“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Monday, July 6, 2015

You have to see the whole picture.


 One of the drawbacks to living in a rural county, is that the range of medical expertise you have access to is very limited. Most doctors here are general practitioners. If you have to see a specialist, then you wind up driving a couple of hours to get to one.

 I've never gone to a doctor's office and been seen within an hour of my appointment time.  Since I always get where I have to be at least fifteen minutes early, I spend a lot of time sitting in the waiting room.

I'd just as soon be left alone and wait, but there are always going to be social individuals who want to "visit" and without being rude there's no way to avoid them.

Today I sat in a nice waiting room. At least, it was air conditioned, there was no television in the room, and the chairs were comfortable. There was no music playing, which was a big plus.

Sitting nearby was a fellow about my age. He was wearing a suit.  I haven't worn a suit since I retired. I don't own a suit.  I was wearing khaki work clothes. They're comfortable.  This fellow observed that "you're not from around here, are you?" I find it hard to believe that everyone in that location wears suits but I allowed as to how that was true, I was not from around there.



The next question was predictable.  After I had told him where I was from, he got excited and said he had been looking for a "get away" place up there, somewhere to go to if there were "Baltimore" style disruptions and he needed to lay low.  He said he was prepared to shelter in place though.  I asked him where he lived, and it was one of those gated communities with an artificial lake and McMansions just outside Atlanta.


He told me about all the guns he had.  He really did have a nice collection.  He had some neighbors who were shooters, and they had all agreed to fort up together if things went bad.  I asked him if he was on city water and city sewage. He said yes, of course, why did I ask?


I asked him if he had ever seen "After the Apocalypse" from the History Channel. He hadn't (why was I not surprised) so I recommended he take a look at it. Clearly he could afford the $12.00 for the DVD.

He told me some more about his guns. It was interesting, he obviously had a lot of money and bought really nice collectibles.  I asked him about food.  He had 4 months worth of freeze dried food in the basement. Four months for him and his family, or four months for him, his family and his cronies and their families?  Did the other guys have any food stored?  He didn't know about them, he was only planning on his family.

What about medical supplies.  Well, they had what "everybody" keeps in the medical cabinet and enough Valium to last 30 days or a bit more. I wondered if this meant somebody in the family didn't handle stress well but I didn't want to be nosy.



I asked him if he had ever heard the expression "beans, bullets, bandaids."  Nope.  Had he ever read anything by Rawles or Benson.  Nope.   Had he heard of Off Grid, American Survival Guide, Survivalist, Disasters Edge, Be Ready, or anything similar.  Nope. He was starting to look like he thought he'd run up on a lunatic, a little uneasy.



I wrote down some book titles for him, some magazine names, and some DVD's he could get from the internet.

 He seemed to me like a nice guy who didn't think too deeply about what he was trying to do. But perhaps that wasn't fair. Maybe he was a nice guy who was worried about things in the news, and wanted to do something but had no source of information on what or how. I don't know how many people there are out there like that, but I seem to be running into more and more individuals who are trying to come to grips with the idea that maybe all is not well.

Eventually they called my name, we said our "enjoyed talking to you's" and went our separate ways. I wish the man luck. His heart was in the right place, if nothing else.

27 comments:

  1. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I've know a few people like that.

    One of my really good friends thinks they way we do, but his wife is in denial, normalcy bias, and thinks I'm crazy. My friend I fear will be another casualty along with his family if something happens.
    If things go south, I cant support him and his family. He has a family ranch to go to and I hope his wife enjoys cooking rabbits and coyotes, because that's all there is to eat out there.

    The people of Greece got the message real fast. I wonder if the banks 'upchucked' over here. How long before things really get ugly. I would think real quick if ATM's, EBT cards and everything else backfired.

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  2. You can tell people what you think, and you can help them when you can, as you can. But ultimate responsibility for each person's well-being lies with them alone. Greece has been doing precisely what we are doing here. They borrowed money to live beyond their means,we simply take on more debt. The end result inevitably has to be the same. I can't find a single reputable economist on the internet who thinks we can repay our current debt, yet we keep adding to it. People here would do well to reflect on what is happening right now to the common man in Greece. It's very grim.

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  3. The obvious question was why was he wearing a suit.

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    1. Anna, here suits are a symbol of prestige and authority. In my town, the only people who routinely wear suits are the banker, the judge, and the undertaker.
      But in cities, if you want to look successful, you wear an expensive suit, expensive shoes, and an expensive watch. When I was an accountant, our office was in a small town on a feeder highway to Atlanta. On a normal day, the big boss would wear a sports shirt with a collar, walking shorts, and sandals. All the very best, but casual. On days he went down to Monarch Center in Atlanta for meetings, he wrote the best suit money could buy, very costly shoes, and a Swiss watch. He normally drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee to work but on Atlanta days he drove a BMW. It's really phony, but it's how things work here. If some big wheel came to the office I worked in, the men had to wear suits and the women wore "business attire." I gave all my suits to the Salvation Army when I retired. I didn't keep a one of them.

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  4. The guy is still more prepared than most folks. THAT'S the scary part.

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    1. Your point is well taken. He was clueless but at least he was thinking in the right direction. Unless he gets that DVD, he won't have figured out that the toilets and water in his house will quit when the power goes out, and he isn't going to be able to drink out of that lake because people will foul it. I didn't want to come across as a know it all so I didn't raise those points with him and he didn't seem to pick anything up about water and sewage from my questions. If he watches the DVD he will know he has some more planning to do.

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  5. Maybe he started looking uneasy because he realized he had such a long way to go, thinking he was already in a good place. I've often wondered how managers and the big bosses, who are great at directing a company, would manage if they had to survive and protect their families. At least this guy was thinking. Maybe you gave him some good tips.

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    1. There's still a big stigma here associated with being a survivalist, although the adoption of the less aggressive term "prepper" has eased that some. The many television shows on potential problems and survivalists has also helped. This guy was a gun person, so he was more open to the topic than most would be, and he raised it in the first place.

      I can tell you that the big boss at my old company , other than buying gold and silver, took no precautions and as far as I know still doesn't. His problem is that he is incapable of conceiving of any situation in which he can't buy what he wants with money. Cash is King, and it always will be, is his mantra.

      If the man follows up on what I wrote down for him, it will help him. If he doesn't, it's his decision. I hope something will give him a leg up on his planning.

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  6. You go, Harry :) Spread the word - t'is the only way...

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    1. If people bring the subject up, I'm glad to talk with them as long as they don't get too intrusive with their questions about my own situation. I do think that since the race riots here, starting with Ferguson and going on through Baltimore, a lot of people are starting to give preparedness a bit of thought. The Greek financial crisis is giving people a first hand look at what is surely going to happen here when it's our turn, and the government's failure to stop Islamic terrorism is angering the right and perplexing the left,who can't understand why Obama told ISIS to stop killing kids and women, and they are still doing it. How dare they be so obtuse?

      Things are very unsettled here.

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  7. Personally I don't see how anyone can be blind to the point that they don't have a better start than this, but that's just me. I guess people wake up at their own speed.

    Sounds like he did get uneasy there at the end, but some of that may have been that he was starting to realize just how far he was behind, and he was on information overload at that point. Reading between the lines here, I'd almost call it panic on his part.

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  8. I am frequently amazed at how many people have done exactly nothing. I was reading a blog the other day, and the writer was talking about how she had discussed what to do if there was some black swan event, and the friend said that she wasn't worried because it was up to the government to fix the problem and take care of the people. I would say probably 80% of the people living in this country feel that way and really think the Government will help, Katrina notwithstanding.

    I know he was irritated because I am sure he felt that I would be impressed with his four months worth of freeze dried food in the basement. People often have a vastly exaggerated sense of accomplishment because they order something off the internet and expect that to be enough to see them through anything. He was a nice guy but I did get the sense that he was not used to being questioned, and certainly not used to having to give lame responses.

    I will say that between the very strange weather, and the bad racial incidents, a lot of folks are starting to wonder. The widely known fact that the police are sitting back and covering their own butts now that the politicians and district attorneys are throwing them to the mob is starting to percolate down to the low information crowd. Personally, I wouldn't engage black criminals if I was a cop. You'd just be victimized by lies and cowardly officials to placate the howling "minority" mob and their white "wannabee's"

    Then there's the revitalization of Islam, the growth of ISIS, and the realization that we don't have a leader who can contain Islamic terrorism. That rattles a lot of people who thought if we just made nice to Moslems they would love us and all would be well.

    These are really tough times on a lot of fronts, and even the most flaccid leftard has got to be picking up some of the negative vibes. Most of them won't do anything about it, though.

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  9. Harry,

    All you can do is offer sound advice and recommendations, if the person takes it then great. Maybe your advice will save that person, and their family later on down the line. And if they roll their eyes, don't take the advice, and think the government is going to be there to help......all I can say is God Bless them.

    Harry, it's raining hard again.....expecting another 5 inches of rain. We have our ARK prepared ,,,,,,,,,,LOL!!!!

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    1. Sandy, it's so wet here now that I am having trouble keeping the inside humidity within tolerance, yet a week ago we were in drought conditions. I don't know what's going on with the weather.

      Most of the people I interact with, I communicate with over the net. It's pretty rare for me to talk to anyone about this lifestyle in person. This fellow in the doctors office was making an effort but missing most of the buttons you have to hit. If he wants to pursue the issue at least he has some sources of information now. I think one problem for people today is that their only source of information is often the internet. Can you imagine what it would be like to look for survival information on the net? Data overload, and a lot of hucksters and poseurs. You have to sift a lot of dross on the net to find the gems.

      Anyone who thinks the government is going to save them is not making a rational assessment of the situation, but there are far more people holding that belief than those who know they will have to make it on their own. Part of it is that people are raised from the cradle today to believe that they don't have any responsibility for themselves and that someone "in authority" will solve their problems. "Someone got to come down here and be responsible!" as the lady said on the news when her "check" was late.

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  10. Harry - i am glad that you helped the man by offering titles of books, dvds and movies, etc - it is now up to him to continue learning, or do nothing. i am always happy when people ask questions via the blog, email or in person s i think it is very important to get the preparing message across to people. and everyone learns at their own speed and there is a point when you first start "prepping" that you get scared because you can't do it all at once.

    i have been glad over the years of being able to learn and re-learn all of the different elements of being prepared from different people from all over the web. you can never be too prepared!

    sending much love, as always! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, you're right. There are a lot of good people out there who want to help themselves but don't really know how to. I've learned a lot from the internet, most of it from people who were obviously sincere, and who had good information to share. One of the things I'm sorry for is that if things do implode, as it seems to me they must, the net will go and we'll never know what happened to our friends.

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  11. Hey Harry, you sound like the perfect guy to sit next to in the waiting room!
    It's great to give advice to people where you can and you've probably given him plenty to think about. I saw that documentary on History channel, makes you realise all the small things that we take for granted. It really got me into being more prepared for the 'what if's'.

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    1. Kirsty, I think that's one of the best preparedness "docu-drama's" I've seen. It's old now but still very relevant. I watched the British version of the "Black Out" docu-drama and thought it was much better than the U.S. version. It's on the internet if you haven't had a chance to see it.

      I have been following a self sufficient lifestyle for more than 30 years now, but you never get to where you can say" well, that's it, I'm ready." It's an ongoing process, but I think every year we are more finely tuned, a little bit more proficient.

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  12. Harry, that was good of you to share your "reality" with him. At least he was doing "something". I think a lot of folks here started out small and then built up over time, If he's smart he will continue on with his preps.

    On the other hand I know people like him in my own circle of family and friends. Lots of money, but not much practical sense. Sadly, these folks know nothing about basic automotive and household maintenance. They pay others to do it, and that is where their downfall will begin. He may have friends in his gated community to back him up, but he doesn't realize that same gated community will be the first to be overrun in a grid down scenario. Nevertheless, Who can fault him for thinking about a retreat property? --Troy

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    1. This fellow lacked an overall plan. What he really needs is just to read some of Benson's books, and some of Rawles, so he will have a basic framework. He did not appear to be very good at looking at logistical aspects. One of his big concerns about buying a bug out retreat up in the mountains was that he was not sure he could get all of his 67 gun collection up there. You have to combat load your supplies based on the "beans, bullets, bandaids" mantra but his only concern was bullets.

      Even when I asked him if he was on city water and sewage, he just didn't make the connection. He has a "group" but doesn't know what the capabilities are of any of the people in it, and they don't have a leader. Still, as you say, at least he's making the attempt. I think his best bet is to go ahead and buy himself a cabin up here, pre stock it, and then displace when things start looking grim. I did not tell him that though because if he makes that decision, he needs to accept that he made it himself, not because someone else said it was a good idea.

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  13. SIXTY SEVEN guns ? This guy is (right now anyway) more of a toy collector than anything. I wonder if he knows how to take them all down, etc. Maybe he's like the guy I saw who has just about that many rifles, all Marlin lever actions. One manual of arms and he's good to go.

    You're right about his needing a plan. At least he realizes that there's some kind of a forest out there, and now maybe he's starting to realize that he needs a map. Sounds to me like he's thinking of SHTF as being a 10-day power outage and then "somebody" fixes everything and he has ice for his whiskey sours again.

    - Charlie Mitchell

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    1. Charlie, I know a lot of people who collect, who are in the 200 weapon range. It's not really about protection, they collect a specific type of weapon just as an art collector might want to collect Dali or Impressionists, etc. I've been collecting for more than 30 years, myself. The safes do tend to fill up.

      I think his big concern was that he lives in a very up scale neighborhood, but very near down town Atlanta. Don't know if you are familiar with Atlanta. Used to be the older sections were very nice, but starting in the seventies they began to attract people from foreign ethnic groups. Chamblee Dunwoody, for instance, was older homes and well kept up. Now it's full of Cambodians, everything is falling apart, and it's called "Chambodia." There are Iraqi sections, neighborhoods full of Islamic immigrants from the middle east, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other spots. The inner city blacks are very resentful of these people, feeling that they are "taking" welfare "benefits" that are "black entitlements." Black religious and political leaders say this flat out on the evening news, it's no secret.

      This guy watched the Baltimore riots on television, and noted the new element. The rioters went out into what were considered "white" parts of the city, and attacked people there. They dragged people from outdoor cafes and beat them. They attacked women indiscriminately, as well as men. The hand writing is on the wall, and even the most sublimely ignorant people have to see it when it's rubbed in their faces. I'm pretty sure this man was mainly concerned about significant racial disorder. August is coming, the traditional time for urban blacks to "show out."

      I seriously doubt he has given any consideration to economic issues, or to EMP, or any of the other things survivalists concern themselves with.

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    2. Charlie, I went to your web page and was really impressed with your photography. Have you considered sharing your photos on a blog? It's a great way to communicate with people,and I'm sure you'd have a lot of visitors.

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  14. I actually lived in Atlanta for about 6 months in '78. My buddy and I arrived there from Charleston, SC. Visiting the big city, you know. We pulled into town and literally drove around for a couple of hours looking for the white side of town. We finally saw a white guy driving and followed him - true story. People may think it sounds evil and racist, but a couple of white guys living in an all-black neighborhood is just not a smart idea. Anyway, we found a place in a neighborhood of mansions, very near either the mayor's place or the governor's place (can't remember which). One owner had converted his mansion into a boarding house apartment of about 10 rooms. I'm sure his neighbors just loved him...

    - Charlie Mitchell

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    1. Southern Cities used to have a distinctive "feel". Atlanta was a slow going, pleasant place if you kept out of the city center. But by the late 1970's, a lot of the residential areas were being bought up by the city. The homes were bulldozed down, the trees cut down, and low income subsidized housing went up. That started some demographic changes, because as the subsidized housing filled up, gang bangers moved into the area. People in outlying residential areas began moving out. My Uncle lived in Druid Hills, which was really nice then, nice homes on wooded lots. Now most of that is gone.

      Atlanta has whole areas now divided up by "tribe." Only a very foolish person would knowingly go into some of those areas. There was a big snow storm down there in the 1990's, and it happened at rush hour. Hundreds were trapped on the freeway in their cars. And up the on ramps, from the "hoods" there came a steady trickle of the tribal types, who pulled people out of their cars and robbed them methodically. I watched the transmission from a news helicopter circling overhead. It's gotten even worse, now. I don't go to Atlanta except under duress. Instead, I go to Chattanooga, which is largely an Asian city now but those people don't tend to be thugs.

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  15. I'm thinking the guy was a Homeland Security agent probing you to see what he could learn about your evil plans to overthrow the government. ;-)

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    1. We won' have to overthrow the government, it's collapsing in on itself at quantum speed.

      I've never been shy about expressing myself. Maybe he got more than he bargain for, but we didn't talk politics so who knows? ;-)

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