Sunday, October 26, 2014


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 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

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Radiologic Technologist

Last Monday was a big day for me, I took my ARRT exam. The test consists of 220 questions about radiographic procedures, physics, anatomy, and other related topics to x-rays. This was the BIG test that I had been preparing for during school.

The above picture is all of my school handouts. Each color for a different class each semester, and a separate folder for each test section. Eventually, I would also notate problem areas during that test chapter, so that relearning the information would be easier. It made life a lot easier when final exam time rolled around.

The three ring binder contains all of my school assignments that got turned in via Blackboard. The spiral bound notebook was an ARRT study guide that was built from the exam topics that they provide every year. This 113 page monster was compiled over three weeks by myself, J, and Joel. I guess you could call it our study group's crown jewel.

The ARRT exam can last up to three and a half hours. During the test, I thought, "Are they really asking if the head is superior to the thorax? It can't be this easy!" At other times, I had no idea about the Stuffenwaffle projection for the patella. It was a roller coaster ride, and I seriously thought that I wouldn't pass a few times.  I can safely say that I don';t have any heart problems because my heart was about to come out of my chest when I clicked the submit button after reviewing my test.

I scored 89% with 75% needed to pass the registry. I am officially a licensed radiologic technologist!

Keep Right On Prepping - K     R.T.(R)(ARRT)

Now to start preparing for my MRI registry...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dark Clouds on The Horizon

Buried today in the economics of the news, I found a little tidbit that hasn't recieved much attention by the traditional media here in the United States. According to the IMF, China has passed the United States as the world's largest economy. (2nd source) (3rd source)

Wait. Mark Twain that there are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics. The IMF does some tweaking with the numbers, "economists try to adjust for what a dollar buys in different countries by seeking out prices of goods and services..." Basically, they are saying an orange in China is a quarter, and in the US it is a half dollar, and then compare the two economies to over simplify it.

We can take away a few things from this new tidbit. With China's population, it will become the world's largest economy. The only thing keeping it from happening is that domestic demand isn't as strong as the export business.  When domestic demand overtakes the export side of the China's economy, the yuan won't need the greenback anymore. China will exert it's influence and demand that trade deals, like those already being forged, will have to be denominated on their currency. Slowly, bit by bit, the Chinese will undermine the US dollar as the world trade currency.

The ironic part, is that the American consumer is willfully letting it happen to them by buying the Chinese made goods, of which, I'm guilty.

Prediction: Look for Radio Shack and Sears to be out of business by the end of the year. Radio Shack for cheap Chinese made goods and being over levelaged. Sears for Harbor Freight denting their bottom line with cheap tools.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ebola status and Arkansas

The Little Rock based hospital UAMS has been named the center where all Ebola cases for Arkansas will be treated. It's not really surprising considering all the new and expensive "toys" that the hospital gets to purchase and I image it could handle maybe 15-50 cases of Ebola without a problem. Any more than that, and I think that they will start to run into staffing problems.

I know that when it snows or ices in Arkansas, it is always a problem with the hospitals needing people to work. I can image how it would translate if Ebola cases started to arrive. My contact tells me that the students here can be "required" to help during certain circumstances.

I'm not really worried about Ebola since it is a spread by contact.  I've included a link for those wanting to seek more information. If it spreads to an airborne type, then I'll be worried, especially with the length of incubation for this disease.

Keep Right On Prepping - K