Tuesday, October 29, 2013

American Blackout On Youtube Link

We've been waiting to watch this, and it has finally arrived on Youtube. As most of you know, we don't have cable, but manage to get by without it. We may not see the Tv show that night, but we take notes, and save about $75/month.

Click HERE...

MRE Monday - Southwest Style Beef And Black Beans With Sauce

Sweetheart picked today's MRE. Once again, sorry for the delay, but I was studying for an exam. I managed to score 100% in Radiographic Procedures III class. I had a C before the test, and brought it up to a B. 

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 8.0 oz.
Calories: 220
Calories from fat: 70
Total Fat: 8g or 12% DV ( Daily Value )
Cholesterol: 60mg or 20% DV
Sodium: 840mg or 35% DV
Total Carbohydrates: 23g or 8% DV
Dietary Fiber: 6g or 24% DV
Sugars: 4g
Protein: 24g
Vitamin A: 15% DV
Vitamin C: 35% DV
Calcium:  6% DV
Iron: 25%


We really didn't know what to expect, and didn't have any other frame of reference.


Row, the seven year old, thought that the beef was good. I asked what he thought and he said, "A 100 thumbs up!" He finished his bowl, so it gets his star for the MRE.

Red Ant with Spikes, the four year old, shook his head no while eating the MRE. I asked him his thoughts and he said that I don't like it. He couldn't explain it with words, but he made it very well known that he didn't like it.

Mother-in-law really enjoyed her sample. "The MRE is spicy without being overly anything. Plus, it would go good with rice."

Sweetheart enjoyed the aroma and "it has a good southwest flavor without being salty. The grill flavor almost crosses the line on too much."

The stew-like MRE had a solid beef, corn, and black bean presence. I would describe it more of a Mexican beef stew, if I hadn't read the package before sampling. The sauce had an excellent body somewhere between a broth and a gravy. The sauce was the main attraction for this MRE for me, and the beef's texture was exactly like a tender brisket. The flavors complimented each other very well.

Final Thoughts:

This MRE is going on the A-list for reordering. Why? Because it got a 100 thumbs up from my seven year old, and  the wife and I would probably hunt through a cache for these entrees.

Stars: * * * (3)

Thursday, October 24, 2013


We went to our oldest son's school carnival, and I hope that he doesn't get the teacher that designed this sign. Okay, I'm sure that it's an honest mistake, but this is why it is so important for parents to be involved in their kid's education.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Monday, October 21, 2013

No MRE Post Today....

...but I do have a big pot of chicken and dumplings on the stove. The recipe can be found here.

The dumplings are ready.

The stock is almost at a boil for the dumplings.

The chicken and dumplings are a nice change with the colder weather. What food do you like to prepare when the weather turns cooler?

Take Care and Keep prepping - K

Friday, October 18, 2013

Of All the Luck

My wife walked into the dollar store to pick up some paper plates for church. Two dollars worth of paper plates. The change made the distinct sound of silver hitting her palm. Her eyes lit up, she sweetly smiled and said, "Thank you, have a great day!" She got to the car and showed me the "real" money, a 1962 Quarter. It's worth $3.96 according to coinflation..

It'll be residing in her silver treasure chest. It's not every day you can make money by shopping.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Poll Question Revealed

Okay, I've got a confession to make. My Uncle's name is Sam, as in our own Uncle Sam.  This post was a small conversation that my wife and I had about the US budget. I purposely didn't reply to any of the comments because I didn't want to skew the poll. Thanks to all that commented, and think about your comment. I hope I get some people scratching their heads tonight. 

"My uncle came over last night and wanted to borrow another $40.00 until payday. He has kids and he really needed it to buy gas and a few groceries. Forty dollars might not seem like a lot, but over the years he has proven that he can't live within a budget. Sure he pays me back a little at a time, but never the full amount. I'm also starting to get a little concerned about his ability to pay."

I wish that more people had posted a comment and voted, but the majority of the votes didn't think that I should loan my uncle any more money. Monsoon Matriarch even wanted to send food relief!!! I loved your comment, and spirit. Harry would be the sole investor in the emerging markets.

Folks, this is how the world is viewing the USA economically. They don't want to loan us any more money, and they know that if they do, they won't get the full amount back. There is no way possible for the US economy to stay on the same course. The death knell for the green back will be when China and the other governments decide that they want to sell all of those IOUs, and cut their loses.


Once again, this is not going to end well for us. I say us, because we are going to be the ones to suffer rather than the politicians in Washington. The average net worth of a US Senator is $14 million and the average net worth of a Representative is $7.5 million. Do you think that they are going to watch their kids go hungry? 

The latest showdown in Washington is no better than when someone owes you money, and they start dodging your calls.  I hope that everyone saw what happened in Louisiana with the EBT cards, now imagine that on a national level. The Roman U.S. citizens are not going to be happy when the bread is gone and the circuses are closed. 

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Poll Question

My uncle came over last night and wanted to borrow another $40.00 until payday. He has kids and he really needed it to buy gas and a few groceries. Forty dollars might not seem like a lot, but over the years he has proven that he can't live within a budget. Sure he pays me back a little at a time, but never the full amount. I'm also starting to get a little concerned about his ability to pay.

Question: What would you do next time that he needed money?

A: Yes, loan him the full amount.
B: Yes, but only a fraction of what he needs.
C: No.

Please leave A,B, or C and a comment if you desire. Thanks again.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Monday, October 14, 2013

MRE Monday - Chicken Pesto Pasta

A little olive oil dripped on the package.

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 8.0 oz.
Calories: 360
Calories from fat: 180
Total Fat: 20g or 31% DV ( Daily Value )
Cholesterol: 85mg or 28% DV
Sodium: 810mg or 34% DV
Total Carbohydrates: 16g or 5% DV
Dietary Fiber: 2g or 8% DV
Sugars: 4g
Protein: 30g
Vitamin A: 4% DV
Vitamin C: 4% DV
Calcium:  20% DV
Iron: 10%


I didn't have any frame of reference for this MRE, so we were pretty open-minded without any preconceived ideas.


Row, the seven year old, has started to really be open minded about trying new foods unlike his younger sibling. He took a small bite and thoughtfully chewed it, then said "I don't know...it's pretty good". One of the qualifications for an MRE to receive a star rating from the kids is that they have to take another bite. He didn't, so no star for this entree from him.

Red Ant with Spikes, the four year old, took his usual small bite, shook his head then spit it out. He was really having an off day, and even managed a tear or two. He really hasn't enjoyed the MRE tastings lately, hence the week off. We'll have to pick a few that he might like, and hopefully get him willingly back on board with the reviews.

Sweetheart is not a big fan of pesto. She did comment that the chicken had a good texture, but the pasta should have been firmer. She also noted that it had the chemical taste again, and if we had more than one, she would donate them to someone else. The basil flavor was also too much in her opinion.

Usually I'm the one that doesn't like the MRE pasta dishes, but found this one pretty pleasant. I liked the nice chunks of chicken, which was plentiful, and it had a good texture. I thought that the pesto added a nice contrast to the rest of the dish, but thought that the pasta should have been al dente. I ate most of the MRE and noted that their was only one walnut piece that I found in the whole pouch. I don't know if it was a fluke, or a cost saving measure, but I was a little disappointed in the lack of walnuts.

Final Thoughts:

We will probably pass on this MRE. The highlight is the nicely textured and flavored chicken pieces, but the cost makes it an expensive protein to store.

Stars: * ( 1 )

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Anaconda Economy

I've been swamped with school and trying to get back into the rut of things, so my apologies for a week long absence. I haven't forgotten about the blog, and have a few ideas for new posts, but only need the hours to bring them out and onto the keyboard.

The lower standard of living for this generation has "officially" been studied and published. Click here for the link. The article is circulated by The Guardian, which published the NSA information by Snowden. The title of the article sums it up for those that don't want to read it: Middle-class young will fare worse than their parents. Most of my blog readers know that I'm a big proponent of reading the news, using some critical thinking, and planning accordingly. The article further cements my thoughts that I'm on the right track in keeping our debt low, increasing our education, and preparing for the future by prepping.

"This will be controversial, but for the first time in over a century there is a real risk that the next generation of adults ends up worse off than today's generation. This is a problem for the children of parents with above-average incomes, not just a problem for those at the bottom. Many, many children face the prospect of having lower living standards than their parents." The slow economic squeeze, or Anaconda economy, will continue to force the people into lower and lower quality of life situations. I talked about a few things that can be done to counter the trend such as limiting your debt, getting more education, stockpiling food, and becoming more independent from the system.

I'm going to stand on my soapbox for a few minutes and be brutally honest with you. This isn't 1950s America in which we are the only industrialized nation left after WWII. We don't have an export surplus. The time when you worked for a company, retired, and they paid you a nice pension [and maybe medical] are over. The promise of Social Security and Medicare when you got older won't be around when you are older, and probably will be for people with absolutely no net worth. This isn't 1950s America, and the Leave it to Beaver American culture is gone. The slow squeeze of the Anaconda economy will continue.

Now, I will offer some hope. Wake up, this isn't the 1950s, that was 60 years ago! America is on the decline, and you had better prepare. The world is preparing for the US default, and so should you. Get out of debt is the best thing you can do, in good times or bad times. We are going to have to have a fundamental shift in our thinking, and go back to our Great Grandparents way of thinking.

My question for comments: What did your Grandparents do that needs to be done again for the future of your family?

My answer: We are already doing a lot of it. Living below our means, a deep pantry, and limited debt [house and car only]. We are lacking in our own food production, but have plans to expand it.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A must read by Code Name Insight

I should have seen the opportunity to take away a few lessons from the latest news. Thanks for reminding us why we prepare for the uncertain future. There will be a lot of collateral damage from the shut down, and maybe a few more preppers will be born.

The Government Shutdown

Well now that we are in to day two of the government shutdown, what are the lessons we can take away from this?

  • There's very little you can do when it comes to the government.  Yes you can call your congressman, yes you can stick to CNN like it is your lifeline and become more depressed by the hour, yes you can rant on online forums.  None of that will do much good.
  • This is why you should vote.
  • This is also why you should have both a fat and fluffy emergency fund and be debt free.
  • And why (especially in this instance if you are a government employee) you should have multiple streams of income.
  • Plus this is yet another example of why you can't depend on anyone other than yourself (your job, your income, your government military pension...all shot to hell at the whim of your elected governing officials).
  • Although unlikely, if this shutdown goes on for more than a month, you will see civil unrest (are you prepared for such an event?)
tldr; no matter what is happening in in the world at large, YOU are responsible for yourself which is why preparedness is so freaking important.  You need to be prepared for anything anyone can throw at you.  You need to prepare now.

Fleeced - Gear Opinion

There are two kinds of fleece jackets: full zipper and half zipper.

While the half zipper is cheaper, the full zipper is preferred. The fleece layer is to trap warm air around the body to keep it warm. It is not a wind-proof layer, that is the job of the outer shell. I digress, the full zipper can control the temperature of the body better. My biggest gripe about the half zipper fleece is that it exposes my skin when it's time to remove the fleece jacket.

My ideal fleece jacket is reasonably priced, YKK zippered, hooded, and a dark natural color. I used to be brand loyal [Patagonia], but sometimes the frugality factor isn't there.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Thursday, October 3, 2013

"That's Not How Life Works"

I'll go ahead and throw my two cents into the great internet void of blogging about politics. In my youth, I was idealistic about government, and had the naive assumption that people actually wanted to help other people out by serving their district and country. After a few hard knocks by life, and watching politics for many years, I can safely say that I was young and dumb.

I guess that I'm still a little mad that my politicians don't have my young idealistic views of government and their job. When my Granddad found out that I was going to start looking for a job, he gave me a very small book entitled "Going the extra mile". I suspect by its age and condition, that he had had it for a very long time, and possibly given to him by his father. The message of the booklet was very simple. Do your best, and go the extra mile. 

I suspect that America's true decline can be directly correlated to the decline of the work ethic. Of course, this is a two-way street, and the employer must be willing to reward the work ethic. We, the citizens, and employers of our government deserve to have our representatives of our Republic to act in our best interest. This means listening to all sides of the argument, and realistically compromising for middle of the road solutions. A true patriot puts aside his personal preferences for the common good.

There are a lot of fundamental problems with the United States, and I don't think that either party is capable of solving it's problems. We need leaders that are not afraid of serving their constituents. We need leaders that are interested in doing the right thing, instead of getting reelected. We need a functional government.

When did doing a good job become unfashionable? We inspired people to do their best and admired people that did their best. America used to be a beacon of light for the world's people, but our lamp has lost a lot of it's shine. "That's not how life works" is not a solution, it's an excuse. I guess that I still need some more growing up to do, because I'm still idealistic.

Keep Right On Prepping - K