One Advantage of Living on a Mountain

There are many advantages of living halfway up a mountain in an out-of-the-way location. Privacy is one of them.

Not long ago, I heard an engine at 1 a.m. in the rain. It sounded like a vehicle was coming up the mountain.

Over the years, I’ve lived near train tracks. I’ve lived in apartment buildings that were always never quiet. I’ve gotten used to emergency vehicle sirens, car alarms, and other sounds of the city. But up here, there’s none of that. It’s so quiet up here and so sparsely populated that we rarely hear engine noises. When we do, it catches our attention. There are only two houses up here, mine and our uphill neighbor’s. If you’re driving up this way, you must be visiting one of us, lost, or trespassing.

Once it was a Lowes Home Improvement truck that got stuck on the steep road and was spinning its tires. Now and then it’s a Fedex Truck, which always surprises me because they have told us they won’t deliver up here. Substitute driver, I guess.

Continue reading “One Advantage of Living on a Mountain”

How to Visit Prepping and Other Websites Without Leaving Tracks

We have the First Amendment right to free speech, but it also appears that we have the thought police straight from George Orwell’s 1984. Take some steps to protect yourself.

Given the current political climate and culture, you may be worried that visiting prepping websites, firearm-related web sites, or other websites with a conservative bent may come back to haunt you in your personal or professional lives.  I’m going to give you some ways to increase your online privacy and keep others from learning your browsing history.

When you visit a website, there are multiple parties that know you have been there, including:

  • You and anyone who can access your computer’s history.  (If you surf from work, you can be sure your employer or IT department knows or can instantly find out.)
  • Possibly your browser and its provider, such as Google
  • Your Internet Service Provider (ISP), such as your cable company or in the case of your phone, your wireless carrier.
  • The website you visit.
  • The website’s host or server farm, who likely has your visit recorded in their logs
  • Google, Bing or another other search engine that directed you there as well as any other website that had a link you clicked on to visit it.
  • Any advertisers on the site, or re-marketing companies that use what are called third-party tracking cookies.  This likely include Google and Facebook.

To protect yourself, you need to stop or block every one of these parties. Below are some suggestions on how to block them.

Continue reading “How to Visit Prepping and Other Websites Without Leaving Tracks”

Why Peppers Should Use Cash

The coronavirus may scare some people using cash and move us one step closed to being a cashless society, but preppers need to keep cash a viable payment methodology.

I like cash.  Yes, I have credit cards, a debit card or two, and Apple pay.  I have PayPal and a couple copycats, but for many small, daily purchases, I use cash.  I also use cash for as many prepper-related purchases as possible, and so should you.

Why should preppers use cash? Two related words: Privacy and anonymity.  Using cash allows you to avoid having every purchase becoming part of Big Data, that giant collection of data collected and analyzed by companies to identify you, your likes and dislikes, your behavior, your travel patterns and probably your next move.

For example, it’s no one’s business if I eat fast food every day or have a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit every morning for breakfast, so I pay cash for it.  If you buy lots of alcohol, cigarettes or engage in other vices, you might want to consider cash, too, because chances are good your health insurance provider either is or will one day soon be monitoring your health by monitoring your credit card and bank card charges.

Likewise, I may not want Visa, American Express or my bank to know that I shop at Bob’s Gun Store.  So I pay cash and minimize their ability to track my purchases. The same goes for buying prepping supplies.  I don’t want the government showing up to confiscate my storage food because records show I bought a year’s supply of food.  And cash keeps you anonymous to the retailer as well.  They can’t tell anyone that Joe Smith from Your Town has bought thousands of dollars of supplies and is ripe for the plucking when the balloon goes up.

Continue reading “Why Peppers Should Use Cash”

Day 15: Saving Money During Quarantine

I start out every day with at least $40 of cash in my pocket. Thanks to the Coronavirus, I’ve unloaded the same $40 from my pocket every night for several weeks. I guess you could say it’s being quarantined.

I am definitely spending less money during this quarantine period than I would on an average week, and it’s not because people are afraid they’ll get coronavirus from cash.  It’s because I’m not leaving the house.  We’ve only purchased groceries once, filled the gas tank once, and bought takeout pizza once.  As COVID-19 increases, our spending opportunities decrease.

But generally speaking, I prefer cash over cards, and anyone with the prepper mindset should be aware of when and why to buy items with cash rather than via an electronic payment method.  Because anything electronic has a good chance of becoming part of what is known as “Big Data,” that giant database a number of companies are compiling on you, often without your awareness or permission.

Cash Provides Anonymity

If you buy alcohol, cigarettes or any other vices, you might want to consider using cash because chances are good your insurance provider either is or will one day be monitoring your health by monitoring your credit card and bank card charges and will adjust your rates accordingly.

Continue reading “Day 15: Saving Money During Quarantine”