Saturday, September 30, 2017

What a week. Banksters. The Seminar. Property Taxes. Somebody got to come down here and be responsible!

Survival Retreats run the full gamut from basic to luxurious.

Some people have enough money to set themselves up with all the amenities way out in the boondocks, and others just have to make the best of what they have.

Some can live out on their retreat full time, and others have to work in the city. They set up their refuge in the countryside as a fall back position.

I know people in this county who have done both. In general, the younger you are, the less chance you have to relocate to the woods.  Younger people have to work to make money, and they don't have a lot of disposable income.

We came out here when my wife and I were 32. She was just out of the Navy, and I had just left the Marine Corps.  We had a small financial reserve, but for the  rest we just had to work. I took jobs from running a main frame computer in a bank to working in a gas station. My wife took care of the kids until they were "stay at home alone" age then she went to work as a teacher.  I went back to school full time and worked nights. Once I finished, I got a good job with an oil and gas company, and I stayed  there for 20 years. It was a "good"job in that I made a lot of money, but it was a bad job in terms of who I worked for , and some of the things the company did.  If Lebanon started me on the road to the life style of a recluse, that job finished it.

We didn't start out like the people in the picture above, but we didn't have a set up like this one, either.

One thing is for certain though, no matter how far out you go and how limited your exposure to society is,  you can't escape it. You stay tied into the machine via financial , governmental and health matters if nothing else.  

This week we had to go to an insurance seminar sponsored by the State Health Benefit Plan Department of Georgia.  My wife retired from teaching, and we get our health insurance through the SHBPD.  But every year, there are changes, and you have to "elect" different policies and benefits.

We drove to a college town in the middle of the state, and crowded into an auditorium with about 200 other "seniors." This is not a fun experience, because a lot of the people there are in their eighties and older, and there is a lot of "cliche" senior behavior.   I noticed that about 75 percent of the attendees were women, which makes me think the old trend of the men dying off first and leaving old blue haired widows is still the rule.

We did get a lot of good information, but we were both pretty unsettled by the time we left. You wind up thinking "Good God, is that what I'll devolve into?"

We stayed at a state park lodge. It was one we hadn't been to in a long time. Beautiful place, with a lake and a fantastic dining room.  The meals were great, and it was very relaxing.  It did cost us some money but I am pretty sure it's tax deductible. Even if my tax accountant tells me it isn't, it was worth it.  People always ask me, when it comes up, why I have an accountant when I was an accountant. The answer is, I didn't work with taxes. And there's always the old saw "a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client."  That works in accounting too. Anyway.......

We have been making a real effort to "get out" some, and this was a way to derive some relaxation from a trip we had to make anyway.

This same week, I went to transfer some money from an account I opened in 1986, into another account at the local bank.  When I moved here, the bank was a small red brick building.  There was only one bank in the whole county, and it had no branches.  Now, that old bank is the county library, and there are branches of the same bank in five states.

As you would expect, there's no personal relationship with anyone in the bank anymore. I do as little as I can with them, because I know the guy who came here , took over the bank , and "grew" it into the mega monster it's become. I don't like him.  I also don't care for the production line attitude they have now.

I was told that I'd would have to pay a $7.50 fee to make the funds transfer. I said I wouldn't. So I saw the department manager, who sent me to somebody else, who sent me to somebody else..  There, a guy about late twenties explained to me that "banking has changed a lot in 30 years."  He told me they had to change the rules , but that he could set me up with a different type of account that would be better for holding money. I asked him how better? He didn't have an answer for that, but he said I was "really" using that old account "wrong" and this "new account" would work better for me.

I asked him how he knew that I'd had been using the account inefficiently since before he was born. He didn't answer that.

I told them to just leave it  not to touch it.  I'll keep it open and hope it is inconvenient for them. I have lots of work arounds, so it won't bother me any other  than the fact that they tried to BS me into closing a 30 year old account and opening one I have to pay fees on. The guy treated me like I was an idiot. I'm old , but I'm not that easily manipulated.

Then there's the fact that it's "property tax" time again in the mountains.

And, it's time to pay property tax.   Out in the area I live, the county barely maintains the roads, there's no Sheriff's Department protection because they are all patrolling at the lake. If you have a fire, the county sends you a bill which  they hope you will pay. If you go in to raise hell, they tell you don't worry about it, they just hire some company to see how much they can raise out of people who have had fires, and if you don't want to pay, you don't have to. I'm not making that up, because that's what happened to me a few years ago.

If you don't pay the property tax, though, the county seizes your property and sells it on the court house steps. But I guess the good news is, a lot of that money is sent down to Atlanta to pay for black urban school districts, who have no money because the school district administrators there embezzle most of it, and the tax base there is nil because they've destroyed any businesses in the district. So people out in the countryside not only get to pay for subsidized housing, healthcare, welfare, cell phones etc for the "urban poor" in Atlanta, we get to pay for their schools, too!

Even living way out here in the woods, and hardly ever coming into contact with anyone else, I still get to deal with all this. There's just no escape.

Here are some cartoons to lighten up this post:

Puerto Rico: A survivalist laboratory.

Puerto Rico is a territory.  There are about 3 million Puerto Ricans in the territory,  and as of a 2013 report by the Pew Research Center, there are an additional 5.1 million Puerto Ricans living in the mainland U.S.  In 1917, the Jones Act granted U.S. citizenship to all Puerto Ricans.  Even so, Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico don't cast votes in the Presidential Elections.  Once Puerto Ricans move to the U.S. and establish residency, they have full voting privileges.  Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico pay no federal income tax.

Every few years, the United Nations issues a pious report condemning the U.S. for it's policy of "colonization" towards Puerto Rico.

Right now, if you are interested in what happens when a society collapses, Puerto Rico is the place to be observing.

After the hurricanes, the infrastructure there has been wiped out.  No one is sure how they are going to repair it, replace it, or completely reconstruct it.

Watch the news reports from down there if you want to know what would happen here in similar circumstances.

First, the Sheeple are proving to be an issue.  News clips show families with no baby formula, no canned milk, no diaphers, no nothing , but well supplied with babies. They knew that Irma was coming, but a great many seem to have done absolutely nothing to prepare. I watched a couple complain about having no milk for their baby, because "nobody has brought nothing here for us."

Same with food. The mayor of some little village was whining about "my people are starving." Nobody seems to have bothered to lay in any canned goods, and with no transportation due to blocked roads, whatever they had fresh has gone bad or been eaten. The news story showed long lines of people lined up to get two cans of green peas, and some sugary snacks.

Water is a problem. I saw a story where some lady showed up to get water from a military  tanker, but she had nothing to put it in.  The reporter went on and on about how sad this was, that poor Chica didn't even have a bucket to put water in.  Poor Chica was not responsible for this  though, because the reporter felt the military should have brought a bucket for her, as well as fresh water.

Lots of stories on medical supplies. Some old guy was followed around from pharmacy to pharmacy, but no pills to be had.  Now , it's been two weeks since the storm, roughly, and most prescriptions are either 30 days or 90 days. So, why is Joe Sh*t the Ragman out of pills? Could it be he didn't bother to go get a resupply before the storm?

Theses are just a few of the things you can pick up from watching the events in Puerto Rico. I have no reason to believe it will be any different if something dramatic happens up in the continental U.S.
The general consensus is "Somebody got to come come down here and be responsible!"

New Magazine Out:

This is one of the periodic "specials" that American Survival Guide puts out.  Given that this is the Fall edition, it's not surprising that a lot of it has to do with survival in cold weather environments. I have a serious case of "castle syndrome", so I don't pay a lot of attention to articles about surviving in the bush with minimal supplies and equipment. I keep season appropriate equipment and supplies in the Jeep, and that's the extent of it. I do have significant amounts of field gear stored in the barn, from the period of time when I had small kids and we did a lot of camping.  I get it out ever so often to check on the condition, and that's about it.  Nothing short of a major forest fire is going to blast me out of here. If you wonder why, read this:


Truly, everybody who has an interest in survivalism (or being a prepper, or whatever moniker suits), should read the book, then see the movie.  It's powerful motivation to get your act together. You may not like the story, but it's educational.  Cormac McCarthy is the same author who wrote "No Country for Old Men" which should give you some idea about "The Road."

There are also some excellent articles in this issue of Prepper Emergency Survival Guide on field communications, dealing with the aftermath of major disasters in your area,  choosing a few firearms to suit your needs and budget, and feeding yourself after a disaster.  It's all good stuff.  Not much of it will be new to most of us, but you just never know when you will  read an obscure article in a magazine or book, and think " I need to do something about that."

Thought for the Day:

I had forgotten this old song til a friend sent the link to me:


  1. I stopped going to those retirement info meetings back in 2006. Their "plan" to put the system on sounder footing involved expecting (wishing?) for the economy to do better. I asked what their plan was in case there was a major setback. They basically laughed at me because that would never happen. Then 2008 rolled around and the system got hammered due to its heavy investment in real estate.

    Property taxes are high here in NH, but the school my kids went to was good, the roads are plowed. They do the occasional police patrol past the house. When I called the local fire department they came and there was no bill. Also, there is no state income or sales tax, so that's good. If there's ever something about the budget I don't like, I can go to town meeting and say my piece. My lovely wife upset the apple cart at one of those meetings once when she asked some pointed questions about the school expansion.

    The layback island lifestyle does not jibe well with disaster prep. Back in the day it didn't matter as much. One guy spent a lot of time in the islands explained it to me. Populations were lower and people knew how to live off the land. If their house on the beach got blown away, they'd just take the debris and rebuild another shack. That's how the house probably got built in the first place.

    They still have that attitude, but live with higher population densities and almost no one lives primitively. Except now, of course, when everyone does.

    1. We still go to the annual insurance seminar because the changes that the state makes to the two companies you can choose from (Blue Cross and United this year) pretty much throws everything you learned last year into a cocked hat. I quit going to investment seminars because I figured out pretty quickly that they were about pimping a product rather than giving you good advice on where to put your money.

      I really resent property taxes. For one thing, I don't see why I should be supporting the school system here, let alone in Atlanta. My kids were home schooled. Also, I am not all that enthusiastic about supporting people who rent, thus pay no property tax, while they tool around in brand new pickup trucks. But there's nothing I can do about it. I do get a small homestead exemption, and will soon qualify for another exemption. But it's still like I'm paying the county rent on my own land.

      I can see your point about the islanders, but I don't have a lot of sympathy for them. As you say, the "manana" life philosophy doesn't work for anybody these days, no matter where you live. I get aggravated when people do nothing but sit on their asses, and then expect somebody else to come take care of them when the fewmets hit the windmill. I also wonder why, since the Puerto Ricans don't pay any taxes, they have the right to whine and complain and say we aren't spending enough on them now.

  2. Off topic I hope no one minds.
    From Matt Bracken via Twitter
    My first Dan Kilmer novel Castigo Cay will be on a Kindle “free run” on Sunday October 1st through Monday the…

    1. Hey Harry,


      Awhile back I dropped sixteen hard earned dollars and change on the latest Matt Bracken book (the sequel to Castigo Cay) That book was worth every penny. One of the best books on the subject of the demise of the Western World I have ever read.

      A Big Thumbs Up on Matt Bracken books with the latest being his best and most professional work every.

      A plot teaser.

      It has retired members of the S.A.S in the book and goes into some depth of the history of the S.A.S. and the founding member of the S.A.S and the mystique of one of the finest 'Spec Op's groups in the world.

    2. I remember that book. I enjoyed it but it was pretty dark in some spots. I know people are capable of anything but I don't like being reminded of it. I guess I am becoming a wimp in my old age....

      I still plan on reading the sequel though. The man does write a story that holds your attention.

  3. Our financial advisor at Ameriprise basically fired us a few years back because I moved my entire IRA account to cash. I just don't trust the goofballs (erm... crooks?) at the Fed and on Wall Street to not lose all my money for me. My husband already had to start over on his retirement due to the MCI debacle (can you say **POOF**?). I'm still kind of nervous that my IRA is held by a financial institution, but Uncle Sam would probably take 60% of it in taxes and fees if I took it out.

    We recently paid off our mortgage with some of the money, and are holding our breath that the local, state, and federal taxmen won't decide that they need more money and increase the tax rates astronomically. We serfs only hold our land at their discretion, you know; they can confiscate it for non-payment of taxes, regardless of who holds the deed/title.

    1. We got a good drubbing out of the 2007/08 con. I lost a lot of money on stocks that were supposedly so Top Hat that you just couldn't lose money on them. I don't put money in stocks now at all. I invest in tangibles, things I can touch and I can access without having some "institution" in between. I do have some investments that pay me periodically, but I can cash out of those anytime I want to at the source.

      Right now, with low inflation, cash is not a bad deal. If inflation comes roaring back, then people like you and I are going to have to find something else to do with our financial reserves. I am not sure, at this point, what that would be. Interest rates are going up, which is bad news over all, but it will make the CD a more viable option. Right now, the interest on a CD isn't worth the trouble.

      It's good you got rid of the mortgage, that's a boon. Mortgages are good when you are working and need the interest payments to make the cut off on filing long form. Once you retire and your income falls off, not so good.

      You are quite right, we don't own our property, we just rent it from the county.

  4. On the bank account transfer fee, just withdraw the funds in cash, and be done with it. I had a local regional bank pull a stupid one on me on a Friday afternoon about 25 years ago. The next Monday I went in and cashed a check for the full amount of my meager deposits and told the manager to piss off. Opened an account at my local credit union and been much happier ever since. They know me by my first name and will call me when they see an unusual charge on my credit card just to make sure it is indeed me making the purchase.
    Taxes here are another matter. I pay 3K$ on a half acre lot with a tiny 20x24 house built in 1937. Every year they claim the school department needs to increase their 48 million dollar budget for the 1200 students because they need a new assistant to the assistant but-wiper. That is 40 grand per student. I could send them to a private boarding school including room and board and guaranteed acceptance into an Ivy league College for about half that much. But you can bet next year my taxes will go up another couple hundred bucks once again just as they have for the last fourteen years I have owned this place. Can't wait to get the hell out of this place and be done with it. Question once again is, where the heck can I go and not have this burden on my shoulder?

    1. I did just that, although I left enough in the account to keep it open. I'm told by employees at the bank the board wants to close all the old accounts, and replace them with new loan agreements that have a termination date. The old ones didn't. So I am going to keep that account open forever. My son is on the account, so we ought to be able to keep it open for another fifty years.

      I have some things to correct on my will, so I'm going into town to see my attorney about that this week. While I'm there, I'm going to ask him to check and see if a bank can change the terms of an account unilaterally, and if they can terminate an account when the account agreement said there was no termination date on it. I just want to know because I'm sure that's the next thing they will try.

      Property taxes are an outrage. Just like the death tax. In our county, which is very poor, the school superintendent makes a six figure salary. What B.S. that is. I don't blame you for wanting to bail out, you pay a lot more property tax than I do.

  5. So I realized one of the reasons I like reading your blog. You say things that I think about but don't (won't) say. We live in a liberal town and own a small business. I learned long ago to keep my opinions to myself. That said I don't understand why in the world people aren't better prepared. Have family in Florida - All families were blessed to have escaped damage. They only lost power for a day or two. Only one had a generator and he's in the service so he could improvise. Husband and I were prepared to travel in our RV and leave it fully stocked with the usual things a prepper would have if any of the families lost their homes. We were so grateful that we weren't needed but pleased with ourselves at what we would have to give. We could live on our lot if our house was damaged and we would more than survive. Please keep helps me vent :)

    1. You are wise not to the on the sky line if you have a business. Liberals are vindictive people and if they find out you are not a Hillary worshiper, then they won't patronize your business. Sometimes life requires adjustments in order to survive.

      I think preparedness is like getting a drivers license. Any complete idiot can get a drivers license, and then go out and drive a two ton vehicle like a fool.

      Any person can do some preparing against possible contingencies. Some do and the vast majority do not. Everybody has the opportunity but few choose to exercise it. As for the rest, when something goes wrong, they suffer, and they blame everyone and everything but themselves for it.

      I'm glad your extended family made out ok during the hurricane. Practical people always do better than the sheeple, because every little bit you help yourself makes you that much better off than the hordes who do nothing.

      The RV makes a good backup. I know this fellow up here, who built a nice retreat in the woods. He has a big RV, and he brought it up here and built a shed for it. That gives him both mobility, and extra room and equipment for family members.

  6. Hey Harry,


    Sorry I have not chimed in a while. I have been working on post hurricane stuff etc.

    Reminds of Puerto Rico.

    Trump should have mobilized as many Navy ships with helo's as he could to sail to Puerto Rico immediately after the storm to least show the U.S. Government is trying. They could have cleared runways for C-130's and C117's from Military Airlift Command too start unloading supplies and taking away injured.

    The Puerto Rican Government should have started to educate its citizen's before the storm and after the storm via radio to be more self sufficient. I place most of the blame on Puerto Rico's predicament on the cultural attitude of someone else will take care of me, etc.
    Trump needed to cover himself at least by making a greater attempt at responding to the crisis. Trump was caught between a 'rock and a hard place' in regards to Puerto Rico.
    It's a lose, lose situation. Nothing he could have done will be enough for the socialists of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico by the way is a $125 billion in the hole on debt and counting.

    I think we need to lease out Puerto Rico to the highest bidder. Maybe China for $200 Billion in Gold. A nice 99 year lease like Hong Kong was leased to the British. Maybe China will have more luck in forcing the Puerto Rican's to grow up.
    Puerto Rico would make a great tourist enclave with legalized gambling like in Hong Kong and Macow. The beaches, resorts etc would be great.

    Americans no longer have the balls/Courage to do what is right and make the hard decisions. We have de-evolved to a parasitic nation of parasitic people that no longer identify as American.

    Puerto Rico is a microcosm of our future.

    1. Hey, CC. I knew you had your hands full down there in Texas, getting squared away after the storm. I hope things are going well for you in that regards and look forward to hearing more about that experience.

      I was reading Clive Custler's second book on locating shipwrecks, and one chapter was devoted to the wreck of a Texas navy warship from the 1830's. He spent a lot of time in a town down on the gulf coast there, that was pretty much deserted. It was about 150 miles from Galveston I think he said. I sure liked the way it sounded. You might like it too, didn't seem to be any druggies or other trash living there.

      There are a lot of good folks out there that still have values. It's just hard for that kind of people to make their presence felt, since they don't go out and riot or beat people up. I haven't figured that problem out yet myself. There must be some way to have some impact on events without having to turn into road warriors, I just don't know what it might be.

      I can't say I disagree with anything you said about Puerto Rico. That situation is one result of the Spanish American war we could damn sure have done without.

  7. Great post Harry! Property taxes just infuriate me. Like you said, you are paying rent on property you already own. Our local school board recently asked for a huge bond approval. Our taxes would have increased dramatically. Thankfully, the voters voted against the bond. As far as banks go, my husband would go into our bank every few weeks to withdraw cash, so that we could keep a little on hand for emergenies. The bank employees would always question him as to what he was going to do with the cash. He finally just told them that he was working the Dave Ramsey program and used the cash to pay bills. Good thing it wasn't me; I would have told them to mind their own business. Guess our money is not really ours either. Jana

    1. Jana, when I look at how much I pay the county and state in paying their 7% sales tax, and how much I pay the state in income tax, then look at where it goes, I get so mad I feel sick. I worked for my money, and the "government" in all it's manifestations has taken a lot of it away from me over the years. I worked for more than 40 years and they always hit me hard. Now my wife and I are getting social security, and I hope I live to be at least 145 so I can get my money back.;-)

      I never have any problem with the tellers at the bank, because they don't even seem to see me. The one's who are a pain in the derriere are the bank officers. Until the bank started expanding, it was the best. I knew everybody in there, and they knew me. I had a great bank officer, a good fellow who was a man that grew up here. Now, there is not a single, solitary person working at the bank above the rank of teller who is from here. Not one. They don't care a tinkers damn about you as a person, you're just someone they can scam money off of, one way or the other.

      Some things that have changed up here have really degraded the quality of life. Nothing I can do about it though, except strengthen my fortifications and only go to town when I absolutely have to. ;-)

  8. The whole system of how different countries tax their citizens always interests me, as does the healthcare provision, thanks for shedding more light.

    As to your little trip away, I'm glad you made the most of it, we're trying to do that a little more.

    In so many places we've lost the need to be responsible for ourselves and expect everyone else to provide for us. There are situations were everything we have is destroyed and we may have to rely on others, but forward planning is essential to minimise reliance others.

    Hope you're all well x

    1. Kirsty, it sure is good to hear from you. I have a facebook account but I only use it to go AIM Surplus, but I still get little messages from time to time about people who are "friends" on your account. I should try to learn to use facebook.

      Taxes are terrible here. The new President is trying to do something to make them more fair, but neither political party wants to see that happen so it's a fair bet the bill will never get off the ground.

      I have a British friend named Kev who has a blog. He told me that he lives in a hamlet of perhaps six families, and they all are mutually supporting. That's a great set up. We don't really have hamlets here, so people set up their own survival groups, but it's very hard to keep them together over time.

      I could not agree with you more wholeheartedly. I don't want to be dependent on anyone else for anything, but I also know that the time may come when I have to work with others. The more prepared I am, the less help I will need.

  9. That sucks that there would be a transfer fee, and you had to deal with different people. So annoying!

    It's good you're trying to get away some. Even if some of it is business related.

    1. Any time I have to deal with banksters , I know it's going to be a bad day. For sheer arrogance and pompous behavior, they're the worst. Some of the lower level people are still decent, but get to management and they all think they're the lords and the customers are the peasants.

      My wife and I have been doing a lot more to "expand our horizons" these past few months. We can't take long trips because of all our animals, but we can take short overnight trips, or be gone a couple of days if the old man at the foot of the mountain is feeling well enough to come up and feed the animals. The best thing about doing these little trips, is that when we come home, we see all over again how beautiful it is here. Too long without a change of scene and everything gets taken for granted.

  10. Harry,

    We've never once been to a seminar regarding our medical insurance when working in the civilian world. In the past, we would just get booklets, and documents explaining insurance options at which point we would have to make a selection and return the paperwork by mail before a certain date. It's good to hear you and your wife made a trip out of the insurance meeting, and had a good time. Every now and then we need to just get out of town as well, just to see what's going on in the surrounding areas.

    It will take time for Puerto Rico to be back up and running freely as the territory. Just like any place that's experienced a devastating storm. Out of 78 Mayors in the PR, only one has made herself well known on the news stating there's no help from our government. What happened to taking responsibility for yourself and your family? With a hurricane, you're given notice so you can prepare or leave the area. Unlike with tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, or floods.

    I'm not a fan of banks! Especially after the passing of my parents. My sister and I become executors of their accounts. Talk about a royal pain in the butt trying to do anything with my parents bank accounts. My sister and I finally argued with the banks, closed out each account,and demanded a cashiers check for each account. This process took without exaggeration, almost 1 hour at a well known worldwide bank, and over 2 months with another well known bank on an internet bank account through the use of an attorney. about hassles! My husband and I only use credit unions, we refuse to deal with any bank.

    "The Road", was a great book!

    Hugs to you and your family :-)

    1. Hey, Sandy. It's sure good to hear from you. I was really sorry to hear about the problems with your new place. You are both working so hard on it, and making such a good home, then out of the blue that happens. I admire how stoic and calm you and your husband are.

      Insurance has gotten so complicated that I'm afraid not to go to the seminar. You get big thick paperback books there, that list all the drugs and what "tier" they are in, and what you pay and what the insurance pays. They also break down the "plans" you have to choose from. This year, there are two companies working with state retirees, Blue Cross and United Health Care. The Blue Cross plan is cheaper and has better coverage, but the United Health Care plan has more "plans" to choose from. Making a mistake in which company you go with, and which plan you take with that company, can be utterly disastrous. It takes a lot of homework to make the best decisions. And then, it is kind of nice to take a little trip and stay away overnight.

      Puerto Rico highlights the big flaws in our society, as far as I can see. Like you, I remember when people planned on taking care of themselves. But today, it seems like the majority of people feel no responsibility for themselves or their families. I truly believe a lot of that comes from what people are taught in school from the time they are in kindergarten. NEVER make a decision for yourself. ALWAYS go to a teacher. When you start human beings on that path, and keep them on it up through college, you get Sheeple.

      Banks are concerned with making money. Period. They don't give a tinkers damn about the customers. It wasn't always that way, and I look back on the little red brick bank with a staff of about 13 with real regret. They were good folks. Today, banks are just businesses, faceless and detached.

      "The Road" was a tough book to get through, and the movie had some chilling moments. But I sure did start taking certain aspects of survivalism into much greater account than I had before I read the book!

      Sure glad to see you back on line.

  11. Events like these serve as a strong push to keep well-stocked. In everything!
    We have a little po-dunk bank. We've been banking there since 99. They have never messed up a statement, which I appreciate. But they do not offer ATM cards (this bothered us when we first moved here from Houston, but ended up not being a big deal at all). It does take a day to tsransfer money around, however, there are no fees for things like that. And the one time, years ago, when we inadvertently bounced a check, they covered it for us for no extra fee, and then gave us a phone call. So I like the smaller bank system.

    1. After Katrina, I was sure the "prepper" mentality would be adopted by more people. Not necessarily the "survivalist" life style, which is much more stringent, but I thought more people would give thought to prepping.

      It doesn't really seem so. Every time there's a new disaster, the same long lines of people queing up for food and water. Nothing seems to have changed at all.

      I think you are absolutely right, I don't see how someone could go through such an experience, or even watch it on television, without giving thought to the matter and coming up with a plan.

      Your bank sounds so much like our bank here used to be. The people who worked in our bank were people, not just blank faces. And you knew them, and they knew you. But now,our bank is no more personal than Chase or Bank of America. I detest even going in there.