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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Worms, Turtles, Tanning a Hide, Poor Man Goodies

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
Your choice for urban survival resources

Inside this issue:

Cool resources you can use
Easy ways to cut your water bill
Primer on tanning a hide (not your kids)
Easy turtle traps
Raising worms year round
The government black hole
Headlines for the year 2038

Those who have been intoxicated with power... can never willingly abandon it."
-- Edmund Burke (1729-1797) Irish-born British statesman

The Government Black Hole

I don’t care what kind of rabbit our government attempts to pull out of our collective hat, but there is a rule of economics no one can ignore forever…they cannot spend more than they take in. At some point, the interest alone will eat up everything Washington takes in and with the unemployment picture still bleak, there is plenty to worry about.

The more the government becomes indebted, the less money there is for private business to borrow. The less investment or operating capital small business and startups have, the worse the employment picture becomes. It’s pretty certain 20% of the country is now unemployed and the remaining 80% is more than a little worried about their job (that worry extends to government workers too now).

The new health care snare will most likely make things worse (not enough doctors, not enough cash for folks to ‘pay’ premiums, eventual cuts in medicare, etc.) for our nation and our national debt.

As the overlords at the Federal Reserve worry about our government’s ability to pay this ‘debt,’ they will further urge Washington to take aim at the pensions and Social Security funds. Private pension funds will eventually be absorbed into Social Security. Your private retirement accounts, estimated at over $1.2 trillion, will become a mighty tempting target for those beltway thieves. Some financial planners are privately telling their clients to cash in their 401(s)s and other retirement funds and put the cash into land, paying off their home, stockpiling food and other supplies, etc. They say, “pay the tax penalty & forget it as your money will only continue to lose value.” An NBC news report states that record numbers of people are dipping into their 401k just to keep a roof over their head and even with so-called ‘hardship’ withdrawals, a 10% penalty is charged by the IRS…guess the IRS doesn’t know what a hardship is so they add more insult.

We hear a lot of propaganda from DC about making the rich pay more…yeah right. Most wealthy folks aren’t dumb. A good portion of their portfolio lies in offshore accounts, trust accounts, and in their corporations. Remember, corporations pay less taxes than ever before and in reality, they pay no taxes as those added costs are simply passed along to consumers or are eroded via corporate welfare (think of oil company tax breaks).

"Forget the thoughts of recovery and hunker down for more economic pain and crisis."

You can remain where many Americans are with their head buried in the sand but most of us do realize Congress has exempted itself from many laws that we suffer through (Social Security, schools, and civil rights) in effect creating a new caste system where officials and politicians lord over their serfs.

While most of the banter through the latter part of 2009 was about an imminent run-in with inflation, the reality is, without demand, there's no inflation!

This isn’t a problem for Democrats or Republicans, it’s an American problem…honest people are sweating it out while politicians live with the upper five percent of income levels in this country…and that’s not counting the special perks they get from special interest groups!

The bottom line is this…the very survival of our country is on the line and only YOU can do something about it. Join up with the Tea Party or similar group today and get involved.

I don’t want the cheese, I just want out of the trap!
--Spanish proverb

The Latest in Resources

Gas & Electric powered bikes and conversion kits

Become more energy independent

Find local deals instantly at this site
Simply enter your zip code & it will scour the net for you

Find the price a dealer pays for a car…visit these sites: or the True Market Value section of when buying a used vehicle, start negotiating at $1-$2000 below asking price.

Easy PDF creation-basic version is free and it’s an easy program to use

Easy Ways to Cut Your Water Bill…readers know I’ve ranted about high water bills ($20 a month more than when we lived in the desert) here in the Great Lakes. Here are a couple of fast ways to cut your bill.

It’s not necessary to pre-rinse dishes before loading them into a dishwasher
Take shorter showers and use low flow nozzles
Place low flow aerators on all our faucets
Buy a low flow toilet or place a plastic bottle filled with sand into the tank

Use a self serve car wash vs. doing it at home
Soak grass early in the am; otherwise you lose more later in the day due to runoff and evaporation - twice a week is enough
Use rain barrels to collect water runoff from your downspout - it’s remarkable what you’ll get (we fill 5 or so a month to use in our garden)
Wash clothing during off hours to save utility costs
Save left over water from boiling vegetable to use on your plants - terrific nutrient

Generac Power Systems…a few issues back we included a piece about choosing generators and thanks to Fred, a new subscriber, he suggests taking a look at this firm which offers a wide variety of power backup models for home and business.

Quick Primer on Tanning a Hide (No, not your kid)!

Tanning a hide is tough work. The only ‘easy’ one I’ve seen was done by a former roommate in AZ who caught a rattlesnake and made the skin into a belt…we ate the snake meat and it tasted like salty chicken.

One method used by Native American Indians calls for a pole about six inches in diameter, with a seat made on it. The pole is laid out at a 45 degree angle, and the fibers of the hide are broken by pulling the hide over and over again over the surface while being worked over the pole. As the fibers dry, the hide is rubbed with oil (sunflower oil works).

An easier method is the alum-salt process which is good for small hides. Tannic acid can be used in place of alum.

The first thing of course is to carefully skin the animal. My brother-in-law finds road kill to use often and it seems to work for him. Make sure you don’t tear any holes in the hide. Secure the skin and remove all fleshy pieces and fat from the hide using a dull knife.

Once done, embed the hide with salt and place into a cool area for a couple of days. Then start working on the piece by scraping off excess flesh that the salt has loosened. Soak the hide in a mixture of one part salt to four parts water in a barrel or crock (don’t use metal containers). For small hides soak for a day or two, for larger hides, soak for two to three weeks. Once in the solution, the hides are easier to work.

Next, take the hide from the solution and wring the excess out. Place them back into the container and cover completely with a solution of one cup alum, three cups salt, and eight cups of water. Stir the hide twice daily for a week to ten days. Sometimes the hide will float to the top - weight it down with a stone or something.

Next remove the hide from the solution and place it under running water and wash thoroughly until no longer salty. Then hang out on a line in the sun. Stretch it out to ensure it dries completely. If you don’t dry it well in the sun, it will rot.

Once dried it will get white and stiff; then begin pulling, stretching and working it with your hands…use a table edge to help work it thoroughly. To make it more pliable, use some Neatsfoot oil (the kind you used on your baseball glove). Finally, if you want the hide to last even longer, stretch the hide over a small rack, fur side up, and build a small smoke fire under it which will help make it waterproof. Lengthy periods of smoking will turn it from buckskin to a black color (that’s the reason the Blackfoot tribe was so named).

Homemade Turtle Traps

Turtles are very tasty and there are many recipes for soups and stews. When scouting around our new property and pond we found evidence of turtles and here are few ways to catch them.

1. Use a spring-type rattrap of catching them (turtles are often consider a menace to game fish in the pond). Set several posts in shallow water near the shore; long enough so the tops will project a foot or more above the water. Nail a rattrap to each post with a bait pan at or just above the water level. Bait the traps with raw meat or chicken parts. When the turtle grabs the bait, the trap will spring.

2. Big soft shelled snappers are often the worst offenders when it comes to eating small waterfowl and fish in your pond. You won’t often find turtles in fast moving water, mostly ponds and creeks. Another easy trap is to tie a half-gallon jug, tightly corked or sealed with cap and carrying about 30-36 inches of line, a heavy wire leader and a stout barbed hook baited with raw beef or fish (carp works well). Place several of these around the areas most affected. My Uncle Bob used to bow-hunt carp in the marsh across from our cottage and the heads also make good fertilizer for the garden.

Check on the traps frequently. Of course, you can catch turtles with ordinary fishing tackle, just be sure to use larger hooks ) two hooks tied together work best.

Want to raise turtles to eat…see our site or go to:

Raise fishing worms year round…

Even in the driest of weather you can have worms for spring or winter fishing, ice fishing and more. Get an old washtub (try a large tote also) and prepare it by punching a row of holes around the lower part of its side and a number of holes in the bottom to allow for drainage.
Because worms breed and multiply, cover the bottom of the tub on the inside with a piece of screen wire to prevent small worms from falling through the drain holes. Place a layer of corncobs broken into short pieces, over the screen. Then place a layer of rich rotted leaf mold and a layer of rich soil (peat works well). Repeat this process until the tub is nearly full.
Lay several burlap sacks across the top and dampen the contents of the tub.
Dig up a few hundred worms and place them under the sacks. Feed the worms efvery ten days with a mixture of coffee grounds, 1 cup sour milk (add a little syrup too - 3 tablespoons) and pour the mixture over the inside of the tub (under the burlap sacks).
Keep the tub in a cool part of your basement during summer months and in a warm spot during the winter. Keep contents damp but not too moist for best results. Check this site for some more modern methods of raising worms.

"Most people prefer to believe that their leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all."
-- Michael Rivero

Kind of Unusual Styrofoam Dome House-Looks Like an ice cream sundae
The Poor Man hopes to be interviewing someone from the firm soon (they’re overseas) but these home go for an average of $30K and are termite proof among other things. Check them out at their site.

*Headlines For The Year 2038:

–Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights.

–A $75-billion study lasting 85 years proves diet and exercise are the key to weight loss.

–Average adult male in America weighs more than 250 pounds; women close in on 200.

–Cost of first-class stamp is now $17.89; mail is only delivered on Wednesday.

–Congress requires that every high school in America include an abortion clinic.

–Castro finally dies at age 112. Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton bans smoking everywhere in the country where two or more people are present.

–Global cooling is blamed for the third consecutive year of crop failures in Mexifornia and Floruba.

–France pleads for outside assistance after country is conquered by Jamaica. No one comes to their aid

Among life’s perpetually charming questions is whether the truly evil do more harm than the self-righteous & wrong. --Jon Margolis

>>>News Roundup

John Kappenman, the owner and Chief Analyst of Storm Analysis Consultants. John has a resume and list of professional accomplishments the length of my arm and is one of the world's leading experts on the dangers from geomagnetic storms, or what is commonly known as an ElectroMagneticPulse (EMP).

His testimony before the US House of Representatives was so compelling that the House voted unanimously to accept John's new recommendations to protect the grid, and yet the legislation appears dead in the US Senate. Think about that-unanimity in the US House of Representatives. Even Ron Paul supports this.

If our leaders fail to act, John and others experts have predicted that:
A solar storm of extreme strength will hit within the next few years
The entire global electric grid could go down
The most at-risk components are hugely expensive and take years to replace
We may live without electricity for 4-10 years

Bankruptcy filings soared 32% in 2009. And 2010 rates are up 13% over 2009! These tough times are hurting Americans from all walks of life--even celebrities aren't immune. Actor Stephen Baldwin, baseball great Lenny Dykstra and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey are just a few celebrities to recently declare bankruptcy.

As much as we'd like to help you get your debts under control without having to declare bankruptcy, there are times when it is the best option. We know it won't be easy, so if you or someone you know is considering bankruptcy, we hope the information we pass here will help you.

More at:;jsessionid=3A83F25E0D2C23B2849B91E67F745B45

The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious
Encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning
But without understanding.
-Justice Brandeis

The Final Word

The green are getting going in the US with bike pedaled rickshaws called pedicabs…great way to stay in shape. When my kids were little, I biked around town with them strapped in a seat behind me and eventually, they rode alongside me. At least once a week I rode my bike 19-miles each way to my office. I need to start doing that again…except I work from the house!

When my boys were in elementary school they rode a bus the four blocks or so to get to their classes and I always thought it odd. You never heard it before, but when I was young, we walked to school everyday and it was close five miles. This is true, except for winter weather when we took a city bus. Back then, there were few fat kids or kids on Ritalin.

When I approached the headmistress at the school my sons attended about this need for school busing, she told me parent’s wanted it. She agreed kids would be better off walking to school and would at the same time, get rid of their excess energy-something most boys have an abundance of and they wouldn’t need to be drugged.

In some areas, suburban kids are pounding the pavement as ‘walking school buses,’ under adult supervision of course! We are also seeing more ecocabs, pedal and electric motor-powered bikes that use their small motor only when going up a hill.

Finally, if you have a group or want to start a like-minded group in your area (or want to join an existing group) check this no cost site out:

Yours for a free America,
Bruce ‘The Poor Man” - our urban survival site
http://www.GreenIrene.Com/PoorMan - good green resource - our eBay booksite

Here’s our newest You Tube character movie - check it out:
Let me know which you like better…I’m new at this stuff!

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