Episode-555- Listener Calls for 11-19-10 — 22 Comments

  1. As far as Pasta, I’d consider Orzo, which looks like a bulging grain of rice, but is pasta. It packs tighter than macaroni or penne.
    I’ve packed some in small mylar bags with Oxygen absorbers, and it draws in nicely–like vacuum sealed.

  2. About clothing post SHTF

    I researched this topic a while back so I will share my thoughts with you all.

    Knitting and crochet would be another good skill for creating clothing post SHTF. Easy to stock up on yarn now – it’s pretty cheap and everywhere. You can also unravel older items and reuse yarn. You could knit bags, belts, hats, etc. out of thin rope, even.

    Sewing machines will take a LOT of power. There are some that are non-electric still, but they are pricy or rare from what I have found. Having both a sewing machine and a serger (overlock) would speed up production. (A serger cuts and wraps the thread around the edges as you sew. This really helps with working with fabrics that ravel easily.)

    Having a good stash of clothes would help as you can make other things from existing garments, bedding, sheets, curtains, etc.

    For example, you cold turn old t-shirts and garments into quilts, pot holders, coats, pillow cases, bags or sacks, scarves, etc.

    At the very least, get enough supplies to mend and sew garments by hand, just in case. Needles and thread are very cheap.

    Cloth things to think about getting ahead of time:
    Cloth diapers
    Cloth toilet wipes (reusable) or another alternative to toilet paper
    Cloth menstrual pads and deva cups
    Cloth alternative to paper towels
    Extra fabric, yarn, towels, sheets, etc.
    Manual laundry washing supplies (Washboard or wonderwash, clothing line or drying racks, buckets or bins, etc.)

    For about $20 you can get enough supplies to make your own laundry detergent for many months. (Borax, Washing Soda, and bar laundry soap) Just google homemade laundry detergent and you will find many recipes. Works in machines and with hand washing.

    You can also make softener. (I recommend this to everyone after researching the toxins in retail fabric softeners.)

    I add my favorite scents or essential oils to a little salt and then that mix to the powdered detergent for a wonderful scent. (Can also help those with eczema.)

    I suggest everyone try to hand wash some regular laundry to get familiar with the process. It can be quite fun and relaxing, and a great workout!

    You can also put a load with soap and water in a sealed container in the trunk of your car before you drive to work. When you get home you only have to rinse well and hang to dry!

    In a post SHTF scenario, you could barter:
    Alterations and mending services
    New clothing and accessories
    Laundry services
    Laundry detergent

    About fabrics:
    Spinning and weaving takes special equipment I am not familiar with, but I can tell you cotton grows very easily from seeds, and gives back more seeds inside each cotton ball. I think having livestock as well as cotton would be good – and if ever available I’d look into hemp fabrics.

  3. About used School Busses
    When shopping for my used school bus I found the shorter ones were MORE expensive than the larger ones. I was only looking for a larger one, however.
    The large ones like mine WILL be too long for many RV spaces. Since I do not wish to live 5’ away from my neighbor in an RV campground, this was not a concern for me.

    Here is my logic on why I live in a school bus:
    School Busses are built TOUGH and for a lot of weight.
    It is a faraday cage.
    It would survive an EMP. (Carborated)
    It can tow a trailer with my car and more supplies.
    It is completely customizable.
    It is the cheapest way to own your own home without debt. (3k)
    As soon as the seats were removed, I could move in.
    Since it is my home, I even got a homeowners’ discount on the auto insurance!
    Extremely low cost of living, with many location options.
    I can move to my bug out location with ease.

    Issues to think about:
    INSULATION! It is basically a metal can that transfers the heat or cold into the interior. Insulate every surface as much as possible.
    The windows are a nightmare to work with.
    Have a good mechanic setup – you won’t even be able to change a tire on that thing if you get a flat. I am not sure if AAA will cover my bus for towing.
    The floor could very well be rotted out. You may need to tear it out and replace the metal and wood underneath.
    TEST DRIVE IT! Although you may not need a commercial driver’s license (I didn’t in my state) driving a bus takes a learning curve.
    I got my insurance through GM. You will need to see who will insure a bus in your area.
    You will need to eventually have to get the title corrected to say motor home.

  4. Yes, you can definitely do better than mountain house! I actually lost my last MH meal perhaps too much TVP made my stomach turn??
    My #1 go-to CHEAP backpacking meal is….Zatarain’s black beans and rice. I boil it up with a package of tunafish, add some dried hot peppers. Take it off the alcohol stove and put it in a pot cozy made from reflectix for half an hour…spoon that up onto tortillas. You will not be disappointed!

  5. @Kam, good idea hadn’t thought of that. Lots of new “mini” pasta out now from either DaVinchi or Skinner (blue box) they have elbow, shells, penne, etc about half the size of normal, packs nicely and awesome for soups.

    @Paul, I love that stuff from Zatarians all of it. For back packing and BOBs you could add in some of the dried sausage I mentioned. I get it at Academy Sports but they do sell it online too. The Jalapeno is awesome!

  6. Looking forward to hearing a podcast dedicated to BOB foods, I just ordered some stuff from emergency essentials but I’m sure there’s a better way than lugging around bulky MRE bags without sacrificing nutritional and caloric benefits.

  7. An interesting fact… Historically Dividends have represented 3 to 4% of the annual 10% average return in the stock market.

    There are a couple of good fund choices in this area.

    One is a group of stocks called the Dividend Aristocrats. To be included on this list they have to have raised their dividends for 25 consecutive years or they are booted from the List! Currently there are 43 of the S+P 500 stocks that make this list. Most are names you will recognize and banks only represent 7% of this Index. They do better in down markets but underperform in better times. The symbol is SDY

    Another similar Index is the Dividend Achievers. They cull this list from 3700 stocks and a few more than 200 companies make the list. They are required to have increased dividends at least 8 out of ten years with no interuption or decrease (not exactly 100% sure, but I’m close). This symbol is DAA

    Hope this helps.

  8. @Bob in SC

    How about 17% dividends a year paid out evenly each month? I do it with one of my investments, I will even reveal that company here, first a disclaimer.

    I am not telling anyone to buy this stock and if you put all of your money in it you are a retard, if you buy this stock without a stop loss safety net you are a retard and if you buy a stock like this with out knowing what a stop loss is first you are retard, how is that for a disclaimer.

    The stock is CHIMERA INVT CORP COM CIM: NYSE (Yep a real estate stock) I won’t explain the company or why to invest in it just know I have a small holding and it pays out very well. I see it as a buy at 4 dollars a share, stop loss it at say 20% and keep an eye on it. If the Fed ever starts to raise rates dump it, hold cash with that funding or go elsewhere.

    One more disclaimer if you go buy this stock now, even just 5 shares with out first learning on your own about this company you are a retard. Don’t buy stuff just because I say so, this investment does have risk! Just understand there are always ways to do better then 3% and NEVER go all in on anything.

  9. @Candee, ding ding ding a winner! Old man Bush was the head of Standard Oil and sold the Nazis a fuel additive that was necessary to keep their planes in the air. This one fact alone prolonged the war, had Standard cut off the Germans it would have virtually grounded the German Air Force.

    And this prick did this while his son, George the First was serving as a pilot in the war and to his credit being shot at all the time. Now George Sr. was admittedly in the Pacific theater but what kind of total scum sells shit to the enemy while his own son is risking his life?

    More dramatically what kind of man returns to such a father and doesn’t seem to mind and later ends up the head of the CIA and later President of the United States?

    Worse yet this is not the full extent of Prescott’s involvement with enabling the Nazis. Do your own research folks it will mean more if you find the truth on your own.

  10. Good luck with CIM. They cut the dividend in 2008 temporarily and have lost 80% of its value in two years, while the market rebounded fully. Not something I want to touch… nothing about it. I’ll take a broadly diversified mutual fund/etf containing 43 companies like Exxon, Walmart with a minimum 25 year record of raising dividends over any REIT.

  11. @Bob,

    Do as you please but I didn’t buy them before the crash, I bought in after it. I am not looking for the price to do anything, I will take my 17 points, I protect my principle with stop loss.

    Plays like CIM are small plays, part of a larger plan. Your mutual fund is just as risky by the way. I bought it in Nov. of 2009, it is certainly a risk play but again, my risk is limited to 20%, well at this point I have no risk, but you get the point.

    I actually hate funds, losers drag winners down in a fund, fund managers have no choice when a train is coming they have to sit and take it in the face.

    Most of my money is in cash and if you think the market fully recovered, I just have to say really? Fully recovered? Really? LOL.

    There have been some good buys in recent times. I bought Ford at about 2.20 a share and have kicked myself for not buying more than I did. Still most of my money is in cash right now and nothing is in typical Mutual Funds.

  12. I don’t own SDY or DAA, but currently own 30 globally diversified stocks with only 7% invested in five small/mid cap mutual funds.

    ETF/mutual funds mentioned are a valid alternative and less risky than single stocks, and closer to the spirit of the advice Jack was offering.

  13. @Bob you said,

    “ETF/mutual funds mentioned are a valid alternative and less risky than single stocks, and closer to the spirit of the advice Jack was offering.”

    Bob, I guess you didn’t know my handle on this blog is “ModernSurvival” as it is on our forums. THIS IS JACK, I have always been opposed to mutual funds for the majority of your investments.

    Funds by and large suck, I have said so many times on the air.

  14. Oh and in spite of what I said funds have a place I just see them taking a minority role, not the majority role that they do for most Americans.

    If you own a fund you get the result of the sum total, you can’t just sell of the 15 out of 30 stocks that are going to take it the hardest. Further when a fund starts getting dumped (like they did in 2008) their value can actually fall faster than the value of the stocks with in them.

    I have said it before most advisers are MORONS, they put a guy into 10% bond funds, 20% small cap, 20% mid cap, 20% large cap and 30% growth or some such crap and call you well diversified.

    Such a portfolio is not “diversified” it consists of 100% funds. A fund is constrained by its class. The fund manager can’t even when the world is crashing convert any major portion of the funds assets to cash. Funds are not run by experts, that is another lie. They are lumped together by junior employees that do all the work. The “Fund Manger” listed doesn’t do much at all, his lackeys do because running a fund is something any dolt can do.

    The purpose of a fund is to put some portion (it better be a small one) into a general category and play the category as a whole, not to risk your life on, which is what most of America does.

    ETFs are a bit of a different animal. Many hold hard assets like gold, silver, coal, a mix of metals, etc. They tie value directly to a commodity or group of commodities. At least most of them do and they serve an entirely different role than something like a typical mutual fund.

  15. I don’t disagree with your opinion…

    You mentioned Dividends…

    The Dividend Aristocrats ETF (symbol=SDY) is as good option as any.

    I’ll take a diversified equally weighted 43 stocks with a minimum track record of 25 years of dividend increases over chasing a high yield of a three year old REIT with a poor track record.

    Good luck!

  16. From stats I have seen, index funds & their brethren index ETF’s generally outpace managed funds in their category. And no one has consistently beaten the market over all 10 year periods.. If ‘ the smart guys’ can’t do it, why would be be able to ‘beat the market’? Most people buy high & sell low. Broad indexes, gold, cash, food, skills. My investment for the future.

  17. A diesel schoolbus can be switched to bio-diesel – if wanted, or if standard diesel becomes scarce due to disaster. WIllie nelson runs bioD, a band here in NY runs their school bus on biod from used fryer grease..

  18. FYI on clothing and repairs: find and refurbish an old treadle sewing machine if you can. I have an 1878 Reliable that I use for all my sewing needs now. Having a supply of threads and other sewing staples on hand will pay for themselves over and over if you can’t get them!

    Checkout Treadle On’s Sewing Machine Maintenance and Repair Shop pages. They provide the information you need to select, restore and use treadle and hand crank machines.

  19. Love the show wish I had more time to listen.

    You mentioned that you didn’t know if you could trust boiling water in a zip-lock bag.

    Last time I went backpacking I transfered some mountain house from a two serving bag to two FREEZER SAFE ziplock bags. I was able to simply dump the boiling water in the bag to cook. Once it’s done you can eat out of the bag and when you are done just zip it up and there is no need to clean a pot. It was very convenient since we were just cooking over butane instead of a campfire.

    Anyways it’s called “ziplock” cooking and has online following. The trick is freezer safe bags, but I would probably check the brand myself each time at home before I committed. I think it worked out great and will do it next time I need to pack light.

  20. I change sale tags in our local food store & YES the prices are going up…each month!
    Grow your own veggies…grow that garden & save!