The Danger of Trusting YouTube Videos

I enjoy watching YouTube videos, especially those I can learn from, but too often YouTubers make mistakes and give bad advice. Use discretion.

I love to watch YouTube videos, especially vlogs and how-to videos related to homesteading, bee keeping, wood working, firewood, off-grid living, and prepping. Whenever I need to know how to do something, I’ll watch a few how-to videos. In fact, I joking call it “Going to YouTube University.”

But YouTube can be misleading. Sometimes the “talent” does not know what they are doing, sometimes they only show you the pretty parts. Worse yet, the speed through the actual hard, boring work.

For example, we just had our fifth cord of wood delivered for this year’s heating season. They spill it out of the dump trailer and it forms a wide pile of wood about 15 feet long and two feet high. I heat my house with a large wood stove, so I get large, heavy splits of wood designed to burn for hours rather than smaller campfire pieces.

Continue reading “The Danger of Trusting YouTube Videos”

COVID is Breaking the System, and it may Never Bounce Back

I think we could have handled a pandemic but the global overreaction, the lockdowns, the restrictions and the crackdown on individual liberties are far worse than the disease itself.

It’s Monday, so I’m going to talk about COVID-19, specifically the state of America now that the latest surge, blamed on the Delta variant, has thrown us back into where we stood in mid-November. Last November, people panicked. This year, the reaction is ho hum.

I think the government is focusing its messaging on the need for more vaccinations because it allows them to blame the populace for rising numbers. I think the media are ignoring COVID not because we are sick and tired of hearing about it, but because they don’t want to pile more bad news on the Biden Administration. Both are avoiding talking about possible treatments because it might make Trump look good. After all, he was recommending some of the same treatments a year ago that other countries are adopting today.

What will they do when they force more than 90 percent vaccine compliance and we still get new variations and more breakthrough cases? Maybe they will go back to blaming China, which is no doubt where a good part of the initial blame lies.

Continue reading “COVID is Breaking the System, and it may Never Bounce Back”

As Hurricane Ida Heads Toward New Orleans, Bugging Out Makes Sense

Hurricane Ida strengthened thanks to warm Gulf water and is expected to make landfall on Sunday night. Damage may be felt across multiple states.

While I prefer bugging in over bugging out, sometimes bugging out makes a great deal of sense. Nuclear plant melt downs are a good example. Massive chemical leaks are another. Wildfires, under many circumstances, and for coastal residents, I recommend bugging out when facing a powerful hurricane.

Hurricane Ida, which is in the Gulf of Mexico and may be a category 4 storm with winds up to 140 miles per hour when it hits New Orleans, is a perfect example. It could be another Katrina.

A Katrina Repeat

For those who don’t remember, Katrina killed 1,800 people. The storm flooded large parts of New Orleans, and left $125 billion in damage across Louisiana and into Mississippi. What I remember most about the event is endless footage of Coast Guard and National Guard choppers rescuing people from their rooftops. I had a friend from a local police department who deployed to New Orleans to help with search and rescue. He said what the TV didn’t show was the hundreds of bodies floating in the water-filled streets of New Orleans.

Continue reading “As Hurricane Ida Heads Toward New Orleans, Bugging Out Makes Sense”

It is Difficult to Watch it all Implode

I never thought I’d say this, but I feel sorry for Joe Biden. He is failing in front of our eyes, and dragging the country down with him.

As the whole Afghanistan withdrawal disaster unfolds, it is becoming clearer and clearer that he is not only in over his head, but that his advisors are in over their heads as well. I think we all knew that Joe was past his prime and little more than a figurehead, but now we know he is a figurehead for a bunch of nincompoops (I’m being polite here—substitute a harsher word if you wish). We, and the rest of the world, are having the privilege of seeing on live TV a presidential administration collapse as Biden and his staff fail their trial by fire.

Hey Biden advisors: Your participation trophies are no good here. We need a winning strategy and you guys are proving to be losers. Learning on the job is not acceptable. You have not only offended and alienated more of the country than voted for you, plus every veteran who fought or died over there, but you’ve offended our closest allies. Worse yet, you have given our enemies a glimpse of how bad things are in the White House. You can’t even yell “Ignore the man behind the curtain!” because there is no man behind the curtain. There is just an empty chair.

Continue reading “It is Difficult to Watch it all Implode”

After Two Weeks, Our Livestock Protection Dog Finally Barks

Our new dog is so quiet, there are times we forget we own her, but when necessary, she rose to the occasion with a deep bark.

We have had our dog, a rescue, for two weeks now, and she’s fitting into the house well. She is house broken, well behaved, and quiet. Surprisingly quiet. She is also doing well with strangers when we introduce her.

Our chief complaint is that she gets excited when she sees us after a long absence and likes to put her paws on us. Often, this is just reaching out her paw while sitting, seeking contact. Less often, she jumps up, and since she is a big dog, she jumps high and her nails can scratch. We are working to control this behavior.

The First Vet Trip

She hasn’t had the easiest week as a vet visit revealed she had Lyme Disease, although she was not yet showing any symptoms. We are now dosing her with doxycycline twice a day. She also had a Trio pill, which prevents heartworms, intestinal parasites like roundworm and hook worms, kill fleas within eight hours, and kills five kinds of ticks. I’m used to dripping something like Advantage on a pet’s back, so I am not thrilled with dosing her with an oral, but it seems to be a necessity in a wood natural area, at least in the summer.

Continue reading “After Two Weeks, Our Livestock Protection Dog Finally Barks”

Prepper News Update August 27

Large Food Suppliers Running out of Stock in U.S.

Companies like Sysco, which supply the restaurant and institutional food market, are experiencing problems with sourcing and delivering food due to a tight labor market, food shortages, and high demand. United Natural Foods, a grocery supplier, is having trouble getting food to stores on time. Industry wide, the on-time rate for food deliveries has slipped from 90 percent to 50 percent.

More Global Food Supply Problems Expected

Drought in Brazil, Russia and the United States are combining to make this one of the worst wheat and corn harvests in memory. This is pushing down inventories and raising costs. Third world countries will be hit hardest by shortages while first world countries will see food costs rise.

Continue reading “Prepper News Update August 27”

We Stock up on a Big Shopping Trip

The time has come to store food for the coming bad times. Fragile systems are collapsing and the weather is hurting global crop yields. We may have reached Peak Food.

Figuring that there may be lockdowns soon, we took a trip to see some good friends three hours away. We had a good time and had Chinese food for dinner, something that isn’t available in this remote corner of the world.

On the way home, we made a day of it and stopped at Costco, a bee supply store, the pet store, a drugstore, and squeezed in a side trip to a diner for lunch. Again, there are no traditional diners in our area, the where they serve breakfast all day long, so we have to take these small pleasures where we can find them.

I’ll probably write about the bee supply store on another day; this article is about stocking up at Costco and why you should do the same before it is too late.

Continue reading “We Stock up on a Big Shopping Trip”

Five Ways to Free Yourself

Many times we are weighed down by our own actions, enslaved by behaviors we can change. Here are five ways to break free.

How free are you? It’s a question you have probably never stopped and asked yourself, but it bears some thought. Here five ways you can be more independent and enjoy greater freedom.

Free Yourself From Debt

Debt is probably the biggest ball and chain around your ankle holding you back. Have you ever added up how much you spend each month to service your debt? How much are your credit card payments, your house payments, and your car payments costing you? I bet it is a significant portion of your paycheck. As long as more than half your income goes to pay your mortgage and various credit cards and loans, you can never be free.

Back around the turn of the century, I had credit card debt of $26,000 between four credit card companies. There were months when I would use and advance on one card to pay off another. It was a house of cards, and I worried constantly that it would trap me under a mountain of debt. On top of this, I had a mortgage and a leased car.

Continue reading “Five Ways to Free Yourself”

Good News from the Bee Yard

It’s finally time to harvest some honey and see how our bees performed this year.

We harvested frames of honey today, sliced open the comb and spun it out in our hand-crank extractor. My daughter came to help. She could not make it up the road in her front-wheel-drive car, so she parked at the bottom of the mountain and I drove down to get her.

Unfortunately, I had only five medium frames that were fully drawn out and 100 percent capped. I tested honey in some of the open frames and it was over 20 percent water, so we could not harvest it yet. Apparently, the rain and high humidity have made it difficult for the bees to concentrate the nectar and turn it into honey. The capped honey tested at 17.5 percent water, which is ideal.

One frame I harvested had no foundation, so we cut it into four blocks of solid comb honey and stuck it in the freezer. The other frames spun out to make 10 pounds of honey. We filled up 12 eight-ounce bottles and four one-pound bottles. Counting the two frames of comb honey we have harvested, this brings us to fifteen pounds of honey so far this year.

Continue reading “Good News from the Bee Yard”

Just say No and COVID Mandates Will Backfire

We need to resist the mandates and unjust laws en mass because they can’t arrest us all; there will be no one left to do their work.

People are sick and tired of adhering to unreasonable, unexplainable COVID-19 rules and regulations, the insistence of mask mandates, vaccine requirements, and restrictions on their travel. In France, they are protesting in the streets. In Australia, they are being arrested and fined for leaving their homes. Here in the U.S., the Federal government is pressuring companies to require their employees to be vaccinated and school boards are forcing children to wear masks.

Restaurants in places like New York are also fed up with requirements that reduce their customer base and make them the bad guys. They just want to serve food, not police public adherence to medical mandates.

Continue reading “Just say No and COVID Mandates Will Backfire”