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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dumpster Diving, Houseboats for Cheap Living, Best Flea Markets

Bruce’s Poor Man Survivor Bulletin

Your choice for urban survival resources

In This Issue:

1. 5 Golden Rules of Dumpster Diving
2. Living cheap on a houseboat
3. Survival Tips from the Rich Dad
4. When the crap hit’s the fan, what we do know
5. Best flea markets in the US

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than
sincere ignorance and conscious stupidity."
-- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Living the cheap life on a houseboat

As a kid I grew up around the water as my grandfather owned a cottage on a big lake and owned several boats. We did a lot of fishing back then, mostly perch which in those days, there was virtually no limit on what you could catch. Plenty of fish scaling and yanking out the innards-and tons of flies swarming about on those hot summer days.

Later in life, we had a family owned condo in Ocean City, MD and would frequently rent a houseboat too. Lots of fun and we were able to put down nets smeared with chicken fat and haul up a load of great tasting crabs for the evening meal. (Nothing like fresh crab sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning along with ice cold beer on a hot, muggy night).

I’ve always considered living on the water, especially on a houseboat. Pretty inexpensive, no permanent address, eat what you catch, pick up and move to another location when you like. With the advent of solar and small wind turbines and internet via satellite, it continues to look attractive to me, but…

The Poor Man’s wife doesn’t have sea legs and unlike the Poor Man who learned to dive while serving in the Navy, she has no interest, beside, a horse would never fit onboard easily. The cats, maybe.

Other folks prefer a land roaming lifestyle using a big RV. That can be nice and some of the 5th wheels I’ve seen are pretty cozy…but they cost a lot to buy and even more to drive or tow around the country. Then there are the RV park fees. There was a time when you could sort of drop anchor in the middle of nowhere but as governments and landowners became more greedy, those are getting tough to find except for some remote desert and mountain locations out west.

I always recall a TV show called the Rockford Files with Jim Garner. He lived in a cheap trailer on a beachfront hideaway. Then there was Jack Klugman who played a role on Quincy. He lived on a large sailboat. Oh well, those guys were all single.

In any event, if you have sense of adventure and don’t want the ‘advantage’ of being tracked by the Census Bureau’s GPS system, ex-spouses and bill collectors, this might a way to consider. There are houseboats for sale on eBay and you can use the sites listed here to learn more about this kind of lifestyle.

Houseboats are a different and exciting way to live. There are multiple brands and sizes of them. There are simple houseboats and huge luxurious houseboats. But for most of us, the first thing we look at when purchasing a houseboat is the price.

Our Poor Man cabin progress was slowed due to local inspectors who proved inept and costly to our financial well-being. We’ll finish up the plumbing and outbuilding in the spring and hope to begin planting our small area of crops. You can see more photos on our site under the Cheap Housing tab.

Tons of useful and mostly free information on houseboat living including a free magazine and free classified ads and other resources.

Get rid of water rings from wood tables by dabbing on a non-gel toothpaste with a damp cloth & gently massage the mark until it’s gone, then wipe with a clean cloth.

Reminder to New & Existing Subscribers
All subscribers can take advantage of the built-in free classifieds under our YahooGroups page…feel free to place an ad with your offers, wants, etc. Many have taken advantage of this as we encourage a sharing community.
For example, here in IC, MI we have the Grocery Outlet where you can find many bargains, especially on canned goods. Recently, we purchased 2lb cans of beef stew for $1.50, 6oz bottles of pure honey for $1 and small jars of freeze dried coffee for a buck…all those items are good for barter as well. Here’s a quick link.

Politicians and other patriotic types like to declare that the Europeans came to America seeking freedom. The claim is at best a half-truth. In the colonial era, most Europeans arrived in North America bound in some form of indentured servitude, many of them children or convicts put out to work. Disregarding such servants, one finds that the free colonists sought mainly to improve their economic well-being.

Weekly round up of useful stuff

Got unused presents? Sell them at these sites:

My wife & I just finished looking through your site & our first newsletter. She says you have an important message for the American people & you should have your own Fox TV show!

For a number of years I’ve heard about the Free State Project. I thought it had died, but it is alive and well and something freedom loving folks might find interesting. They chose New Hampshire-find out why here.

Get a well report-prior to sealing the deal on a rural property, ask for a well construction report. It should include date of construction, depth & size of casing and pump capacity. A water test is a good idea also. The more shallow your well, the more ‘local’ your supply!

Ritz Mock Apple Pie-How Mom made it!

The classic pie, featuring Ritz crackers baked in a golden crust,
is perfect for the holidays.

Pastry for two-crust 9-inch pie
36 RITZ Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1 3/4 cups crumbs)
1 3/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Grated peel of one lemon
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Roll out half the pastry and line a 9-inch pie plate. Place
cracker crumbs in prepared crust; set aside.

2. Heat water, sugar and cream of tartar to a boil in saucepan
over high heat; simmer for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and peel;

3. Pour syrup over cracker crumbs. Dot with margarine or butter;
sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry; place over pie.
Trim, seal and flute edges. Slit top crust to allow steam to escape.

4. Bake at 425 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is crisp
and golden. Cool completely.
Makes 10 servings

Find out about jobs & freebies first. Get alerts via email with this free service which scours postings on Craiglist.

Get paid for your empty printer cartridges at these sites-$5 to $20-print their free shipping label and send it off for cash

Extreme How-To Magazine offers a free do-it-yourself building guide for a 2'x4' lean-to shed. As do-it-yourself projects go, this is a fairly simple one. And, this little shed won't take up a lot of space in your backyard. It's designed to nestle next to a wall of your house or garage.
Read more, see a photo and get the illustrated, step by step building guide and and a material list >>>
( )
Find more small DIY shed plans and shed building kits >>>
( )
Best of luck.

Cut sticky foods by rubbing butter on your knife before cutting which acts like a lubricant.

Reminders not to spend: Consumer Websites of the Week
Tempted by a big-ticket treat but not sure it's worth it? If you need a little more incentive to keep you from spending too much as you start the new year, here are two websites discovered via Consumerist that will help you put those costs in perspective.
Plug the relevant data about yourself into DaystoPay and find out how many days you'd have to work to earn the money to purchase that flat-screen TV or e-reader.
And if you're considering putting it on a credit card, use to calculate how much that additional purchase will cost you if you're already carrying a balance.

Clean salt stains off your shoes by mixing 10 parts water to one part vinegar. Moisten a sponge and dab firmly on the white stains and they’ll lift off.

When the Crap hits the fan…What we do know!
In a discussion with like-minded friends this past week we all agreed on a few primary concepts.

6. No one knows when a bankrupt USA will finally dissolve or when martial law, rioting etc. will take place.
7. We do know the price of everything is going up right now, food & fuel in particular.
8. We do know middle class jobs are not coming back in any meaningful way during the next five years or more.
9. We do know our government is becoming more oppressive & invasive.
10. We do know the potential for several current world events pose a threat should they occur…N Korea, Iran, Terrorism, natural disasters, etc.
11. We do know it never hurts to stockpile food and items which can be used for barter such as food, 1st aid items, tools, vegetable seeds, booze, ammo and the like.
12. Gold & silver stockpiling is nice, silver is probably the more useful, especially if US coins are used as opposed to bullion. Gold is more difficult to work with.
13. Storing fuel is a good idea too but long term storage (beyond 100 days is difficult)
14. Keeping a library of how-to materials is a solid idea
15. Developing a plan for your family in the event of an emergency is essential.

So is there any hope that we can turn all of this around?
Unfortunately, the massive amount of debt that we have piled up as a society over the last several decades has made that impossible.
If you add up all forms of debt (government debt, business debt, individual debt), it comes to approximately 360 percent of GDP. It is the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world…our advice: continue to prepare!
The Plain truth-we never know when a catastrophe will occur, man-made or natural!

In June of this past year a White Paper issued by Sentinel Intelligence Service advised:

“Prepare for another economic storm, even larger than what we’ve seen so far. Prepare, with neighbors, to band together to provide for one another…prepare yourself emotionally for rough days ahead and experiences foreign to the American way of life…”

Thomas Jefferson said the following....
I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.

About Cash Passport
In a previous issue we reported on how Americans can get foreign currency through AAA travelers checks…here’s an even better method of obtaining foreign currency to have in a worst case scenario…we suggest Canadian or Swiss currency for now
Cash Passport will change the way you think about your money when traveling. With all the convenience of travelers cheques, but without the hassle, it allows you to pre-load your travel budget for smart and convenient use in millions of ATMs, shops, and restaurants where Euros and Pounds are used. You can load your Cash Passport with a choice of two currencies, € Euro and £ GBP.
The Cash Passport is not connected to your bank account. It is PIN and signature protected and has 24/7 Global Emergency Assistance.
Prepaid Convenience
Withdraw local currency at millions of MasterCard® ATMs worldwide, or pay directly where MasterCard is accepted.

The Rich Dad Offers Tips to Survive
An all out currency war has begun - governments around the world are devaluing their currencies in order to have cheap exports - and are destroying the middle class.

The irony is pretty soon, food prices will triple, gas will double, and the CPI will still say we're running at 2-3% inflation annually.
People are going to by paying so much for what they need, that they will stop shopping, as soon as they do, prices for many goods will start to fall but only for the sake of increasing consumption.
And I haven’t even mentioned the next wave of housing foreclosures that will occur in 2011.
Its going to be a very bumpy road the next few years...
You can stock up all you want. The last great depression lasted for over 10 years. Can you stock up enough food to last 10 years? Will your silver get you through 10 years?

Use rubbing alcohol (not de-natured) to clean computer screens, keyboards, TV screens, bathroom fixtures, dissolve windshield frost (use a spray bottle to apply), your phone.

The federal government is poised for the first time to make public thousands of complaints it receives each year about safety problems with various products, from power tools to piggy banks.
The compilation of consumer complaints, set to be launched online in March by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has been hailed by consumer advocates as a resource that will revolutionize the way people make buying decisions…not everyone is happy with this…

Get your hands really clean by washing them with soap & a teaspoon of sugar.

Best flea markets in the US
We’ve always enjoyed what I believe is one of the last bastions of free enterprise in America. You never know what you’ll find and haggling has become second nature.

National Sunday newspaper supplement's travel writer, Everett Potter, recently named the Daytona Flea and Farmer's Market year-round emporium among America's top five flea markets, joining an elite group including the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, Calif., the Kane County Flea Market in St. Charles, Ill., and the Austin Country Flea Market in Texas. The greatest American flea market, Potter reported, was in Brimfield, Mass., with 5,000 dealers in 21 fields. While the Daytona Flea & Farmers Market is one-fifth that size, at peak times up to 50,000 patrons travel its 3 1/2 miles of aisles packed with merchandise mounds, produce piles, clothing collections, antiques, jewelry and eclectic stuff, like lucky bamboo and dreamcatchers.

Forget the Austin Country Flea Market- Whoever said that was a great Flea Market has never been here. Its all "New" crap from China. It has very little used "flea market" items. Bussey's in San Antonio is 1000x better.

Well, if you are in the CHICAGO area, WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET is great! They are open 6-3 Sundays April-October starting April 25, 2010 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. It's huge! 700 vendors with new items, old, antique, vintage, junk, produce, tools, sports memorabilia, gourmet food, bikes, clothing and more. Also indoors Sat & Sun 8-4 at 1775 N. Rand Rd., Palatine, IL at least through March 2011

Side Note: Garage sales became popular shortly after WWII and have become increasingly sophisticated with electronic ad postings, offering bags, cookies & refreshments, holding neighborhood sales, etc. As America became affluent, our garages became warehouses for items we seldom or rarely used.

Read more:

Relieve rough hands & sore feet by rinsing in a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water…then massage them with olive oil and dab dry with a cloth.

Garbage Picking , Dumpster Diving Adventures- Parting Thoughts

When I was a young kid my friends and I looked forward to Tuesdays. That was trash day in our neighborhood and a small gang of us would pull my red wagon around the neighborhood on our weekly treasure hunt.

You never what good stuff you might run across. We always managed to discover castoff toys and odds and ends that fascinated young boys (including some old men’s magazines). My mother never objected as sometimes we found items even she got a kick out of and my mom was the queen of ‘making do.’

We had some competition though. Old Man Charlie, as we called him, was the neighborhood bum who went around the street with a bag of cookies and a beer along with his grinding wheel hoisted on his back. Charlie made money by offering his knife sharpening services to housewives, charging only a few bucks which were scarce among the mostly stay-at-home mothers. When he finished his rounds, he randomly chose a porch to sit on so he could consume his ’snack.’ Of course, most of the women shooed him away. No one was actually afraid of Charlie, but he sure looked like a hobo.

Charlie lived in a ramshackle home on the next block, his yard filled with the treasures he had picked up over the years. When Charlie died the fire department went to his house to dispose of his junk. Guess they figured his property was a fire hazard. Turns out old Charlie died a millionaire. The fire department guys found a ton of cash in the house and Charlie’s sister, who had all but shunned him over the years, became instantly wealthy.

I haven’t done much garbage picking in my adult years, but my wife once spotted a nice old Depression-era desk sticking out of a dumpster once. We loaded it up and with a bit of repair, sold it for $100!

Recently, we attended a storage unit auction in hopes of finding some treasure. Even though it was about 18 degrees outside, apparently many others came in search of treasure too, there were about 75 people who braved the cold that day only to find what even I thought looked mainly like trash. Still, each unit sold for a higher than I would have paid price.

I guess many of those folks read the Poor Man bulletin issue regarding Storage Wars!

I do scour thrift shops searching for old books and oddities but those finds are becoming more scarce as fewer people read or perhaps sell them on their own via eBay? Most thrift stores today offer over priced junk, but each store has seen a growth in customers over the years who search for treasures too.

In the ‘old’ days dumpster diving could prove lucrative and rumor has it that some of the richest people around are the weekly garbage guys who find all kinds of stuff. Waste removal has become another big business with corporations like Waste Management doing over a billion dollars annually.

Supermarkets today, for instance, rarely dispose of their goods in a fashion which allow for dumpster diving. Most other businesses too now shred or lock their waste bins to prevent folks from pilfering through their trash. I’m told college campuses are still good places to hunt, especially at summer break time.

In biblical times, it was called gleaning—the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after the harvest is over—what the farmer didn't think was worth picking up was fair game for the poor and hungry. The Bible even instructed farmers to leave a bit of grain in the corners of the fields and fallen fruit.
Learn the 5 Golden Rules of Dumpster Diving with these fun resources - take a peak, it won’t hurt you!

Post Script…the Tuscon shooting

The tragedy in Tuscon has brought on the usual round of gun control commentary. Tuscon is one of more lovely ‘big’ cities in AZ & this has impaled the locals with anger and emotional backlash…as it should.
This fellow appears to be a lone nut case and try as we might, we cannot legislate morality or idiocy. Gun bans in England and Australia should be proof that bad guys still get guns. Depriving folks of a driving permit doesn’t stop some people from driving, making all travel require a passport doesn’t stop people from entering a country illegally, drug laws don’t stop drug use but they do encourage drug cartel violence.
It should be apparent to all by now that government and academia do not have a monopoly on stupidity…
So when will we all learn? Never.

That’s all for this issue…remember to share!

Don't Get Caught With Your Pantry Down-New 11th Ed.

Free Money assistance for women, businesses, more.

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