David Trammel's blog

Power Down - Are You Ready?

  • Posted on: 13 January 2022
  • By: David Trammel

(Due to a couple of personal issues, I wasn't able to get this week's blog post finished in time to post it here. We're expecting our first major snow storm this weekend so let's revisit one of our earliest guest blog posts by Cathy McGuire.)

An ice storm sent the power crashing off throughout the Willamette Valley this month. At first, just a two-hour morning blackout, but that same afternoon the power went down and stayed down for 20 hours. This happened about an hour before sunset.

As I put my backup plans in place, I couldn’t help but remember that the Oregon Seismic Safety Advisory Commission had recently issued a document stating that in the event of a severe earthquake (which is overdue here), it could be 3 to 4 months before power would be restored to the Valley. All through the night and the next day, I held that fact in mind, as I both prided myself on being mostly prepared and found out what pieces were still not in place. For those who either haven’t started preparing, or who haven’t been tested recently, I want to describe the situation and the lessons I learned.

Logistics Win Wars

  • Posted on: 5 January 2022
  • By: David Trammel

(The cold spell of the last week has it a bit too cold in my basement to apply drywall mud to my stair project, so I'm going to push back Part 3 of my tutorial to next week. Instead I wanted to talk about an often overlooked part of prepping.)

General John J. Pershing (1860-1948), who fought in 7 American conflicts and who was the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces on the Western Front of World War 1, once remarked that “Infantry wins battles, logistics wins wars.” Pershing was an asshole and in some ways a poor general, but he knew what he was talking about with that quote. Logistics, the people who move the ammo and equipment to the battle field, or in time of peace, move the milk, eggs and bread to your local grocery store, get ignored unless the shelf is bare. When its bare they catch hell.


(copyright Lance Cpl. Seth Starr, I Marine Expeditionary Force, WikiCommons)

Logistics for a person who prepares for emergencies, disasters and just the occasional disruption is just as important as for the soldier at war. We fight a longer battle with the coming Long Descent and the Collapse of our global civilization back to a day of lesser tech and lesser resources. In that decline there will be many time when that useful tool or good to have supply will suddenly not be there anymore.

What then is a Green Wizard to do?

Basic Visualization - Playing In Your Mind

  • Posted on: 29 December 2021
  • By: David Trammel

One of the things I've always been good from childhood was visualizing what a collection of parts would look like when they were assembles into the finished project. This skill was polished by a high school course in blueprint reading and drawing. I even have a sturdy blueprint table and the tools in my basement shop now. Its a good solid table, wide and flat, capable of being set at various angles to make it easier to draw on, though now I mostly use as a work bench for hand crafting projects. This was before computer programs like Autocad came on the scene and made it easy.

Now that developed skill helps me in physical projects like my on going basement storage addition. I can sit for a few minutes and look over an area I'm going to modify, and mentally go step by step into the construction. I can usually catch problems before I hit them, by mentally building the components. This inner visualization also helps with many other day to day tasks. I rarely use my cell phone's GPS and map apps, instead preferring to navigate around St Louis with a set of physical street maps and a mental compass of which way is North. It also helps me remember where I place things (more on that later).

This ability is sometimes called "spatial intelligence" and is defined as “the ability to mentally manipulate objects in space and to imagine them in different locations and positions". It is considered one of the eight types of intelligence categories in Dr. Howard Gardner’s multiple-intelligences theory. The other seven are linguistic, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, logical-mathematical, naturalist, intrapersonal, and interpersonal.

We all know people who seem to excel at one or more of these categories. You may excel yourself in one of them yourself. Unfortunately it's become accepted "fact" that doing so is rare and something only a few have, when such a view is so wrong and narrow. Look back at in historic times before modern communication shrunk the World and is was quite common for travelers, explorers or trader to speak several languages, even a dozen fluently. The term "Renaissance man" literally arose in the time after the Dark Age, and meant a person who was proficient in a wide range of skills. As a Green Wizard, embrace your potential to be more.

Let's take some time and talk about how YOU can develop this skill.

One To Worry About - The Kessler Syndrome

  • Posted on: 15 December 2021
  • By: David Trammel

(I was going to do a second post on metal studs, but my shelving didn't get here until yesterday, so it will be next week.)

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If you spend any time on the Facebook groups for preppers and survivalists, you'll hear all sorts of doom's day scenarios to be worried about. From the Yellowstone super volcano erupting to cover the US in ash, to rouge terrorist detonating an electro-magnetic pulse weapon and frying all of our electronics, to a solar coronal mass ejection bathing the Earth with lethal radiation. Hell, I've even seen serious discussion to the Zombie Apocalypse and even a Pandemic killing millions, like either of those are likely to happen. These all share one thing, a incredibly slim chance of happening but a high degree of damage if it does.

One scenario which sometimes get discussed along with these, which I feel has relatively high chance of actually happening in my lifetime is a Kessler Syndrome Event. Let's look at what this kind of event is, what it would do to society, and what we can do to prepare for it.


(From the 2013 movie "Gravity", Warner Bros. Pictures)

Not "THE" Collapse, But Just "A" Collapse

  • Posted on: 8 December 2021
  • By: David Trammel

If you've been following the news articles and/or social media lately, you may have caught the latest,

WE"RE HAVING A COLLAPSE!!!

Inflation is rising, food is disappearing. Workers are just GONE, no matter what wages are being offered. Toys may or may not be in the store for Christmas, depending on who you ask about the supply chain. Stock Market is in the Stratosphere. Politicians are posting Christmas cards holding guns and asking Santa for ammo. While half the population is getting ready for civil war, the other half is hiding under the blanket from Omicron. My prepper FB groups are bugging out, while solar power systems that were $40K a few months ago are being quoted at $94K (if you can get them). Toilet paper is still on the shelf though. Britney is free and I have two kittens in my office looking for someone to adopt them.

Yeap, Hell is headed to a hand basket near you, so just bend over, stick your head between your knees and kiss your ass good bye Folks.

An Introduction To Metal Wall Studs - Part 1

  • Posted on: 1 December 2021
  • By: David Trammel

(This will be the first in a series of blog posts on this subject, though there will be gaps between postings when I need to talk about other things.)

In the coming decades many of us will need to learn is how to expand the living space we have. Either through economic contraction which forces us to take a room mate to share the expenses or a change in our extended family situation where someone has to share living space, the skill and knowledge on how to add to, or modify the existing space will be useful and in some cases profitable. Knowing how to make a spare bedroom out of a basement, convert a unused garage to a workshop or insulate a seldom used closet into a new pantry, will help you survive in the Long Descent.

One big plus is we are at the time period between access to manufactured resources and the start of the salvage age. You can get new material for a project from nearby stores, or if you live near one of the building supply recycling place, like the Habitat for Humanities stores here in St Louis, finding the stuff to do these conversions is easy.

Let's take a look at one resource you may not have used before, Metal Stud Framing.

21 Stoic Quotes For Green Wizards To Live By

  • Posted on: 24 November 2021
  • By: David Trammel

I had planned to post about a recent conversation I had about Green Wizards and the Prepper Community on Facebook but due to a few things going on in the background here, I'm going to wait until next week to post that article. Instead I wanted to post a list of quotes that I think everyone should take to heart and try to incorporate into both their Green Wizard practices and into their own lives.

This list of 20 quotes comes from Ryan Holiday and is posted in this video: "21 Stoic Quotes That Will Change You Into A Better Person". Its worth watching to get more of the flavor of what each quote means further. I am going to add a few thoughts of mine on how I think each relates to Green Wizardry.

I don't claim I'm following all of these as much as I should, not even a few but I'm trying. I think the wisdom in these quotes can help people face the problems and predicaments we will face in the Long Descent to come. Thinking critically and thinking beyond just your own narrow self is going to be important. Now and in the Future.

Preparing Shouldn't Hurt

  • Posted on: 10 November 2021
  • By: David Trammel

This past week, I ran across a post on a popular preparedness FB group I'm on a lot. The question asked got me thinking about some of the preconceptions Society and the general public has about "prepping". Not just society really, but also those of us in the Community as well.

We have a lot of "myths", don't we?

To paraphrase the post, the author was complaining that she just couldn't get warm at home now. They were cold and shivering all the time. They admitted that, like any "good" prepper, they kept their furnace setting low to save energy, but they were miserable. The comments were filled with the expected suggestions, "bundle up", "insulate gaps", "cover windows" to "brew a hot cup of tea and you'll be fine". All typical solutions that get talked about in forums and on social media.

Know what I suggested?

"Turn your heat up..."


(copyright Jerzy Gorecki, Wiki Commons)

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