the Trash vitae

Trash is the editor-in-chief of an independent Colorado micro-publisher/ design studio. I dabble in digital photography, the lost art of film image making, and guerilla digital video. DrMAC Studios specializes in books and videos on self-reliance, gardening, dumpster diving, urban foraging and living off the excesses of others.
This blog documents my daily experiences with the rest of the world

Monday, October 27, 2008

We are worse off now then in 1929.. some things to consider

bfast-sliced apple, chiabatta bread and brie, dumpie found dates, coffee

lunch- cheese and jalapeno quesadilla, orange,  water bottle

dinner- bbq chicken,stuffing (from eviction take),mashed taters, water

There are some substantial differences between our society in the early 21st Century, and America in the 1930s. With these differences, our society is now much more fragile and vulnerable to collapse. Here are a few that come immediately to mind:

Consider the Attributes of America in the 1930s :

A largely agrarian and self-sufficient society. (Now, just 1% of the population operating farms and ranches feed the other 99%.)

Not heavily dependent on computing and communications, technology, grid power, and petroleum-based fuels.

Shorter chains of supply. Most food was grown within 100 miles of where people lived.

A very small underclass that was dependent on charity or public welfare.

Lower property tax rates and lower (or nonexistent) license fees, vehicle registration fees, et cetera.

The majority of workers lived near their work.

Most displaced workers were willing to accept lower-paying jobs--even doing hard physical labor.

The entire nation was economically self-sufficient and could carry on without many imports.

Far greater self-sufficiency at the household level (domestic water wells, windmills, wood burning stoves, home vegetable gardens, home canning, and so forth)

A much lower level of indebtedness (public and private). At the outset of the Depression most families had cash savings. (We are now a nation of debtors.)

A sound currency, still backed by specie. (Although FDR's administration seized most privately-held gold in 1933, the currency was at least still fully redeemable in silver coinage until 1964.)

Lower percentage of corporate employment--so there were less risk of huge layoffs that would devastate communities

A significantly more moral society that still had compunctions and a prevalently law-abiding attitude.

A homogeneous population that largely shared common Judeo-Christian values. A much larger portion of society attended church regularly

A simpler, less extravagant lifestyle, with tastes in cooking and entertainment that did not require large outlays of cash.

Most families owned only one car (with proportionately lower registration and insurance costs), and they lived in smaller homes that were less expensive to heat.

In summary, in the 1930s it cost a lot less to live (as a percentage of income) and people were willing, able, and accustomed to "making do" without. When people lost their jobs, in many cases they didn't lose their homes because they were paid for. Many folks could simply revert to a self-sufficient lifestyle and earn enough with odd jobs to pay their property taxes. What fraction of

The bottom line: If America were to experience a Second Great Depression, given the high level of debt and systems dependence, there would be enormous rates of dislocation and homelessness. And with modern-day immorality and the prevalent "me first " attitude, I have no doubt that riots and looting would absolutely explode.

Friday, October 24, 2008

fall is all around

bfast--pancakes leftover, coffee
lunch-- pasta and dumpie found sauce doctored with meat ans stewed tomatoes
dinner chili from scratch and cornbread

As you might have guessesd posting here as been slim as of late. Due to health and the losss of internet at home caused by the economic downturn and my reluctance to kiss the ass of comcast and fork over 200 plus a month for services when I can use it to eat and for the foraging endeavors needed to get thru this crises.

So for now I will post from free web areas or at the office place when time permits. But realize that I have not given up the fight .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

lessons to be learned

Great Depression holds lessons for surviving tough economy (CNN)

Memories of salvaging and stealing to avoid going hungry are part of the legacy of the Great Depression. Some iReporters say they can’t help but look at the current economy and feel the past holds lessons for the present.

Donna LeBlanc of Waxia, Louisiana, says she carries no credit to this day as a result of the frugality and self-reliance instilled in her by her family. Her husband keeps the couple’s credit card and maintains a zero balance.

The Great Depression meant scary times for many households as a period of economic downturn spread throughout the world. Historians trace its start to the “Black Tuesday” stock crash on October 29, 1929, and argue that the resulting global desperation set the stage for World War II.

LeBlanc said her grandparents were fortunate that they didn’t have investments and could grow — or catch — their own food during the Depression years.

read the whole story here

Friday, October 10, 2008

10 ways to survive the Depression of 2008....

1. Don’t worry that your savings and checking account will disappear. FDIC banks are guaranteed for $100.000 per person. Pulling all your savings out will hasten the fall of a bank.

2. If a bank does collapse you may have to wait a few weeks or 
months to get your money so have enough cash on hand to get you by 
for at least 1 month.

3. If your food storage is in good order thats great but spend a 
little more now on essentials that may go up in cost soon. Toilet 
paper, feminine supplies, canned goods, dry milk, etc.

4. If you have necessary prescriptions get them filled and keep a 
months supply on hand for backup. medicines will stay good longer if 
stored in the fridge.

5. Keep your gas tank full and fill at least a 5 gallon can in case 
prices skyrocket or supplies get limited. Only drive if absolutely 
necessary and car pool as much as possible.

6. Get a bike.

7. If you live where hunting and fishing are plentiful you may want 
to invest in a 22 rifle and a fishing pole.

8. Its too late to garden this year but get your seeds early and 
plan for next year.

9. It is cheaper for families to pool resources and live 
together than try to keep multiple houses if you are struggling with 
house payments. Kids can share rooms and adults can sleep on floors 
and couches.

10. DON’T PANIC! the great depression didn’t last forever and 
neither will this economic trouble. Simplify your life, share, and 
keep your family and friends close.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

TEOTWAWKI on Saturday morning

Bfast- sausage and eggs with hash brown
lunch-- chunk of bread
dinner-- homemade burger night w fixins

The time to prepare is now..... Its gonna get worse. While the writings have gone from simplistic to drastic in their concerns I tend to go by the "Prepare for the worst either way".. Winter is coming so dont take it lightly. I found this list of prep ideas on one of my fav blogs and am sharing it for my readers..

All of the recent economic news may be overwhelming to some. This has left many people virtually petrified by Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD). Don't be a proverbial "deer in the headlights." I strongly encourage you get past your anxiety uncertainty and instead of sitting around glued to CNN, wringing your hands and saying "ain't it awful". Replace that angst with action. Get busy preparing. Here is my suggested Crash Countdown "D" List, for folks that are already fairly well-prepared:

1.) De-Hummelize

Sell off any collectibles that are not family heirlooms. The worst offenders here are the mass produced "limited edition" Hummel figurines, Beanie Babies and those collector plates from umpteen artists. Because I've mentioned this, please don't think that I'm a misogynist. Men can be just as bad about acquiring trinkets! They are just manly trinkets. Far too many men have gun vaults chock full of "commemorative edition" guns with engraving and gold inlay that they would never dream of shOoting, for fear that their collector value would be diminished. I most strongly recommend that you sell off those guns and replace them with truly practical ones .These days, I lean toward stainless steel guns with synthetic stocks, because of their tremendous longevity.and resistance to corrosion. By selling off your toys and trinkets, you will be A.) clearing space for important logistics, and B.) generating cash to help purchase those same logistics. Trinket items have a ready market with eBay, especially this time of year, as people are shopping for Christmas gifts. Take nice crisp photos, start most of your items at a penny, and make sure that you charge enough to cover your postage and tracking costs.

2.) Dumpster Dive

Watch your local Craig's List like a hawk. It is not unusual to find people giving away or selling a ridiculously low prices dozens of heavy duty canning jars, hand-crank meat grinders, chest freezers, shelving, and poultry brooder, horse tack, and so forth. I've even found running generators available free for the asking. (You haul.)

Mark your calendar for both community yard sales and the next time that your garbage collection service offers an "unlimited curbside pickup" day. Hook up your trailer the evening before, and see what you can find that is free for the taking. (Consult your local ordinances first, of course.) We've found lots of practical items that were still perfectly serviceable, such as rabbit cages, brooms, canes, geriatric walkers, and galvanized wash tubs ("gut buckets") set out on the curb. It would be a shame to see useful item send up in a landfill.

3.) De-Procrastinate.

If you have been putting off any dental work, elective surgery, or getting new lenses for your eyeglasses, then start making appointments!

4.) Dump Your Dollars

Roll over your 401(k) and/or IRA into a gold IRA, available from through Swiss America Trading Company.

5.) Double-Up Your Staple Goods Shopping

Double up your staple groceries shopping. By doing so consistently, you will rapidly build up a supply of canned good. Make sure you mark the date of purchase on the top of each can with a permanent marker (such as a Sharpie pen), and put the most recently purchased cans at the back of the shelf . These are the essential points of "first-in, first-out" (FIFO) rotation.

6.) Divert Your Expenses

Cut out needless expenses, so that you can divert that cash into preparedness. Pare down your expenditures on movies and eating out. But don't go overboard and make yourself (or your spouse and kids) miserable. OBTW, here is an example: The Memsahib's sister found that she could skip Starbucks, and make herself an awesome Vanilla Latte at a 7-11 store, for less than half the price. Do comparison pricing. Is a NetFlix subscription less expensive than a cable movie package? Do you really have the time to watch that much television, anyway? I'm not say to do without life's little pleasures. I'm just saying that there are some less expensive alternatives.

7.) Door-to-Door Introductions

Get to know your neighbors. Go door to door, if need be. Remind folks who you are. Connect names to faces. Make a list of phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Without being too pushy, quiz them a bit if they are "ready fort he next big storm". Find out if any of them have prior military experience, or advanced medical skills. But of course don't volunteer too much information about yourself. It is not wise to brand yourself at he neighborhood Whackamo.

8.) Drums, Cans, and Fuel Tanks

Top off your supplies of gasoline, diesel, and kerosene. Add fuel stabilizer and antibacterials (such as Pri-G and Pri-D), as needed.

9.) Detailed Contingency Plans and Packing Lists

Contact family and friends, and agree on contingency plans that you'll follow, even if the telephone system and e-mail become inoperative. If any relatives are planning to join you at your retreat when TSHTF, then make sure they know exactly what they will need to pack. They may be able to make only one trip there, so they'll have to make it count. (they need to have appropriate winter clothing, gloves, boots, gardening tools, bedding, and so forth to be productive at your retreat.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday fun

bfast--sauasage and fried eggs with hash browns, OJ and coffee
lunch-- Quesadilla with dumpie found cheese andwater bottle
dinner-- still too early for dinner

Well Friday has finally made its way and the staycation is almost over.. Oh well . I got some of the things I wanted to get done done. Others are going to have to be ongoing. I cleaned out the yard of overgrowth in weeds and am starting to reclaim the raised bed I started on. It will prob begin to get soil, compost and coffee grounds as the fall wears on and then covered for the winter.
The stove is in the garage and I will be cleaning it tomorrow. Mrs Trash is already fearing the worst of the coming economic crises ands is talking about bringing it indoors in case of power outage. She also wants a set of cast iron cookware to use (namely a skillet and a dutch oven.. ). If you bring it home they will use it. I will do my best to accomodate her as I make room in the garage for it.