Friday, December 25, 2015

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bill of Rights Day

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

Barack Hussein Obama II is not a Citizen of these United States of America. Let me tell you how I know.

He would get up on a soap box and tell everybody in these United States what his true religion is then go to a church, mosque, temple, or a bar. Next, he would handout political tracts to everyone telling how every elected official is screwing up this country. After that, the President would take a group of friends to Congress and complain about firearms restrictions in DC then...

Head on over to Virginia to buy a firearm and bring it into D.C. for a little target practice on the White House lawn, with Congress' pictures as the targets, of course.

He would kick the Commander-in-Chief of these United States' military out of his bed, and make that solider sleep in the barracks where he belongs.

When the jack-booted thugs try to arrest him, he would ask for their warrant. Since jack-booted thugs never have a legal warrant, he would kick them out of his house, too.

Mr. Obama would request Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch to convene a Grand Jury to investigate the financial difficulties, and to make sure the prosecuting attorney called the President to answer for any crimes. When President Obama took the stand, he would then invoke his right to not testify because of possible self-incrimination then ...

He would get a lawyer, payed for by these United States Citizens, to defend himself in a very public trial, ...

... by a jury of his peers

He would order the CIA to quit 'water boarding,' shipping prisoners to other countries for questioning, and doing other underhanded things.

He would release all the drug offenders, except those who committed violent crimes, from Federal custody, reinstate their rights as citizens, and ...

The tenth and last reason,
He would dismantle over 75% of the federal government because it's not covered in the Constitution of these United States because those powers/offices/responsibilities belong to the States or the People.

Almost lastly,
He would sit Michelle down and explain to her that she needs to be proud of this nation, every day because this county tries to correct its mistakes. Yes, we have done some very terrible things as a nation (and sometimes as individuals), but we try to rectify those mistakes even as we make new mistakes. But we try, every day.

Are you a citizen of these United States of America?

I write this "tongue in cheek" since President Obama's citizenship is still in question by some, but this bit of humour could be used to illustrate that any President of these United States' (past, present, and future) citizenship could be called into question if we based her/his performance on their adherence to the Bill of Rights.

Constitution - Bill of Rights Day

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

What We Have Been Doing
We have been working on getting the 'new' home ready. The electricians are finished; we still need to install ceiling lights. The carpenters will be installing the floor in the great room and Katniss' office. We will be installing the window and door casing because we haven't made a finial decision on the trim. Plus, the upper windows are single pane with metal frames, so they will need replaced, soon.

Starting Another Project
Of course, I have started another project to help reduce our fuel bills.

The New 'Project'
Originally, the farm house had no insulation in the attic or walls. Katniss' dad installed a wood-based product in the early (OPSEC)s. This product had an R value of about R-5.

Now a days, R-13 or R-15 is recommended.

Since, we only opened the walls in the great room (We'll be doing the other rooms, later); so it's time to head on to the attic.

As you can see, the attic is a mess. It has several layers of insulation, in different areas, with several decades of dust.

So, .. The first thing to do was remove the old insulation.

It was really easy. All I had to do was roll the insulation up and deposit it in a large plastic trash bag.

Not really, the old insulation's paper backing would disintegrate if rolled too tightly, dispensing the insulation back onto the wooden ceiling.

Next, I would vacuum the area to collect the dust using a shop vac.

Of course, you really, really need to wear a N95 Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirator to protect yourself because as you can see, in the above 'crappy' picture, there is a lot of dust on the filter

To finish up the project, I laid down 6-mil plastic vapor barrier and installed 'new' insulation.

Vapor Barrier
Vapor barrier is anything that will prohibit water vapor from passing from the room into the wall or ceiling insulation. It can be kraft paper with a water-resistant coating, like most insulation with a vapor barrier already attached, plastic sheeting, or other material.

I used plastic sheeting that I purchased at a big-box home improvement store. It comes in a variety of thicknesses and sizes. According to international building codes,at least I think, the plastic sheeting needs to be at least 6 mil thick, so I bought ... 6 mil. Plus, the home improvement store didn't carry thicker plastic.

To determine how much plastic vapor barrier I needed, I measure each room (under the attic) to calculate the square footage, added them together (don't forget the hallway and any closets), and added 10 percent for any waste while cutting.

Bedroom One - 12 X 12 = 144 square feet
Bedroom Two - 11 X 13 = 143 sq. feet
Master Bedroom - 14 X 16 = 224 sq. ft.
Hallway with Closet - 4 X 10 = 40 sq.ft.

Total 551 square feet. (Yeah, no upstairs bathroom)

Since I had the choice of 10 X 50, 10 X 100, or 20 X 100 rolls, I bought the 10 X 100 (1000 sq. ft) roll for this project.

For y'all asking 'What am I going to do with this excess plastic?'

Improvised shelters!

'Cause 6 mil plastic is thick enough for a short-term temporary shelter.

Now some of y'all are asking why is vapor barrier important.

First, it protects the insulation from getting wet.

Water will transmit heat faster than air. That's why you want to get out of cold water and dry off as soon as possible 'If' you ever fall into a stream or lake in the winter.

Second, there is a potential for mold, mildew and rot from the water vapor entering (and staying) in the walls and attic.

Third, ... Oops, there is no third reason

Lastly, for folks living in warm climates, where it never freezes, you might not need vapor barrier.

Needless to say, consulate with a building professional, building inspector, or building supply store for specific information for your area.

Since the insulation; I previously bought, on sale, for a different project; didn't have a vapor barrier, I'm installing a plastic vapor barrier.

In a perfect world, I would be able to just measure from wall to wall and install the vapor barrier like I did for the great room, in one big sheet. Nope, so ...

First, I measure between the joists, say 15 inches wide then I added another 5 to 6 inches, for a total of 20 inches wide. More about that, later.

Next, I measure the length, 12 feet and 6 inches long. Now, this length is from edge to edge to the outside wall because the vapor barrier needs to cover the wall too, just not the room.

Next, I found a long flat spot, and I unrolled the plastic and measured out 12 feet 6 inches. Cut to length, and ... paused to think.

Since the plastic sheeting is 10 feet wide (120 inches), I am able to get six strips of 20 inches wide (15 + 5) plastic sheeting out of each length.

Or, ...

I am able to get five strips of 21 inches wide (15 + 6) plastic sheeting out of each length.

So, .. I carefully cut six strip, making sure to keep each cut straight.

Next, I roll up each 20 inches wide by 12 feet 6 inches long plastic sheet, separately, and I climb into the attic.

Why, Again?
Of course, some of y'all (inquisitive minds) want to know, 'Why?'

I am adding 5 inches, so I can staple the 20 inches wide plastic sheeting to the sides of  each joist. The stapling prevents the vapor barrier from falling down and 'tightens' the vapor barrier's seal.

Enough questions ; - )

Next, I carefully move to far end of the attic and unroll one of the plastic rolls (that's the reason for rolling them separately) into the cavity between the joists. Carefully adjusting, as needed, I insure the vapor barrier covers both ends, over the walls, and staple it in place.

Installing the Insulation
Once the six pieces of vapor barrier are in place, I move over to where I prepositioned the insulation and soffit vents.

I get a roll of insulation and two soffit vents. Move to the farthest place, where I installed the vapor barrier, cut open the roll of insulation with a pair of scissors, place the insulation in the cavity, unroll it, just a bit, and ...

Proceed to squat, roll, and worm my way to the place where the wall and roof meet to place, first, the soffit vent then stuff the insulation so that it covers the edge of the wall. All at the same time, trying not to cover the soffit vent.

Next, I unroll the insulation to the other end, cut it to fit, and do the squat, roll, worm technique again, to install the soffit vent and insulation.

I do this five more time; until, I'm finished covering the other cavities I had already installed vapor barrier in.

And, this goes on until I'm finished.

It's Complicated
Needless to say, the fourth generation farmstead built between 1890 and 1900 is a little more finicky then the standard home built ten to twenty years ago.

First, all of the cavities are slightly different. Some are greatly different, so I have to cut the insulation to fit. That's why "if' you look closely to the above picture, you will see a cut in the closest batt of insulation. It is really two pieces of insulation, one 15 inches wide and the other 7 and a half inches wide because the cavity is 22 inches wide. Some are 21, some 22, and some 25 inches wide.

Of course, the insulation is long enough that I am able to use the remainder to fill any gaps.

To Be Continued
Once the first layer (R-30) is completed, I will added a second layer of insulation (R-30, again) to achieve R-60 insulation in the attic, the maximum suggested for our area of these United States.

The second layer will be laid perpendicular, so the gapes between the insulation will be covered.

Also, that's why I didn't staple the soffit vents to the roof decking. The next layer of insulation will hold it in place.

Didn't Fit the Narrative
As always, there a some picture that didn't fit the narrative, so ...

Two 24 inch wide sheets of plywood that I used to kneel on, hold tools, and ..., so I didn't drop through the ceiling.

The 'first' set of cavities filled with R-30 insulation, and the next set cleaned and waiting for the vapor barrier to be installed.

Yes, the attic joists are true 2X8s

Ten rolls of insulation, soffit vents, and the attic access opening.

As you can see in this picture, the old insulation hardly filled the cavity. Plus, the attic access had no insulation over it, so it was like a two foot square of escaping heat.

The Natural Handyman - Insulation For Your Home: Moisture Control, Part 3 of 3: Vapor Barriers and Installation Tips

YouTube: Monkey See - Adding Batt Insulation to an Attic

YouTube: Owens Corning - How to re-insulate your attic with EcoTouch™ PINK™ FIBERGLAS® insulation

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency : Energy Star - Recommended Levels of Insulation

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Books and Information)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

painting by
Géza Kukán

I have found, most books aren't worth the money when bought new, for several reasons. First, they usually repeat information from other books.

So, ... If you have bought one good book on any subject, say finances, buying another book on the same subject will give you the same information with a twist or a little bit more information about the subject.

Take Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, and many others. They all have great financial advice for you and your family, but they're almost the same advice. To get out of debt, Mr. Ramsey's first step is save $1.000 for an emergency fund, and his second step is pay off all your debt. Ms. Orman's first step is to pay off your debt then save for an emergency fund. Almost the same advice.

The second reason, I don't buy new books, many times the book has been 'hyped' by the publishing houses, authors, and .. fanboys.

Take, as an example, Thomas Piketty's book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century." When it first came out, the book was hailed by everyone. A few months later, after being thoroughly read, the book was found to be lacking. Definitely not worth the $25 a copy.

That brings up my next point.

New books are expensive. I can purchase books, every year, for 1/10 their original price at my local library, during the annual used book sale.

Speaking of the local library. I can borrow books for free! (More about that later)

Lastly, some books, like the Patriots novel series have several problems. First, these books offer some good advice, but they are fictional books. Their characters make stupid decisions and survive their choices. Second, these books have been around for over twenty years and they have been hyped, especially the second and third book of the series. Third, at about $17 there are, many, better survival manuals for less money.

Lastly, ... I have read these books and many other better books for free from the local library ; - )

Buying Books
With that said, there are going to be books that you and your family will want to purchase.

Before I begin, let me explain, ...

Buying books is a want, not a need!

* You need an inventory of all the things you own!

* You need to build an emergency evacuation kit for everyone in the family!

* You need to install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home!

* You need to store two weeks of potable water for your family!

* You need to stock a food pantry with enough food to last three months!

* You need a first-aid kit and a telephone to call 911

* You need ...

To practice the skills you will need to survive an event such as ...

 * Make and Start a Fire

* Build a Woodland Shelter

* Disinfect Water for Drinking

* Treat a Sick or Injured Person

And, ... many more skills, but which books do you need?

First, do you need references for your career that contain critical information?

I'm a part-time carpenter. I'll build a deck, that I design, once or twice a year, so I need a deck design guide. The design guide has ideas and contains information about planning a deck such as, loads, spans, and other 'technical' information.

Kind'a similar, do you need a reference for something that you do sporadically?

Every once in a while, Forest (a nephew) will help build up an AR-15. He doesn't do it enough to stay proficient, so he consults a manual before each build.

Second, do you need a reference for something that you do that is dangerous like reloading ammunition?

Reloading ammunition, using explosives, and ... can be very dangerous, so you may need a manual to help you complete these tasks.

Lastly, do you plan to do some critical task during an event?

You know, treat someone with something a little bit more aggressive than first-aid?

For a situation like that, you will need several good medical manuals to help you decide whether to risk using fishbiotics (I made that word up) on a loved one, find 'wild' medicines, or ... leave them alone.

Some Suggestions
First, I would like to suggest my e-book Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead from Barnes and Nobles or Smashwords, for $4.95.

Second, I suggest Backwoods Home Magazine. They have several 'deals' for your family this Christ Mass, like the Half Sheebang, for $200. If you haven't seen Backwoods Home Magazine, you're missing a great resource.

Many libraries carry Backwoods Home Magazine in their periodicals section. They might even be able to get you a copy of the anthologies, from the inter-library loan program, for you to read and copy.

Third, the SAS Survival Handbook. It's a good reference to have in your emergency evacuation kit for events. At $13.45, it's a steal.

Of course, you need to read it, before an event, and practice those skills.

Fourth, You know ... Nuclear War Survival Skills. 'Cause, 'If' your family is prepared for a nuclear war, you can pretty much survive anything.

Fifth, ... any of the Storey Publishing books for the topics your family is interested in to learn.

Needless to say, I suggest you borrow it from the library before you buy the book.

Sixth, ...

I have to go but you can leave any suggestions in the comments ; - )

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wednesday: 2 December 2015

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

map by

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
There are many methods to discover some of the skills and supplies, you and your will need for an event.

One is to ...

Study History
Many preppers look to the future for their family's fate while we should be looking to the past.

BlackListed News - Survival Lessons from Our Own Violent History

Needless to say, ...

We are dealing with many unfolding events that we can learn from, such as ...

Wealth - Surviving the Coming Economic Collapse: A Special Report

But, ... We also need to ...

Look to the Future
To discover 'possible' threats to our family survival, such as ...

Link: - The Survivalist: How to Survive Global Warming