David Trammel's blog
Ok let's get back to working with metal wall studs in my basement, adding some needed storage under the stairs.
In the last post, I had finished the basic frame work for the platform. The next step is to cover it.
(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.)
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)
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.
(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.
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.
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)
Owning a home with a yard comes with many challenges, one of them of course is the ritual of mowing the grass. Sometimes at the height of the summer, its a weekly ritual that leaves bags and bags of clippings on the curb for the city to pick up on trash day. Hopefully your city composts this waste and doesn't just deposit it in a nearby landfill. Not only does that increase the mega tons of national waste going into the ground but the decaying organic waste produces methane, a powerful green house gas.
Many people have discovered the convenience of mulching their grass clippings instead of bagging them. This can be with special lawn mowers designed with this in mind, serrated blades to mince the clippings, or just mowing several times across the yard. This is a great way to feed your yard. The clippings are a source of nutrients and minerals. As long as you don't wait too long and have a lot of tall grass to mow. Too heavy a layer of clippings can cause problems for your grass.
Here's a good article on it:
"To bag lawn clippings or not to bag, that is the question"
With Autumn comes more work. The leaves turn colors and fall to the ground. Depending on the tree cover you have, this can either be a minor addition to your work or a major headache of racking and bags on the curb. If you are unlucky, rain can delay it until its nearly too much to do on a weekend. Here too, mulching the leaves is often a better option than bagging. Shredding the leaves into fine parts and depositing them back onto the yard is a good way to prepare your lawn for Winter sleep. And helps cut back on the surge of material head to the landfill or the city compost heap. If you do a search, you'll literally find dozens of links that talk about the benefits of doing this.
I am going to offer a counter to this practice and tell you why for a large part, you want to still rake some of your leaves.
(This week's guest blog post is from Bethany Ellen Smith. She's given me permission to share her recent experiences in "Recycle and Repair")
"I like deals and world improvement, by way of correcting the half-assery of others who have more money than sense. I figure you all would appreciate what’s happened, here, more than most.
I super love the chicken and garden stuff that roostandroot.com makes, but I can’t pay for it. They are some really well-designed and solidly built cedar and welded wire things. They will last a lifetime, and make chicken keeping nicer than usual, if they are installed properly on a simple poured foundation, sealed, and well cared for. It’s that last bit that the Riches who CAN pay Roast And Root for their chicken coops (https://roostandroot.com/) never do seem to have interest in, after they shell out for that new price tag, and two weeks later their shiny new thing isn’t shiny and new anymore.
I was going to post a couple of pieces that I hadn't gotten done because of the recent software problem here this week. As I was doing that, this amazing article was put up on Facebook. It's authored by a well known writer in the prepping community. Most of you would know them but they've taken a step back from the issues in the last few years, and I'm going to post this without mentioning their name in respect for their privacy. It is still a clear look at what we can expect over the next few decades, and worth the read.
One Big Note: While I try very hard to keep politics out of Green Wizardry, politics is in our country to a strong degree. As such, its hard if not impossible to discuss the coming Collapse without running into people who have strong opinions about it on both sides of the issues. The author is not a supporter of Trump or the Republicans. Some of this post is political and I'm going to leave that in. If you disagree with their opinions, that's fine and understandable. I disagree with some of it myself BUT their core points about the way things related to non-political actions is very good, and worth the read.
WE as a country and a society must get back to the point that we can listen to opposing view points that we disagree with, without dismissing their non-political opinions completely too. Please let's not devolve this post into an argument on politics with the comments.
With that warning, enjoy.
A Short History of How It Started and How It is Going
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I wrote an essay where I argued that the most likely thing that will happen is that we will experience collapse not as a single global crisis, like most fiction and film postulates, but as a concatenation of large and small crises that just gradually become too overwhelming for us to respond to, so we stop doing anything other than making the most superficial responses.
When collapse comes for any given person depends a lot on who you are. Lucky people don't notice for a while, because the crises don't hit them too badly or because they have extra resources to devote to personal mitigation, or because they were prepared in some way. Unlucky people get hit hard, and harder and over and over and wait for help and eventually, it doesn't come.