Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin
Your choice for urban survival resources
Inside this issue:
Sell your hair for cash
Preserving your harvest
Ditch your paper towels
Pet health insurance, pet tips
UnPatriot Act Means Terrorists are winning
Economic collapse update-Autumn
“Dominate, Intimidate, Control!” Actual sign displayed at a TSA training center reflecting the mentality toward air travelers.
We’ll leave the light on for you-Our little cabin arrives!
It’s here and you can view a few photos of it at our website at the Cheap Housing tab. It got here faster than we expected and there were some last minute adjustments to the foundation and of course, more work in the area of hookups for the well water and septic, skirting, etc…still waiting for the quote on the solar and wind turbine.
Very nicely crafted and it included many energy saving features including CFR bulbs and an overhead ceiling fan. Even though it has an energy efficient hot water heater, we’re going to construct our own solar hot water heater also.
The ZookCabin driver took the time to call us frequently from the road to tell us of his progress and he’s mighty good at using his multi-tasking flatbed truck…terrific hydraulic system and thankfully, we did not require a Pettibone (essentially a truck with crane) as we had been advised might be needed (would have cost us another grand or so)…set up and placement took under 90-minutes.
The cabin is small however, and we had been looking at various options including pre-made barns and gardening sheds we had seen at a local lumber store to enhance the storage options and even viewed one as a potential 2nd bedroom…when lo & behold, something even better came along that should be in place soon.
We found a 2bdrm/1 bath used mobile home in good condition…simply no appliances, sink, heater, hot water heater and in need of cosmetic work (mostly painting, switch plates, some carpeting)…it will be setup directly behind the cabin and connected so we can use either the current H2O heater or solar one for both…effectively tripling the amount of living space and even with delivery (we’re helping) will be under budget.
Most of the remodeling costs, such as a replacement sink, switch plates, and so on, will be purchased at our area Rehab resale shop (if you have a Habitat for Humanity in your area, check to see if they have a resale shop…we’ve already picked up a well bladder for $10 and several rolls of insulation for under the cabin for $4 a roll and a new bathroom sink with fixtures for $15...can‘t beat it). Of course, we’ll do much of the work ourselves saving even more cash.
It’s a pretty easy task to run dual lines for the water supply and electric and in the spring, we’ll hide much of everything with shrubbery and we’re set back from the road far enough that the housing area, barn or chicken coupe aren’t immediately visible.
Having been an office jockey exec most of my life, this has been a valuable learning experience (still have much to learn, but it saves lots of loot) so far and proves that with the right approach, one can still have a small, mortgage-free homestead and save a lot of money.
"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."-- James Madison
This week’s resources & goodies
Three ways to ditch paper towels
Sure, using 100-percent recycled paper products beats using paper towels made from virgin fiber, but the greenest option is to skip the paper towels all together.
Whether you're in the kitchen, cleaning up spills, or out and about, there are reusable options that can help you save a tree…more at:
Sell Your Hair for Cash-another easy means of generating extra cash!
Verify your eligibility. Buyers are looking for healthy, "virgin" hair that is 10 inches long or longer. If your hair has been dyed, bleached, permed or you're a smoker, you aren't likely to find a buyer. Get rest of story here:
This is a pretty cool site for searching for eBay items! Under 'Get to the Good Stuff on eBay!' (across the top) there are three tabs: Popular Item Search, Top 500 Most Popular, and Blog. The example below shows the top half of the website home page; the bottom of the page has a huge list of Most Attention Grabbing Auctions, as well as a Recent Search bar along the right side. If you want to look for great deals and need a lot of different options to work with, try WatchedItem.com.
PayPal Answers Questions about off-eBay Buyer Protection
PayPal announced last week it would extend its buyer protection
program to off-eBay websites effective November 1, 2010. Wendy
Roberts, Consumer Protections at PayPal, put together a response
to questions sellers were asking, including those found on the
AuctionBytes Letters to the Editor blog.
Solar Energy SmartStart Guide
Download our Solar Energy Smart Start Guide. This is the fastest and easiest way to learn what you need to know to get started with solar energy.
Pet Health Insurance Can Be a Good Buy
Pet health insurance can be a good buy if your animal is predisposed to certain conditions and the insurer will cover those conditions. Example: Dachshunds often develop herniated discs. Insurance also should cover trauma, in case a pet breaks a leg or is hit by a car. Treatment can cost thousands of dollars without insurance. Pet insurance usually costs about $1.50 a day. Read policies very carefully because many limit what they cover and restrict how much they will pay even for covered events. Providers include Purina, the ASPCA, Hartville Pet Insurance and others. The company you choose should be licensed in your state so that you are not left with unpaid bills if the company folds.
Bottom Line/Personal interviewed Lee Rosenberg, CFP, principal, ARS Financial Services, Inc., Jericho, New York.
NOTE: The Poor Man’s wife (the Poor Wife) has worked for years in a vet hospital and agrees insurance, in most cases, is a good investment as vet care is not inexpensive. Also, here is an idea she uses…Avon’s Skin-so-Soft has worked as an effective flea repellent for dogs. She uses about 1.5 to 2 ounces to one gallon of water and sponge dipped flea-ridden dogs…although not quite as good as a flea dip it does give their coat a nice sheen!
It’s also handy to repel mosquitos from humans!
More on pets???
Some people enjoy skunks as pets and have them de-scented…but if you or your dog come in contact with them, try this recipe for removing the odor.
1 qt of 3% hydrogen peroxide
¼ pound baking soda
A pinch or so of liquid laundry detergent
Mix a fresh batch each time the need arises…wash the problem areas and rinse well!
Get rid of mice by placing Bounce brand dryer sheets in your drawers, closets, cabinets, etc. Mice should leave as they dislike the odor; generic brands don’t work as well so I guess this a plug for Bounce.
Estimated cost to caulk & weatherstrip a 2,000 sq ft home
This estimate is based on a national average IF you had to do everything on your home and includes installation of vinyl weatherstripping and door sweeps - materials=$150
If you hire a contractor…$750 (labor and markup). A caulking gun is your best defense!
The AMAC Challenge
--An alternative to AARP, which many have grown to dislike
Our new membership website is www.joinamac.us
Or Call 888-262-2006 or 877-461-7868
Be sure to use our member-get-a-member code: MGM2010.
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Once was the time that the Democrat Party was the embodiment of individual responsibility and states' rights. But the party was led astray by "useful idiots" on the Left, and by the end of Franklin Roosevelt's reign, the Party had been turned on end.
Preserving the Harvest
Different methods work well with different foods; try each to find your favorite.
by Kris Wetherbee
Preserving garden and orchard bounty is an easy way to save money while packing away some very good food for wintertime eating. Through the years I have canned thousands of jars, dried just about everything under the sun and filled my freezer many times over with our own homegrown produce. Why? For the simple reason that home-preserved foods from garden-fresh fruits and veggies are healthy, taste wonderful, and you know exactly how that produce was grown.
Pick your preference
Canning, freezing and dehydrating are three tasty ways to preserve the garden’s bounty from season to season. The method you choose depends on the type of food you’ve grown, your eating preferences, and the type of equipment that you buy, borrow or already have on hand.
Some foods are fantastic when canned, especially pickled foods (pepper relish, dill pickles and sauerkraut, for example), prepared foods (such as fruit sauces, homemade pasta sauces and soups), certain vegetables (particularly tomatoes, green beans and corn), and fruits (especially peaches, apricots, apples and Asian pears).
Freezing is great for retaining the color, texture and nutrients of many fruits and vegetables. The amount of prep time involved depends on the produce – certain vegetables need to be blanched before freezing in order to preserve the texture. You might need a bigger freezer to accommodate the results of your freezing endeavors.
Dehydrating is an economical way to preserve certain foods since it requires very little equipment. And the significant reduction in size from fresh to dehydrated makes dried foods easier to store.
Proper canning techniques – which include sustained high heat – destroy enzymes, stop the growth and activity of microorganisms that cause foods to spoil and contribute to food poisoning, and create a vacuum seal to prevent further spoilage.
Trust me, canning is not difficult. But following the rules and paying attention to detail are critical to ensure safe food and high-quality results. Before you start, I highly recommend that you get your hands on an updated canning book such as the Ball Blue Book, or contact your local county extension agent so you have all the step-by-step canning information needed.
Foods can be canned in either a pressure canner or a boiling-water canner. Acidic foods with a pH of 4.6 or lower can be safely processed in a boiling-water canner (212 degrees Fahrenheit). These include fruits, jams, jellies, relishes, most tomatoes, and anything pickled in a vinegar solution, such as pickled vegetables. To increase the acidity of low-acid tomatoes, add 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid per quart of processed tomatoes.
Low-acid foods are processed at a higher temperature (240 degrees) using a steam pressure canner with either a weighted or dial gauge. These include all seafood, meats, milk and fresh vegetables, with the exception of tomatoes. This is where canning can become a bit more complex. If you’re new to canning it’s best to start with something simple, like blackberry preserves or dill pickles.
Other canning essentials include glass canning jars designed to withstand heat shock. Use jars with narrow openings for semi-solid foods like jams and sauces. Wide-mouth jars are easier to pack and retrieve pickles, peaches and other solid foods. Each jar will need a two-piece lid consisting of a new metal vacuum lid and a metal screw ring (band). Rings may be reused, but lids must always be new. You’ll also need a funnel for filling jars, a heat-resistant spatula for removing air bubbles, a rubber-coated lifter for removing the hot processed jars from the canner and a cooking timer.
Freezing preserves fruits and vegetables, and their fabulous freshness, flavor, texture and nutrients, by slowing down enzyme activity and growth of microorganisms via extreme cold set at zero degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
Fruits and herbs are ideal to freeze as are many vegetables. Young, tender vegetables are best for freezing. (Vegetables that are mature or slightly past mature are better suited to canning.) Fruits can be frozen using the “flash-freeze” method, or by packing them in syrup (wet pack). To flash-freeze, place washed and drained fruit in a single layer on trays lined with wax paper and freeze until fruit is firm. (Chop or slice large fruit such as apples; leave berries and other small fruit whole.) Flash-frozen fruit stored in airtight freezer containers or snap-and-seal type freezer bags makes it easy to pour out the exact amount needed for blueberry muffins or apple pie.
When cutting certain fruits, such as peaches, apples and pears, you’ll need to coat them with lemon juice, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) or honey prior to freezing to keep them from turning brown. Either mix it with the prepared fruit and syrup for the wet pack method, or mix with water and dip fruit prior to flash-freezing.
Many vegetables and herbs (including whole corn kernels) can be frozen for up to four weeks by “flash-freezing” or popping them directly into a freezer-safe container or bag. However, if you plan to store food for longer than four weeks in the freezer, most veggies will need to be blanched first.
Blanching involves heating food for several minutes in boiling water to inactivate enzymes and prevent the breakdown in the texture, flavor and color of vegetables. Green onions, tomatoes, hot peppers, most herbs and sweet peppers cut into strips or chunks are the exception to the blanching rule and will freeze well without it. The key to blanching is to process veggies in small batches, then immediately cool the blanched batch in ice water to stop the cooking process.
Drying is easy
You can dry foods in several ways: Sun drying, oven drying and using a food dehydrator. Regardless of the drying method, the process is basically the same – warm air temperatures evaporate the moisture in foods. Remove the moisture and you remove the potential for spoilage. The key is to keep the surrounding temperature between 95 and 140 degrees. Foods dried at lower temperatures are subject to spoilage; higher temperatures will cook foods rather than dry them. Adequate air circulation and less than 60 percent relative humidity are also essential to successful drying.
Sun drying can take up to five days, plus food can lose up to half its nutrients, and temperatures are often inconsistent. The downside to oven drying is that the oven is in use so you can't cook meals. Fruit dried in the oven may also be less flavorful.
The food dehydrator is the best of the bunch and well worth the investment. Garden produce from zucchini, corn, sweet peppers and tomatoes, to grapes, cherries and strawberries can be dried 24/7 without your constant supervision. (High-moisture foods like cucumbers and melons do not dry well and are best suited to freezing.) Drying time varies from several hours to a day or two, with food dehydrators with a fan or blower drying the fastest. The smaller and more uniform the food, the faster it dries.
Whether canned, frozen or dried, always use quality produce, wash fresh fruits and vegetables, and be sure to process them within hours of harvesting. Have all your food and supplies prepared and ready before you begin. And make sure you label each jar, container or bag with both name and date. In the end, you may discover that you enjoy preserving your harvest as much as you do growing it.
Spiced Blackberry Preserves
1 pound blackberries
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
3 ounces pectin (1/2 of 6-ounce bottle)
In kettle or large pot, combine berries, sugar, lemon juice and spices. Bring to rolling boil and boil hard, uncovered, for 1 minute while stirring. Remove pot from heat and stir in pectin. Skim foam, then pour into sterilized half-pint jars and seal. Yields 5 to 6 half-pints.
Garden Fresh Salsa
10 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (about 6 pounds)
2 large onions, chopped
2 sweet peppers, seeded and chopped
3 mildly hot peppers (such as Anaheim), seeded and chopped
4 to 6 medium to hot peppers (such as Serrano), seeded and minced
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil or cilantro
4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
Juice from 2 limes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
Combine all ingredients together in large saucepot. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle hot salsa into sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Seal and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Yields about 6 pints.
Crispy Dill Pickles
8 pounds pickling cucumbers
6 tablespoons dill seed, divided
2 tablespoons pickling spice, divided
12 whole black peppercorns, divided
12 garlic cloves, divided
12 grape leaves, divided
6 cups vinegar
6 cups water
3 tablespoons salt
Prepare 6 quart or 12 pint canning jars. Wash and drain cucumbers. If cucumbers are larger than 4 inches, cut in half lengthwise. Pack cucumbers in clean, hot jars. For each quart jar, add 1 tablespoon dill seed, 1 teaspoon pickling spice, 2 whole black peppercorns, 2 garlic cloves and 2 grape leaves. Divide in half if using pint jars. Combine vinegar, water and salt in large saucepot; bring to a boil. Fill packed jars with boiling vinegar solution to within 1/2 inch from top of jar for quarts; 1/4 inch from top of jar for pints. Process in boiling water canner, 10 minutes for pint jars or 15 minutes for quart jars. Yields 6 quarts or 12 pints.
Excerpted from GRIT, Celebrating Rural America Since 1882. To read more articles from GRIT, please visit www.Grit.com or call (866) 624-9388 to subscribe. Copyright 2010 by Ogden Publications Inc.
"Unless they can pass the same test that immigrants must pass to become citizens, people shouldn't be allowed to vote. The idea that there is some public benefit in ignoramuses and morons pulling levers next to names on a ballot is one of the evil myths of post-modern America. The purpose of voting, in our country, is to select men and women with the competence and integrity to operate the mechanics of government fixed by our Constitution. For this process to have any public benefit requires that the choices be made on an intelligent, knowledgeable and reasoned basis."
-- Charley Reese
Source: The Orlando Sentinel,
Economic Collapse Update: Acceleration In Autumn
Our current economy is a shell game. A grand fraud designed to siphon more and more tangible wealth (not fiat wealth) from the average person and transport it post-haste into the silk lined pockets of a corporate banking minority. The goal? To reduce the self sufficiency of American citizens to the point of total fiscal and social dependence on the top 1% richest men in the world. Conspiracy theory? Not in the slightest. Just a cold hard fact of history. “Feudalism” is, sadly, rampant in the annals of human culture. Anyone who believes that our modern era is somehow different is simply fooling themselves. Elitists seek power over others, they always have and they always will, and, the most efficient way to gain control over the lives of the masses is through engineered imbalances in economy.
Every time you hear the term “bailout”, or “quantitative easing”, just think “wealth transference”. Every dollar that is printed from thin air by the private Federal Reserve and handed to a globalist entity like Goldman Sachs or AIG through our Treasury represents yet another dollar of debt (and another percentage of interest) that you, the U.S. taxpayer, and your children, are expected to eventually pay for without ever seeing any benefits.
Right now, at this very moment, you and your descendents for generations to come are being enslaved by forcefully imposed usury. Our country has been “volunteered” for a financial debasement on a scale that dwarfs the Great Depression or even the Weimar catastrophe. We ignore this reality at our peril.
NOTE: I don’t know this writer but he seems to concur with what the Poor Man has been writing…read the rest at: http://neithercorp.us/npress/?p=812
OBAMA WANTS INTERNET WIRETAPS:
Next year, President Obama plans to submit a bill to Congress that will seek to make it legal for the government to wiretap online communications—including encrypted BlackBerry email, Facebook, and Skype. Law-enforcement officials say the rise of online communication has rendered their ability to wiretap telephones less useful. “They are really asking for the authority to redesign services that take advantage of the unique, and now pervasive, architecture of the Internet,” said the vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function.
As our government passes more laws restricting our rights in the name of “protecting” us, it’s just a sign that the terrorists are winning. We now have a shadow government made up of ‘security’ contractors and the legislators who get campaign funds from these corporations…with its growth, our financial privacy is gone, out the window, zero…the UnPatriot Act has violated just about everything our Constitution and Bill of Rights guaranteed.
We now live in a 1984-style surveillance state where cell phone, email, fax communications are routinely monitored by the government. There are tracking devices in every cell phone (to locate us in the event of a 911 emergency call) and you can be tracked each time your phone is turned on. Some newer phones which appear to be turned off, actually go into a low-power sleep mode and can be tracked.
Detection devices are available from spy shops and online. The MCD-22H can detect bugs, hidden cameras, and GPS tracking devices attached without your knowledge to your car, etc. - available at: www.countersurveillance.com
"A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man,
which debt he proposes to pay off with your money."
-- G. Gordon Liddy
The S&P just closed out it's best September in years with a rip-roaring move to the upside. The path of least resistance is higher...for now. The stronger market may bode well for incumbents in November, as the mood of the country seems to flip-flop with the direction of the market.
While every cloud may have a silver lining, the current forecast for the US is not as clear. Government spending remains out of control, and that's just for the stuff we know about. There are so many off-balance sheet unfounded mandates that we are unaware about that could magnify the deficit beyond anyone's most pessimistic projections. Just one example is the unfunded liabilities for veteran's health care. For vets coming home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the liability is projected to be more than $1.3 trillion dollars by 2020.
PARIS – Fresh fears of a looming international currency war sent the dollar to an eight-month low against the euro Thursday as top world financial officials cautioned that competing devaluations of countries' currencies could threaten the global economic recovery.
The US dollar is noticeably lower now than it was just a few months ago and the no-end-in-sight debt issues of the US are directly to blame. Commodity prices are booming, still, with Gold topping $1,300 per ounce for the first time. If there was an easy fix, I would suggest it. But, short of a freeze on government spending and the inevitable cuts in entitlement spending for social security and Medicare, nothing much could make a dent in the astronomical liabilities the US is responsible for.
US assets cheap. The cheapest and most attractive US asset for foreigners is real estate. For foreign investors, the advantage is two fold. First the US housing collapse has sent prices spiraling downward. Second, the weak dollar means an even larger discount. The two biggest foreign buyers of US real estate today are Canadians and the Chinese.
The case for owning commodities and investing in commodity-based countries continues to strengthen. The Poor Man warned in last week’s issue that commodity prices are headed up…the reason I include these observations in your bulletin is so you have an understanding of what’s going on and why your money buys less.
The US debt situation has me and a lot of others scared. I don’t see any way out of this debt crisis. The US government borrows 40% of its budget…this has happened throughout history to governments, not just the US and in every single case, the country experienced hyperinflation.
It's the deficit - all $1.47 trillion of it - that has most people worried.
The Fed's goal is clearly to debase the U.S. dollar in order to create inflation. Or in the infamous words of now-Chairman Ben Bernanke from November 2002 ...
"U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.
"By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services.
"We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation."
The worst possible investment you could make today would be to buy US treasuries, especially long term bonds. With yields approaching 3% on the 30-year bond, you are locking yourself in for decades of misery…you are probably better off investing in land, food, gold and silver, guns and ammo…just my humble opinion - at least you won’t starve following my advice!
Yours for better living - Bruce ‘The Poor Man’
Feel free to weigh in on the comments and news articles presented in the Poor Man Bulletin
Send to: Poormansurvivor@yahoo.com
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