Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Adventures of Stedman and Oprah, Part Five

photograph by
Eva Rinaldi

Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK)
"Excuse me, ma'am?" the gentleman said, looking at Oprah, "Are you waiting for Ms. Kidman's flight?" even though, he already knew the answer, since no one else was in the exclusive waiting room.

"Why, yes. Yes, I am." Oprah replied, putting down the magazine she had been reading.

"They radioed that they would be here shortly to pick you up, for the flight out."

"Thank you." Oprah replied.

Ten Minutes Later
As Nicole Kidman and a fit looking gentleman walked into the lounge, Oprah stood up and walked to her. Hugging each other, Nicole said, "Oprah, it's a great pleasure seeing you again. You know Jeremy?"

Shaking Jeremy's extended hand, Oprah replied "Yes, I do." looking into his eyes and smiled.

Jeremy smiled back, then asked "Is that your bag, ma'am?"

"Yes, it is."

Releasing her hand, Jeremy walked over, picked up her bag, and proceeded to the door. Holding it open, the two ladies walked through the door, holding hands, to the waiting aircraft.

"Nice jet, Nicole" Oprah said as she admired the Gulfstream G7000ER sitting with its door open and loading ramp waiting with a fit looking lady and a preteen boy at its base.

"Thanks for noticing. Tom bought it for me and the kids, so we could visit him, next year" Nicole said as they walked closer to the newest and unadvertised airplane in Gulfstream's line of exclusive planes.

"That was sweet." Oprah said then asked "But, I thought you and Tom weren't speaking?"

"Oh, we are. To be in fact, we're meeting him at Racca's Pizzeria Napoletana in Denver for lunch." seeing Oprah's eyes widen, Nicole continued, "Oh, Katie is going to be there, too."


"Really!" Plus, you get to meet the new baby." Nicole said, as she squeezed Oprah's hand and finished with "Godmother." in a long, funny drawl.

They both laughed as they walked up to the foot of the stairs. As Jeremy bounded up the stairs, Nicole continued, ignoring the two people standing at the foot of the stairs, climbing the steep stairway. Pausing then continuing Oprah quickly climbed after Nicole.

Walking through the open door, Oprah noticed another fit young man standing just to the side of the doorway with a pair of binoculars.

Looking back, Oprah saw the two people still waiting at the base of the stairs, then continuing after Nicole, as her friend motioned for her to follow further into the plainly furnished aircraft.

Seating down, Nicole patted a seat next to her and said, "Oprah, sit next to me for take off, please."

Feeling perplexed, Oprah replied "Sure" then asked "Why are Connor and the young lady waiting at the base of the stairs, Nicole?"

"Remember. You asked to see some of our family's preparations for tough times. This is one of them." Nicole replied.

"I don't understand?" Oprah asked, looking quizzedly at Nicole.

"I'll tell you about it, after we get out of here. So buckle up" Nicole said as she winked at her longtime friend.

Being able to see the bottom of the stairway and the doorway, at the same time, Oprah noticed that the two still outside didn't climb the stairs until it had been hooked up to the tow-away vehicle. She also noticed, once they were in, the G7000ER started to move, as the gentleman at the entrance, closed the door.

As they moved, Connor walked back and took a seat next to another teen, this time a girl, about seventeen, who gave Connor a thumbs up.

Several minutes later, the airplane was airborne, headed to Denver International Airport.

Barely containing herself, Oprah looked at Nicole then requested "O.K., tell me everything."

"First, let me introduce everyone, then we can move the seats around and do some talking. O.K.?" Nicole replied.


Standing, Nicole said, "You have met Jeremy." pointing to the young lady that was at the foot of the stairway, "He's married to Angie. They are the parents of Stella" pointing at the girl next to Connor, "and Justin" pointing at a hand waving from the front of the plane. "The HeMan that we passed on the way in is Ulysses. He is married to Samantha" pointing to another waving hand, "They are the parents of Rodger and Abigial." pointing to the back of the aircraft, towards two teens sitting with Isabella "Lastly, you know Connor and Isabella." as they both waved and smiled at their step-brother's Godmother.

Smiling, Oprah waved back.

'O.K., let's turn these seats, so we can talk" as Nicole stood up and reached under her seat, pushing down on a lever, as she moved the seat to face backwards, towards the seats behind her. Nicole said, "Oprah, there's a little lever, push down and ... twist."

Being a quick study, Oprah did just that, as Nicole reached over to the wall of the airplane and raised a small, concealed table.

Sitting down, Nicole asked "Who do you want to talk to first?"

Thinking, Oprah said "How about you and the two other ladies, first then we can talk to the men then the children."

"O.K. Let me get Angie and Samantha" as Nicole walked away.

A short while later, the two ladies sat down, one next to Oprah and the other across from her, leaving the seat next to the aisle open. A short moment later, Nicole returned with a carafe and four glasses with ice. Handing the glasses around, she sat down and poured everyone water then handed Angie the carafe of water.

Siting the nearly empty water carafe on the small table, Angie looked at Nicole then asked "Does she get 'whole' story, or ..."

Nicole tilted her head, and replied "Oprah's almost family. Just leave out specific locations and capabilities."

Before Angie could reply, Oprah asked "May I ask my first question?"

"Sure" Samantha replied.

"According to my research, I though you two were hired help, Nannies. But, Nicole went and got you, Nicole returned with glasses and water, and Nicole isn't doing any of the explaining."

Looking at the other women, Nicole replied by calling Oprah by her private nickname, "O, there is much, you have to learn." as Angie continued.

"As you know, Tom is a Sceintologist. What you don't know is everyone on this plane, including the pilot are Scientologists. We are really a front for a large survivalist organization started decades ago by Lafayette Hubbard, better known as L. Ron Hubbard." Angie explained

Shocked, Oprah asked, "Really?" looking at Nicole.

Nodding, Nicole replied "Really."

Angie continued, "Lafayette realized a long time ago, a single person or family couldn't survive a big disaster, without a large organization, so he started one."

"Why the secrecy?" Oprah asked.

Angie replied "As you and Stedman are finding out. If people know, people, unprepared people, will take your supplies ..."

"... And leave you to die." finished Samantha

"First lesson. Every secret is wrapped up in two more secrets. Take Scientology.

It is advertised as a religion, known as a cult that only a select few are allowed to join then we throw in the crazy lizard coming from outer space stuff.

Nobody would believe you, if you told them we were survivalists." Angie lectured

"Of course, Tom know about the organization after he first joined in '83. Lafayette quickly realized Tom would make a great addition to the organization, so he let Tom in on the real secret" Nicole continued

"But, what about the self-help techniques and other mental exercises?" Oprah asked

"The self-help exercises are real.

Lafayette correctly figured the more mentally prepared people are for uncertain events; the better prepared society is for big disasters.' Nicole replied to Oprah's question.

"But, what about this?" Oprah asked, as she swept her hand around.

"Once Tom and Nicole became famous, they quickly realized they needed extra help" Angie said, then continued "At first, they thought hiring some people would work, but we quickly found out. They had to have more than hired guns." Angie said.

"They had to have family." Samantha added

"That's where we come in. It has been a growing process but we have been able to work through most problems with Tom and Nicole willing to be the financial providers and the rest of us providing the years of training and knowledge." continued Angie.

"How did you meet?" Oprah asked

"We are all Scientologists." Samantha explained "At first, we go through the mental exercises or get recruited by someone in the organization."

"One thing led to the next, and we end up with two former Special Air Service soldiers, one Austrilian, one British, and an american actor. Three girlfriends, who became wives, then nature takes its course, and we have seven children." Nicole said, laughing.

"Add a crazy love, hate relationship, a divorce, and two weddings later. Now, we have step-children, step-mothers, and step-fathers galore" Angie said, throwing up her hands.

"Sometimes, I wish we were normal" Angie added.

"You say that because you're in charge of security" Samantha pointed out.

"That's true, but you have to patch everyone up after we have a family meeting." Angie said, winking at Samantha.

"Let us keep on track, girls" Nicole said, smiling at the three other women.

"So tell me about the group, please?" Oprah asked

Looking at each other, Nicole said "You know we'll have to kill you after I tell you. Right?" then laughed

Feeling concerned, Oprah asked "Kill me? I thought I was an invited guest?"

"Oprah, she's joking. If we didn't want you to know about this stuff, you would have never been invited to fly out to Denver with us." Samantha replied "Plus, since we have a bunch of former military, sometimes we tell military jokes."

"It's maddening with this bunch." Nicole said as she got up and walked towards the back of the airplane.

"As I said earlier, Jeremy and Ulysses are former SAS. They train us on defensive techniques and firearms. I'm a former U.S. Army Physician Assistant, so I deal with aches and pains and train everyone on medical care. Angie is a former FBI investigator and supervisor with certain skills, so she deals with the legal side of things." Samantha explained.

"In other words, I'm a lawyer with a gun." Angie expalined

"And, lots and lots of management skills, to keep us going." added Nicole as she walked up with napkins and a plate of sandwiches.

"Thanks, Nicole." everyone said.

"What about the children?" Oprah asked then took a bite of the cucumber and cheese sandwich.

"Like any other family, the children were taught at an early age to be independent. They learned outdoor skills, how to safely use a firearm, and lots of other things" Angie explained

"Like, make their own lunch." added Nicole

"We also teach them about money, opera, and other cultural subjects." Samantha said

"Like, make their own beds." Nicole added.

"We also educate the children in traditional subjects, such as mathematics, reading, history, the sciences, and ..." Samantha said.

As Nicole added, "Like clean their own bathrooms." laughing

Laughing, Samantha added "Wash their own clothes."

"Load the dishwasher." Oprah added, laughing

As the four women laughed, a young woman in uniform approached the group.

"Ma'am, Denver International has requested we divert to Pueblo Memorial. Is that O.K?"

"Sure Meagan" Nicole replied, then added "Oprah, this is Meagan. She is one half of our flight crew."

"A pleasure to meet you, ma'am" Meagan said, shaking Oprah's hand then looking at Angie, asked "Do you want me to notify the receiving team about the diversion, ma'am?"

"Sure, Meagan." Angie replied then remembering added "that is all, Meagan."

As Meagan turned and walked away, Oprah looked at the other women and raised an eyebrow.

"She takes her duties very seriously." Angie said in explanation.

The women continued to talk until the plane's pilot spoke over the intercom.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are starting to make our desent in to Pueblo Memorial, so please configure the cabin for landing." 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Silver and Gold)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Eddito Vulgata

Some Thoughts Before I Begin
First, have y'all been following the news articles about gold. In one, they say gold prices are going to decrease while others are saying gold prices will increase

In fact, no one knows what the price of silver or gold will be tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and ... definitely not ten years from now.

With that said, ...

The Ratio
In 1792, The Coinage Act set the value of one dollar ($1) as 24.1 grams of pure silver or standard silver which is 1485 parts pure silver to 179 parts copper alloy. In other words, about 90% silver and 10% copper.

Around the same time, Alexander Hamilton (boo, hiss) suggested these United States adopt a silver to gold ratio of 15:1.

In 1900, the Gold Standard Act set the value of a dollar at 1.505 grams of gold. In other words, $20.67 for an ounce of gold, a ratio of 20 to 1.

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt changed that ratio to 35/1, after enacting Executive Order 6102 (more about that later)

Between that time and 1971, when Nixon took these United States off the gold standard, the ratio changed, ending at a little over 42 to 1, in 1971.

Currently, the ratio ($16.24 for an ounce of silver and $1223 for an ounce of gold) is at 75:1

Lastly, according to some, ... If we took all these United States' currency and divided it by all the gold in the world, we would get a ratio of $55,000 to one ounce of gold.

Ya, ya, ya. I know, I used Wikipedia as my source. Ya, ya, ya. I know, I rounded up and sometimes rounded down. Ya, ya, ya. You're wondering, what does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

I'll tell you.

Using the Ratio
Depending on who you ask, some folks will say 'Traditionally, the ratio for silver to gold is 20 to 1' while others say it's a little less or a little more. Either way, you can use it, may be, as a way to increase your silver and gold stacks. When silver to gold has a high ratio, you sell your gold and buy silver. When silver to gold has a low ratio, you sell your silver and buy gold.

Let's look at an example. To Start:

As of this writing, silver is at $16.24 for an ounce of silver while gold is at $1223 for an ounce of gold, a ratio of 75:1. Plus, for this example, you have one ounce of gold and 100 ounces of silver for a total investment of $2, 847.

Say, in the next few years, gold goes to $2,000 an ounce and silver is at $20 an ounce; the ratio is 100 to 1. Now, you have a total of $4,000 invested, so far.

So, using the ratio, you trade your one ounce gold coin for 100 ounces of silver. You still have $4,000 invested, but 200 ounces of silver and no gold.

A few years later, when gold goes down to $1,000 an ounce silver decreases to $15 an ounce; the ratio is 67 to 1.

Again, using the ratio, you trade 67 ounces of silver for one ounce of gold. Now you have one ounce of gold and 133 ounces of silver.

Ya, ya, ya. I know, the prices of silver and gold have never been like my examples, but ... It's an example to illustrate the concept. Ya, ya, ya, I also know you have 'lost' money because your total investment is $2,995, but .. That's not the point. You now have one ounce of gold and 133 ounces of silver ... without spending anymore money! Lastly, I also now, you have to watch your expenses (shipping, handling, and dealers never trade straight across) because they cut into your profit.

Using the Ratio, Again
You can also use the ratio to determine what to purchase, silver or gold?

If the silver to gold ratio is high, you buy silver. 'Cause your money purchases more silver.

If the silver to gold ratio is low, you buy gold. 'Cause ... (That's right) your money purchases more gold.

Let's look at an example. To Start:

You have $1,000 to invest, way back in June 1995

With gold at $388.50 an ounce and silver at $5.35 an ounce; the ratio is 72:1. You would purchase silver.

Jump forward a decade to June 2005 and another $1,000 to invest.

Gold is at $430 an ounce and silver at 7.25 an ounce; the ratio is 59 to 1. You would purchase gold.

Jump another decade, to June 2015, and the gold is at $1181 an ounce, and silver is at $15.90. The ratio is 74/1; you would purchase ... Silver, of course.

First, thanks to Kitco for providing the Spot Silver and Spot Gold prices for this article and also the historical data for Gold and Silver.

Secondly, ...

Ya, ya, ya. I know the historical prices I quoted aren't completely accurate. I had to questimate because I was looking at a graph, not a spreadsheet for the data. Ya, ya, ya. I also know, I was lucky finding two decades where the silver to gold ratio did change enough to justify using the ratio. Lastly, a word of warning, it may take decades to use the ratio to increase your holdings, without spending more money.

Using the Ratio, a Third Time
The last method, that I will mention, that you can use the ratio is to determine 'How Much?' to purchase.

The first way, 'How much of each?'

Now, before I begin, this is all about diversification. You never put all of your investments in one category, so you need to have a mix in your investments. Got it.

With that said, using the traditional ratio of 20 to 1, you would purchase 20 ounces of silver for every ounce of gold you own, or vis-a-versa (one ounce of gold for every 20 ounces of silver you own)

An example:

You have 200 ounces of silver; using the traditional ratio, you would purchase 10 ounces of gold.

Using current prices, you would need to spend $15,478 ($3,248 for the silver and $12,230 for the gold)

"That's a lot of money, ...honey!" you partner would probably say, especially using such a low silver to gold ratio.

So, ... For now, you might want to use a higher ratio for your initial purchases, such as 75 to 1.

That would work out to be only 2.75 ounces of gold, for $3,364

Ya, ya, ya. I made a mistake that I didn't correct. Glad you noticed ; - )

If you missed it, you already own the silver, so your purchase would only be $12,230, not $15,478.

Ya, ya, ya. I also know, it really works out to 2.67 ounces of gold but I rounded up to the next higher quarter ounce. 'Cause the markup on 1/10 ounce gold coins can be expensive compared to the markup on 1/4 ounce gold coins.

Using the Ratio, a Third Time, ... Continued
Now, there is a second way of using the silver to gold ratio for your investments and ... by preppers.

You can use the silver to gold ratio to determine 'How much do you need as a hedge against financial collapse?'

Let me explain. Way back at the beginning, I mentioned that someone had calculated that there where about $55,000 for every ounce of gold in the world. This means, if we go back to the original way of thinking, when these United States were founded, a dollar (one ounce of silver) is really worth $2,750 and an ounce of gold is really worth $55,000 (20 dollars equals an ounce of gold)

Think about it, and ... Take a deep breath

'Cause right about now, you're probably predicting that I'm going to tell you to sell your 401K, sell your investment, and buy, Buy, BUY GOLD and silver.

I'm not. Let me explain.

Banks use hedges to limit their losses. It's like insurance.

The bank lends a company a billion dollars. If the bank didn't get paid back, they would go out of business. Something the bank doesn't want to do, so they buy insurance.

To do this, the bank would go to a company, like AIG (Remember, the bailout) and buy a billion dollar insurance policy for $1,000,000. If the company survives and pays the money back with interest, the bank is only out a million dollars. But, if the company fails or goes out of business, the bank will get their billion dollars returned, thanks to the insurance. A win-win because the bank always receives the $1,000,000,000!

Ya, ya, ya. I know, it's a little more complicated, but ... It's an example.

Doing the Same Thing
If you didn't know this, every time you deposit money in a financial account, you are for all intents and purposes loaning the financial institution the money.

Outrageous but it's true. You see, the financial institution either loans the money to other people, businesses, or invests it. The same goes for your 401K. The investment company takes your money and purchases stock, bonds, T-bills, and other stuff.

So, ... Like a bank that loans money, you need a hedge against the financial institutions, that you use, going out of business. You can do this by purchasing certain things. The easiest is silver and gold.

How to do This
By now, you probably know what I'm going to say, Use the Ratio!

Let me give you an example.

If you have $500,000 in your 401K, you would purchase about 9 ounces of gold.


If the world's economy collapsed, all these United States money would become worth $55,000 for an ounce of gold. In other words, your 401K would become worth 9 ounces of gold.

So, ... As a hedge, an inexpensive form of insurance, you would spend $11,007 to purchase an insurance policy against the possibility your 401k would become worthless.

But, But, But
You're probably asking yourself, 'Can't I buy an insurance policy from someone like AIG?'

You can (I think), but what keeps AIG from going out of business, like they did in 2008?

That's right. Nothing.

You're probably also asking 'Can't I purchase another asset class to reduce my risk, like I do, when I diversify in my 401K?'

You can. They're called Precious Metal or Gold Mutual Funds or Exchange Traded Funds, such as VGPMX, FKRCX, FSAGX, and many, many others. Your employer may even allow you to invest in these funds. Mine doesn't.

But, ... Just like you're 401K, you are giving people money, to invest in the metals. You're not actually receiving the gold and silver coins.

Much, Much, More
I have written about silver and gold over the years, as I have learned from people such as Len Penzo, Trent Hamm, Michael J. Panzner, and many more

The last two don't blog anymore. They both sold out; hopefully, for a whole lot of money. Ha, ha, ha.

Almost Lastly,
I may spend a few hours looking for other stuff that I have written about financial matters and provide some links.

So, ... If you see this message, I'm still working on it but here's some othe thoughts for you and your family.

GSIEP - Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

GSIEP - Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Almost, Almost Lastly,
Remember, ...

Silver and Gold will not protect you family from the wind and cold, only adequate shelter will do that.

Silver and Gold will not quench your thirst, only stored water will do that

Silver and Gold will not save your family from starvation, only stored food and a productive garden will do that

Silver and Gold will not protect you from rapists, murders, and thieves, only a firearm with enough ammunition will do that. (and proper training)

Lastly, why should I trade you shelter, water, food, and protection for your silver and gold when all I have to do is wait for you to die then take the silver and gold?

I am the author of Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead an e-book about preparing for the financial collapse of the world's financial markets and many other events.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Adventures of Stedman and Oprah, Part Four

These United States’
Library of Congress

D-Day minus 11 Months

The well-paid doorman, a former Chicago police officer, silently buzzed the door open as Ms. Oprah Winfrey approached the building's front door.

As she pushed the door open and walked across the building's foyer, Oprah smiled and said "Good morning, Reggie"

Smiling back, Reggie replied "Good morning, ma'am" as he checked the outside cameras and his security display to insure the door had securely locked behind her.

Walking towards him, Oprah asked "Are there any packages for me, Reggie?"

"Yes, ma'am, there are. Would you like to wait for Arnie, so he can carry them up for you or do you want us to send them up, ma'am?" He asked.

"I'll wait." as she pulled out her cellphone and started to dial.

"Hello, Melisa?" Reggie heard her ask the person on the other end, as he pressed a button on his own phone, then said "She's waiting" and hung up.

"Does Nicole have some time for me, in the next two weeks?" Oprah said into her cellphone.

Pausing for an answer, she replied "Next Thursday at Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK), around 10ish." then asked "Are the children going to be coming?" listening, she replied "Thank you, Melisa." and hung up as the resident elevator opened with Arnie inside with a hand truck stacked with packages from Barnes and Noble, Amazon Books, and a few others, he didn't reconize.

Walking towards the elevator, Oprah said "Thank you, Reggie" as Arnie pressed the button for her apartment.

Looking at him, Oprah said "Good morning, Arnie."

Arnie replied, "Good morning, ma'am" as the elevator door closed then silently rode the elevator to their destination.

As the elevator door opened, Arnie inserted the 'hold' key and followed Ms. Oprah Winfrey to her Chicago home's door. Looking into the retinal scanner, the door opened.

Arnie followed her with the hand truck as she led him to the kitchen table. She pointed then said "Just stack them on the table, please"

"Yes, ma'am" Arnie replied as she walked out of the room.

Carefully stacking the books, so they wouldn't break the table, Arnie had just finished as Oprah walked back into the room.

"Thanks, Arnie." She told him, as Arnie asked "Is there anything else, ma'am?"

"No, there isn't."

Arnie nodded and walked out of the apartment, entered the elevator, and removed the 'hold' key. Only after the elevator's doors had closed did Arnie wonder what all the books were about because the building's x-ray machine only provided a silhouette of a box's contents not any titles.

Hearing the door close, behind Reggie's nephew, Oprah walked into the kitchen and started hot water for tea. Walking back to the kitchen table, she started to remove the books from their packages, making a mess that would be cleaned up later in the evening.

Working quickly, she was able to remove all of the books by the time the water had come to boil.

After fixing her tea, Oprah walked back to the stacked books and began to check them against her list of titles recommended by the research team.

"Dies the Fire by Sterling; Alas, Babylon by Frank; SAS Survival Guide by Wiseman; The Road by McCarthy; Modern Survival Manual by Aguirre; Survival Mom by Bedford; How to Stay Alive in the Woods by Angier; Outdoor Survival Skills by Olsen; FM 3-05.70 by ..." she continued, as Oprah sipped her tea and thought where to start first.

"Oh well" Oprah said to no one as she picked up The Survival Home Manual by Skousen and began to read.

Later in the Day
As her and Stedman's home became dark, from the fading daylight, Oprah set down the third book and walked towards the bathroom for a break. Returning to the kitchen, she made a small snack and picked up the fourth book and began reading. Trying to learn as much as she could about a subject that has become profoundly important to her!