which was typically used in the ancient Mesopotamia region for safe drinking water. One of my college professors stated that it was very common for a person to go from the cradle to the grave without having drank any water.


You can read the food storage that the ships brought along for their trip. Pioneer Preppy will be glad to see lentils on the list. I was a bit surprised to see rice, lentils, and almonds on the list. I would be very interested to see the manifest describing the amounts carried though. Maybe it will be a research project of mine....

So, what are your thoughts?

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Greek Tragedy Continues...

I've written about the Greek tragedy that has painfully and slowly developing over the last few years. A quick summary:
  • Joined EU in 2000 (there is some debate as to whether Greece hid debt from the EU commission to join the EU)
  • Budget deficits increase year after year.
  • In 2009, Greece faced a severe economic crisis.
  • In early 2010, it was revealed that through the assistance of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and numerous other banks, financial products were developed which enabled the governments of Greece, Italy and many other European countries to hide their borrowing. (source & source)
  • May 31, 2012: I wrote an article about the unfolding of the Greek economy. Shortages of all kinds because businesses were afraid of not getting paid (i.e. credit drying up).
  •  In 2013, Greece is the first developed economy to be reclassified as an emerging economy. (source)
  • Greece's socialists show they are leading other parties ahead of the country's next elections. If far-left leader Alexis Tsipras becomes prime minister, he promises a showdown with the European Union over austerity—that Greeks have been living with since 2010, in exchange for a huge financial bailout.
  • Oct. 15, 2014, Greek stock market collapse (source) as borrowing rates increase by 80 basis points.

While this is a rather simplistic review of the Greek tragedy, I have observed a few things. The voters will support even more socialist candidates. The new politicians will require more of the resources of the economically responsible citizens. Keep cash on hand because if you don't possess it, it's not really yours. A good example of this would be the Cyprus bank bail-in, where the depositors got an expensive haircut on their bank deposits. Imported goods were increasing scarce, especially medicine.

Keep Right On Prepping - K