Have You Ever Used Gamma Seal Lids?

Frank and I have long bought things in bulk. We discovered shortly after we were married and began teaching school that we could buy green beans by the case at Sam’s Club for less per can than buying them separately at the grocery store or even Wal-Mart. Frank assured me when we got married that I would never have to worry about money, and he was right. He has kept that promise for over 30 years now. We’ve always joked that he is one of those men that could get blood out of a turnip.

So, what does that have to do with Gamma Seal Lids? Well, prior to going back to Alaska in 2000, we had many dry goods stored in #10 cans. It worked great, but it took up a lot of room, and necessitated a lot of

packaging – the cans, a plastic lid to use after can was opened, boxes to organize the cans and make them easier to stack. We had seen many items stored in six gallon buckets with mylar liners and regular bucket lids, but that type of purchasing was out of our price range. We just weren’t willing to pay that much extra for the contents of the bucket. The only thing we stored in buckets at that time was wheat. We had some five gallon buckets of wheat with standard snap down lids.

When we returned from Alaska the summer of 2008, we quickly started stocking up our food storage. We knew the markets were on shaky ground and the housing market was quickly sliding into collapse territory. The need to have as many things on hand in case of a catastrophic collapse was very great. Within a few months of our arrival, we were able to accumulate a decent amount of food that could hold us over until we could, hopefully, produce more. By January we had chickens, goats and plenty of seeds for the new garden spot.

Somewhere along the way, we ran across some Gamma Seal lids. I don’t remember where or why, but we did. We debated storing our dry goods like flour, wheat, beans, rice, etc., in #10 cans again, but the logistics and timing just didn’t fit our current situation. We decided to try five gallon buckets with Gamma Seal lids. Our research indicated that plastic buckets with a food grade rating topped by a Gamma Seal lid should keep our food fresh and free from insects. Since we had not tried this technique before, we were a little skeptical at first. If you want to try something like this do your research, and make sure the buckets you use are food grade plastic.

Now, six and a half years later, I have absolutely no qualms about using this technique. At first we added a few oxygen packets to the buckets. But then we realized that after opening the buckets a few times to fill up our canisters, the oxygen packets would no longer be viable, so we quit using them. We still add a few bay leaves to each bucket of flour, rice or corn meal, but that is the only addition we make.

It is fairly easy to add a Gamma Seal to a bucket. First we wash everything well in soap and water, the bucket, the rim and the lid. It takes a while for all of the sections of the lid to dry completely before use. Then we attach the rim of the seal to the bucket using a towel and a hammer. If you are much younger and invincible, you may just be able to push down hard enough to snap these rings in place. We use a hammer. That’s it, your buckets are ready to fill. We buy our buckets from Atwood’s because they have the best price around. Every so often they put them on sale which is the best time to buy. We have friends that reuse buckets from bakeries or other places they have found them.

There is one little flaw we ran across, and it’s not actually a flaw with the Gamma Seal lids. I’ll do my best to explain this. When you stack one bucket on top of another with the Gamma Seal lids on top, it has a nice fit and it seats well. We stack them three or four high, and put the heavier items, like sugar, on the bottom. What we found is, if you tilt the three buckets on top of the bottom one forward, instead of the weight being equally distributed on the bottom bucket, then all of the weight of the top three buckets is focused in one small location causing the screw on lid to crack. This is not a fault of the Gamma Seal, it is operator error. Too much weight in one focal point, instead of being equally distributed. It took us a while to figure out what was happening. To alleviate this, just don’t tilt the buckets forward, lift them straight up.

The best prices I have found for Gamma Seal lids are from the Ohio-Pierce Companies at freckleface.com. They have a number of ways you can buy. I usually get them by the dozen. One thing I have learned is to check and see if each rim has a gasket included. If not, Freckle Face will be happy to send a replacement. Just make sure you check them when they come in and not six months later, like I did one time, which was too late to get a free replacement. 

Also, food for thought. Once you put the rim on a bucket, we have not been able to figure out a way to get it off without destroying it. We use these lids on almost all of our buckets. And to identify the contents, we use duct tape. If you change the contents, change the duct tape. We put the contents and the date on the outside of the bucket and then stack them with the label out. These are little things we have learned from experience. Put the heavier stuff on the bottom, don’t tilt the upper buckets forward, and put the labels where you can see them. This system works exceptionally well. We have yet to have any problem with any of our food stored this way. Some of it is in the house and some of it is out in the garage. Storing foods in an out building where temperatures fluctuate in the summer and winter does impact the longevity of the food. But sometimes you have to make due with the space you have. I figure it would be better to have the food and not need that much, than to not have it and need it.

Until next time – Fern

Age, A Passing Fancy

Hi Everybody, Frank here.

A couple of days back, we had an intruder in our house. Nothing bad came from it, just some rocked perspectives and tainted illusions. So, what happened? I’m gonna tell ya. We have this full length mirror on the back side of a door, and I seldom ever use it. Not that I don’t need to, it’s just that as I’ve gotten older, and have left the work force, I just don’t care what I look like. I attend a country church, and if I were to wear something besides blue jeans I would stand out. Few shirts don’t go with blue jeans. So, it’s not that I don’t care what I look like or dress like, it’s that on the average day the only person that ever sees me is the lady at the post office, and she doesn’t care either.

Back to the intruder. I happen to walk by this mirror, and without paying attention, I realized there was an old guy in our house that was dressed just like me. I backed up, looked, and wondered, what happened? Who was that old guy in a camoflauged t-shirt, a pair of blue jeans that should have been replaced last summer, a grey beard and a bald head? I don’t know what happened. So he and I stood there and talked for a while. That guy is really funny, smart and good looking, too. Then I realized I was looking at the picture of my brother on the wall. Ok. Back to reality. I’m pushing 65 years old and live out in the middle of no where. Over the last 25 to 30 years I have had multiple surgeries, big surgeries. Most recently it was having my lower back repaired. I just can’t do what I used to do. So, looking at the bell curve of my life, I can tell by the slope that I’m not going to be doing more in the future, but I’ll be doing less.

Let me talk about that a little bit. When I was much younger, about the time Fern and I got married, I was around 30+ years old. All of my tools were hand tools. I did not own an electric tool, or one that used an air compressor. When I needed to cut a sheet of plywood, I grabbed the old crosscut/rip saw and went to town. Time goes faster if you know the words to Row, Row, Row Your Boat. If you’ve ever used a handsaw, then you’ll know what I mean. All of the holes I drilled were done with a brace and bit. And I’m one of those kind of fellas that knows how to use a jack plane. Good tools will last you a life time. Always buy quality tools.

But, my right elbow? It’s not going to last a life time. It blew out sometime when I was around 40, I guess. So cutting a sheet of plywood and singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat, were out of the question. Off to Sears we go, remember, always buy good tools. Sears used to make first class, quality tools, key word there is used to. I got a half horse skill saw, a half horse hand drill, and I’ve still got them today, and I still use them when I have heavy cutting needs. Battery operated tools hadn’t rolled around yet. A few years later, Fern and I were going to build a house. Well, I can’t drive nails anymore because of my elbow. I discovered the benefits of an air compressor, remember, good tools. That Stanley nail gun, pop, pop, pop? Framing is done, walls are up, that half inch crown stapler, all the sheathing is up, even used it to attach all the shingles. See where things are going here?

Let me regress a little bit. My earlier piece of property out in the middle of no where…..you know all those corner posts that you have to put in the ground? That’s where your post hole digger comes in handy. You do know what a post hole digger is, don’t you? I’ve still got one, not exactly sure where it is, but I’ve got one. Now when I need to put a post in the ground, I use my tractor with an auger implement. When you guys are thinking about buying a tractor, you can’t buy too big of a tractor, but you can buy one that is too small. Some free advice here. When you have decided on the perfect tractor to meet your needs, now we’re not talking about plowing 5000 acres here, we’re talking about homestead tractors. Okay, when you’ve got that perfect sized tractor you want, get the next bigger size. You will be thankful. And I hate it when people say this, but, trust me.

Back to the story here. We got our house built. I’m now using electric tools, air compressors, life’s pretty good. Occasionally my elbow will flare up, an ice pack, a heating pad and a bunch of Motrin, a couple of days later, it almost works. About that time I decide to rupture a disc in my neck. No more post hole diggers. About three or four months later, I decide to have a hernia repaired. No more 80 pound bags of RediMix. And I’m just 36 years old. But I’ve still got a lot of life to live, and I want to live it. Some of my dates here may be a little off, but just pretend that it’s an official government financial report, dates and figures don’t really mean anything, now do they. Battery operated tools are starting to show up on the scene about this time. But if you try to drill a 5/8 inch hole in a six inch deep post with the new battery operated drills, it just ain’t gonna happen. Well, why don’t I use my electric half horse Sears drill? Because I don’t have an extension cord 1000 feet long. So, the brace and bit comes out of retirement and still works great. Only problem is, the next day, here comes the ice pack, the heating pad and the Motrin, because my elbow and the muscles in my neck are not happy at all.

Let’s say now I’m pushing about 50 years old. Fern and I get this wild idea to go back to Alaska, you know, where life is easy. The first couple of months were, until I was life flighted out of Barrow, Alaska compliments of the North Slope Borough and a Lear jet. But that’s a different story. Life went pretty good for four or five years in Alaska. We lived in remote places that were fairly modern. Snow built up, somebody comes along with a plow and pushes it out of the way for you. But then we get this job offer for me to be a principal in extremely remote western Alaska, right at the mouth of the Yukon River. Well, been there about six months, life is going about as good as can be expected, and I injure my lower back, a school related injury. That was about nine years ago now, and I’ve been suffering with that thing for nine years. But that doesn’t mean that the snow didn’t get shoveled, because somebody has to shovel it. In teeny, weeny bush Alaska, when you are the principal, that means you are also the cook, the maintenance man, and any other job that someone doesn’t show up for that day.

Did you know that the wind blows everyday in western Alaska? Which means that the snow you shoveled yesterday, is still there the next morning. And the morning after that, and the morning after that, and everyday for, give or take, five months. I’ll address that more in just a minute. So, Fern and I did that for two years, and I figured I have shoveled enough snow in my life. Then we got us a couple of cushy jobs in another city school and my snow shoveling days were over. Except, of course, when you wanted to drive your car somewhere, and you have to shovel the snow to make a path to get your car out. The folks in the south won’t relate to this, but the folks up far north will. Did you know people actually carry snow shovels in their car?

We moved to Oklahoma about six years ago. My snow shovel is now called a feed scoop. When it does snow here I can normally sweep it off of the porch with a broom. Let me put this together for you now. I recently had lower back surgery to repair an injury I received about eight years ago. I had a ruptured disc repaired in my neck about 30 years ago, now. I’ve had two hernias repaired, and if I do anything orbital or repetitive with my right arm, then it will mean hours with a heating pad and Motrin to pacify my elbow. I’m now almost 65 years old.

I read lots of survival type stories. Most of them are just technical type manuals that have had a story line added to it. I read lots of them. Most of the characters in these novels are 25 to 35 years old. Most of them have retreats somewhere, and the story is normally about how they get there. Some of these stories are quite realistic, quite a few of them deal with zombies, not quite realistic. Remember that age group, 25 to 35, because when I was 35, or right close to it, I still used all non-electric hand tools. Most of these people in these novels are young, athletic, some type of super hero that has served in the military, and they seem to have a knowledge about life that few attain at that age.

When we left Alaska about six and a half years ago, we thought about moving to the mountainous northwest. Fern has a cousin that lives in central Idaho, and we talked about it a great deal. Then we talked about our age, better yet, my age. A couple of years earlier I had shoveled snow, everyday, month after month, for a couple of years. And if you’ve never shoveled snow everyday, then you just don’t know one of the pleasures of life that you’re missing. A little humor there. I love the northwest, and I love the ruggedness of the mountains. And I loved Alaska down to the very core of my being. But those are places for younger people. Now, if I was born and raised there, I would probably see it different. We have friends that live there, in the northwest. 

But we are all getting older. That’s one thing that’s guaranteed if you survive birth, you are going to get older. Let that reality sink in. It’s not just a quaint little statement. You and I are both going to get older. We all live in the moment, and for the moment. If you’re 25 now, in 40 years you’re going to be 65. That’s a long time to plan ahead, but where you’re going to spend

the rest of your life, sometime or another you have to give serious thought to where you are. Remember that intruder I told you about? What I feel in my spirit is not the man that I was looking at in the mirror. But my body is that man in the mirror. We all have to face the reality that we are getting older, whether we’re 25, 45 or 65. At my age now, I actually give thought to wheelchair ramps. If someday I can’t walk, will I be able to get into my bathroom? Because the first time I landed in Alaska, I was 20 years old. That was 45 years ago. I went back when I was 40 and spent one year. I went back to Alaska when I was 50 and spent eight years. Getting around Alaska in a wheelchair in the winter would be very, very difficult. Someday, I may be in a wheelchair, and someday, you may be in a wheelchair, too. Are you sure you are where you want to be? We had a couple of students in Alaska in wheelchairs. I know, I helped carry some of those wheelchairs. If times are good, that can be done. If something changes or there is a turn where we see changes in society, and you’re the one in the wheelchair, are you sure you’re where you want to be? Serious food for thought.

My post hole digger is now attached to a tractor. I seldom use a shovel anymore, but I do use a front end loader. I now have a set of battery operated tools, because I have not driven a nail in years. Everything I have built in the last six years has been built using screws. I mow my lawn with a brush hog. I am dependent on tools. So, how am I going to recharge those batteries for my battery operated tools? The same way I’m going to listen to my radios, with a solar deep cycle battery system. Are these going to last forever? No, not at all. Am I going to last forever? Not at all. And neither are you.

Give some thought to getting older. Have a serious, realistic talk with your loved ones. You might even want to plan where you’re going to spend your last resting place. I hope I’ve opened up some avenues for thought. Times are not going to be getting any better any time soon, and you and I are not going to be getting any younger.

We’ll talk more later. Frank

Musings From the Farm

The first thing I want to say is Thank You. Thank you for all of your prayers and well wishes. I am recuperating very well, and the best part of all is that I don’t feel nauseated, run down and sick all of the time anymore. Hallelujah! I expect to make a full recovery very soon and be back to work around the homestead. Today, even though I am very slow and feel drained fairly quickly, I have been puttering around a little and enjoying every minute of it. The garden continues to produce in spite of it’s continued neglect. We threw out about a gallon and a half of jalapeno peppers I had picked a while back, but was just unable to process and preserve. We sure hated to do it, but sometimes some things just can’t be helped.

Today’s harvest

Turnips

Kale

Swiss Chard

Broccoli
Carrots
Mangel beets
Potatoes

There are things all over the world that give us all cause for great alarm. And there are things right under our noses that give us all cause for reflection and great joy.

I am blessed with friends that I can talk to about the things of the world, and what else we can do to prepare for the future. I got to talk to two of them today. Our conversations covered many topics from gardening, to an adequate water supply if the collapse comes, to aging parents, to keeping our preparations private from our everyday worldly connections. I always come away from these conversations with something more to think about. What else can we do to be more prepared? What else can we do to ease the hardships of life when things get difficult and stressful and every task you under take is geared solely for survival? Yesterday we ordered laundry wringers to go on our galvanized tubs. I think that would make life easier when the time comes.

We’ve dried up the goats, so now we are buying milk. The small, local store sells it for $6.00 a gallon. Six dollars a gallon!! Like Frank said, we can buy 50 pounds of feed for the cost of two gallons of milk. We think we might have located someone at church who has a Jersey that just calved. Maybe we can arrange to buy milk from them until two of our does kid in February. I know the milk would be better for us, and we could still get some cream for butter in the process.

  

A while back I made up a couple of batches of casseroles in small foil pans and froze them. They are always nice to have on hand in case the need arises, like taking them to someone who is ill or lost a loved one. Well, this time, they turned out great……for us. Since coming home from the hospital, it has been very convenient to have something we only needed to heat up in the oven. It’s good food, homemade and something we like. We started off with a breakfast casserole since it is fairly bland. Then enjoyed the green bean casserole. There was also a small Apple Cake in there that just hit the spot.

I will still have to give my body time to adjust to digesting my food without the aid of a gallbladder regulating the addition of bile to my intestines. I’ve heard all kinds of interesting stories and have read a fair amount about it. I have been drinking quite a bit of kefir throughout this whole process and continue to do so as part of my healing routine. I think it will help to keep things a little more balanced than they otherwise would be.

Times are changing along with the seasons. What used to be good, old fashioned common courtesy and kindness sometimes appears to be all but extinct. There are folks that try to find a reason to excuse anything to make their opponent look bad, whether it is politics, racial violence, differing religious opinions or that it is perfectly okay to go out in public and share known, highly contagious Ebola virus with anyone unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity. Just when you think it can’t get any worse….it does. Allies across the world are realigning into new financial and militaristic pacts that are changing the way the world will do business in the future. The leadership of our country continues to get weaker and weaker until it appears to be all but nonexistent. Where will it take us? What shape will we be in when we arrive? There is no way to know. Just continue to do all you can to prepare you and yours. And if the time never arrives, and you don’t need the preps you have prepared, Hallelujah! But if it does, you will forever be grateful that you took the time and the ridiculing to do something about it. 

Until next time – Fern
 

Radio Communications, Myth or Truth?

Hi Everybody, Frank here.

I recently received an interesting email from a gentleman that asked a question that I receive on a regular basis. How do I stay in touch with my family if we need to use radios for communication? Below is this gentleman’s question, please read it, and we will address the issues he brought up. We’ll try to get rid of the myths, and focus on the truth about radio communication.

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Frank,

I hope all is well with you and the misses, I haven’t e-mailed you in a while but once again I need some advice.

I need a good reliable in a grid down situation radio to communicate with 2 of my kids until they can be picked up or make their way to our safe location. The farthest one is 50 miles away, what would you suggest as the best way to communicate with them??? UHF, VHF, SW, CB Modified with “Dark Channels” ???
Thanks again and God Bless You All

[Name omitted]

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Like I said earlier, these questions comes up on a regular basis. But in this particular scenario, it is a grid down situation. Grid down is a cute term that is thrown around loosely, but when you get down to it, grid down means no electricity, the power grid is not working. Therefore, cell phones and cell phone towers are not going to be operable. Even if there was a situation where a cell phone tower had power, it would be jammed to the point to where there were no transmissions. This also applies to land line telephones. When the power goes down, both of these forms of communication will only work in extremely isolated cases, if they work at all. There are multiple reasons for this scenario to happen, but the focus of this article is going to be that the power is off, what caused it is not on the agenda.

Let’s eliminate some radios and some systems. Some folks have this illusion that any ham radio will broadcast and receive all around the world. That is just not the case. You have two basic types of ham radio. You have the type that bounces the signal off of the atmosphere, and it comes down

some place a long ways away. This is not what we’re looking at here. In this case the parameter is 50 miles. But this type of ham radio is normally referred to as HF, high frequency, and it requires an amateur General license to operate on these frequencies. If the power is down, most of these radios aren’t going to work either, except for the few ham operators that have back up power. There is an exception to this rule. On the 40 and 80 meter frequencies, there is an antenna system called NVIS, near vertical incidence skywave. This basically sends the radio signal almost straight up, bouncing off the atmosphere and coming down to earth, within about a 200 mile radius, give or take. This will work, but you have to have a source of power, an amateur General license, a special type of antenna, and this applies for both the sending and receiving stations. This will not work, assuming his children are going to be mobile. Let me preface something here, there are exceptions to every rule. Remember that.

Now, things that will not work. If you have your ham radio license at the Technician level, which is the entry level license for ham radio, then you can use VHF & UHF radios. They come in handheld, mobile and base. The handhelds have their own power supply via battery. Most of the mobiles are in vehicles, so you have a power supply. And most base units are just mobile units with a home power supply. These type radios have a much shorter antenna, 18 inches to 16 feet. Some of the handhelds might be 2 inches. Follow me. These type radios will not bounce off the atmosphere, they are strictly line of sight communications. Now in the ham community, they use a gizmo called a repeater. A repeater is normally on a high spot, on top of a hill, on top of a tall building. If you are in line of sight with your radio, you can talk to the repeater and it will rebroadcast your transmission to anyone that is in line of sight. Sometimes you can cover a fairly large area with this. Remember this is a grid down situation. Is that repeater going to have power? Some might have a propane generator that starts automatically when the power goes off, most won’t. So, if you have your Technician ham license, then you can use a repeater, if it’s working, and you are within line of sight. I wouldn’t bank on that being the case, though. 

Will these VHF/UHF radios transmit 50 miles without a repeater? Sure they will. But, remember, they’re line of sight. If you live on top of a hill, wonderful. If you have a base station with a 40 foot tower and your VHF/UHF antenna is on top of it, then you might have a chance. It just depends on where the transmitting and receiving radios are located. Remember, line of sight. Example. I have a buddy that lives about 40 miles from me. We are both ham radio operators. He can sit on his deck with his handheld radio and he and I can talk line of sight. But, I have a 40 foot tower and he lives on the side of a good sized hill facing towards me. It will work. But, when my buddy drives down his hill, we lose the ability to communicate.

Another example. I have another ham friend that lives down the road 5 miles. I still have my 40 foot tower, and he and I have difficulty communicating unless he is standing in the right place in his house. There is no perfect way to communicate.

Non-ham radio frequencies. GMRS, FRS, MURS. These are all legal frequencies for non-hams to broadcast on. Remember, this is a grid down situation. This would easily fall under the category of an emergency, and according to the FCC, any person can use any radio in an emergency, when no other means of communication is available. You need to remember that. If you drive up on an automobile accident involving a police car, can you use that police radio to call in for emergency help? Absolutely. It’s just a microphone and a radio. Just push the button, talk and use common language. Don’t be afraid.

Okay. Grid down. MURS frequencies are in the same ballpark range as ham radio VHF frequencies. Let me introduce the commercial radio here. Ham radios are only designed to operate on ham radio frequencies. Commercial radios are designed to operate on anything from police departments, fire departments, search and rescue, commercial businesses like Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club with proper licensing, and they can also be used on the ham frequencies, legally, if you have a ham license. These radios will also broadcast on the GMRS, FRS frequencies, which are UHF. They will also work fine on MURS which is VHF. All of these radios are line of sight

communications. The rules of physics mentioned earlier in ham radio about line of sight apply to these also. Most GMRS radios are handheld, and you can buy them at any sporting goods store, Wal-Mart and a gazillion other places online. They make fantastic claims about distance. This is under perfect conditions, from hilltop to hilltop. They are all the same radios, with the same frequencies, and for the most part, the same power output. They do have some different features, but overall, outside of the features, they have the same operating conditions. These are excellent radios, but they have limitations, as do all radios. Kind of like people, we all have limitations.

The commercial radio mentioned above will cost you about $40.00 and up. $40.00 radios work just fine. I’m going to provide you a link that explains these $40.00 radios in detail. These are fine little radios. They will broadcast on ham frequencies legally, and they will broadcast on police and fire frequencies. If you really want to prove to your buddies how low your IQ is, then broadcast on these police and fire frequencies. Drunk and stupid is not cute. Don’t broadcast on police and fire frequencies. As mentioned above, these radios can also be used to broadcast on MURS and GMRS frequencies. These come in handheld, but you can also pay more and get a commercial mobile radio. This gives you more power and the ability to hook to an external antenna, either on your vehicle or a 40 foot tower at your house. If your receiving station has a handheld and they are within line of sight of wherever you are, then you will have communications. Remember the examples above. If you’re on the side of a hill, great. If you live in a highrise apartment, heaven forbid, and your apartment is facing the direction you want to transmit, then stand near a window with your antenna facing the window. What that means is, don’t have your handheld and be talking on it, with your head between the antenna and the window. Hold your radio straight up and down, the higher the better.

In some of my previous articles I have discussed how to set up home base stations, and mobile stations, antennas, power supplies, and general radio information. To answer the question. Can I talk to my kids 50 miles away? Yes, you can. But your conditions have to be favorable, and your equipment needs to be appropriate. Line of sight. A mobile station in a vehicle with an external antenna works much better than a handheld. A home base station with a 40 foot tower works much better than a mobile. But it’s got to be line of sight. I know from experience that you can transmit and receive 40 miles on the MURS frequencies using two handheld radios, one on the side of a hill and the other connected to an antenna 40 feet in the air. I hope this answers your question.

The question about CB radios. A CB radio under perfect conditions can do 50 miles. It is a line of sight communication device, but the chances of this are happening are slim. CB is an 11 meter radio. It is between the 10 and 12 meter ham frequencies. Under proper atmospheric conditions it will operate just like any ham radio. The right radio, and the right antenna, and you can talk to countries around the world, because it bounces off of the atmosphere. With the right antenna, you can talk to your buddy down the road. But the chances of communicating 50 miles consistently are slim to none. In this case, forget about CB. I have a CB radio and I talk and listen to places all around the United States. But I seldom talk to anybody in my immediate area. I like CB, it has a place in the radio communication world. For this purpose, scratch CB from your list. Those dark channels you made reference to, those are called free banding. They’re on the outside of the upper and lower ends of the CB frequencies. You’ll need a modified CB radio, or a 10 meter export radio. You can also find that topic discussed in some previous articles.

Most of the things we’ve discussed here today, are illegal to use except in an emergency situation. Do people use these type radios and frequencies everyday illegally? Yes, they do. If you choose to do this, it is your choice. But, in an emergency situation, it is not illegal.

I have provided several links throughout this article that includes some handy information. Whatever you decide to do, you need to practice to make sure your set up meets your needs. Most people don’t care what you do on a radio, as long as you don’t interfere with anybody else. Don’t get a commercial radio and play on the police and fire channels. Don’t put an antenna inside your house and broadcast power. Think about it. Many handheld radios transmit on five watts. This is not going to fry your brain. My VHF/UHF radios operate on 5, 20, and 50 watts. I would never operate 50 watts with an antenna inside my house. But I will 5 watts. Police cars and ham radio operators, have antennas on top of their cars, and they can operate with 50 watts. But don’t stand outside your car with your microphone in your hand, and operate on 50 watts with your head two feet from your antenna. That pain you feel in your head, will be your brain frying. Maybe a slight exaggeration there, but don’t do it. Always be safe, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t do it.

To the man that sent the email up above with the great questions, I hope this was helpful.

We’ll talk more later. 73s, Frank

Wakey! Wakey! The Wolf Is At The Door – A Re-Post

Hello, Frank here.

A while back we started experimenting with re-posting some articles that are over a year old. The response has been fairly positive. We try to do one every couple of weeks, and since my wife is having surgery today, this would qualify as the premier day for a re-post. On another note, our blog is less than two years old, and the readership has steadily increased. For that we are truly thankful. So, every now and then we would like to reintroduce some of our older work that you may not have had the opportunity to read. I really hope you enjoy this one.

We’ll talk more later. Frank

Originally posted October 23, 2013

Wakey! Wakey! The Wolf Is At The Door


Hello, Frank here.

Let’s talk. Since my name is not Fern, then this article is going to have a slightly different slant to it. This is going to sound like a rant, because that’s what it is. Rants are not always organized and structured or in a pleasant flow. So, please bear with me.

I read lots of stories, articles or other rants that believe that the collapse that’s coming will be similar in nature to the collapse that occurred during the late 1920’s. Okay, some of my numbers here are not going to be precise, they are going to be rounded off. Maybe up, or maybe down, but you will get the general idea, if you have the ability to think. So, if I say 70% and it was actually 60% or maybe 80%, then please bear with me. Remember, this is a rant.

Back to the late 1920’s. The population of the United States was much smaller than it is today. The majority of the people still lived on a farm, let’s say 80%. Therefore, 20% of the people lived in

larger cities. Now remember, people in rural areas did not have electricity in the 1920’s or 30’s. Most of the people in rural areas raised most of their own food. Summer, winter, spring, fall they ate what came out of the earth. Many, many rural people were what we would call today, dirt poor. My information source here, was my father. He and his brother did not wear shoes for most of the winter and never wore shoes during the summer. So, he is my source of data, along with census data. 

So. Most people lived in the country. Most people raised their own food. Most people didn’t have electricity and everything that is associated with electricity. There were significantly fewer people in the United States. And many current authors tell us that we will get through this next depression or collapse or tyrannical government or whatever you want to call it, just like we got through the 1920’s collapse.

Now let’s look at today. We have a much larger population. That means more mouths to feed. The vast majority of people live in cities or suburbs, which conversely means, that very few people live in rural America, or on  

the farm. Almost everybody has electricity. So, what does this mean? Since the majority of people live in cities, that means that few, if any, raise their own food. Few or none, know how to preserve their own food,and all buy their food at the grocery store. Now those few that live in the country, are not living on a farm. For the benefit of discussion, yes, there are a handful that still live on a farm. But how many of that handful continue to raise all of their own food? Of that small handful, how many know how to preserve their own food? Get the picture here? 

It doesn’t matter what type of shutdown, collapse or apocalyptic event is GOING to occur, there is not going to be enough food to feed the

massive numbers of people, not even remotely close. Even in rural areas, extremely rural areas, most people have no idea how to raise, process and store food. And now, throw into the equation, there won’t be any electricity. So, all that meat you have stored in the freezer on the top of your refrigerator, sitting beside the popsicles and burritos will turn into stinking mush in about three days. 

Ladies and gentlemen. We are in significant trouble. Let me say that again. We are in a situation that we cannot recover from. I know folks that say

that they are going to go live in the forest and live off the land. Wake-y, Wake-y here fool! I know veteran, hard core, experienced hunters that laugh when they hear people say, and pardon me, unbelievably stupid things like that. There are many, many stories about mostly men, that have gone out into bush Alaska and had something to prove. Somebody normally finds them later. Going and living in the woods and hunting and feeding your family is not going to happen. 

Remember those people in the cities? They’re just going to go out and live with somebody in the country. A farmer, right? I hope they like 10,000 acres of soybeans or corn or milo or even wheat. They don’t need a farmer, what they need is a gardener and most farmers don’t raise gardens because they go to the grocery store and buy it. 

Before the shortages of guns and bullets lots of people thought that the idea of survival was who had the most guns and the most bullets. Some of these people watch way too much television. I know people that have never shot a gun that were buying guns and bullets. Like others write, buying a surf board, does not make you a surfer. Buying a gun does not make you a hunter, or give you the ability to pull the trigger when you need to. These are false delusions of illusions. 

Look at some of the facts presented above about population densities, and food production or preservation. Don’t get me wrong. I like guns and I like bullets, but I like shovels, hoes and seeds a whole lot better. I have even known people to buy these cans and five gallon buckets that have these survival seeds packed inside and they

wouldn’t no more know how to raise a garden than they would to fly a space shuttle. Can they learn to garden? Yes. Can they learn to fly a space shuttle? I guess so. I know 80 year old women that still wonder why their tomatoes make one year and the next year they don’t and they’ve been gardening for 65 years. I’m not saying that a bucket full of seeds is a bad thing. That reminds me. Where is my seed catalog? But gardening is an art, a skill, not something to be mastered in one year. The person that thinks they are going to raise a garden and produce food for their family in one year, got off the same bus as the guy that is going to go live in the forest and feed his family.

I hurt for those that can’t see or feel what is coming. There are signs everywhere, just look around. Our economy is in dismal, dismal shape and I live in a part of the world that is in pretty good shape. Look at society. Look at the stuff you do see on television or read in the news. Society is collapsing. The EBT cards shut down for a few hours. Can you imagine

what society will be like when the EBT cards shut down permanently? Our government leaders. Look at what’s happening in state capitals around our country. Look at some of the things that are happening that our parents and grandparents would have never thought possible.  There is a term called ‘normalcy bias’. Basically, this means what we learn to accept over time as normal. Our society is in serious, serious trouble. There are things that I cannot say in this blog that when I was a child, people went to jail for, what today is normal. We have perversion crammed down our throats everyday. This is normal. 

Okay. Let’s see. Our economy cannot be saved. Okay. Next. Society

can’t be saved. Our political arena is unbelievably corrupt and is a massive cesspool. This next statement is only going to be said once, listen carefully. Christianity is under attack worldwide. That means here, in the United Sates, Christianity is under attack also. The future does not look good for it’s survival. Pay attention. We are under attack.

Now, let me go back to the first part of this rant. Many writers will tell you that we survived the Great Depression and we will survive the next one too. And these are the people giving you the bad news. Not to mention those that are telling us that everything is okay and that “things are getting better”. I borrowed that last line from the Postman. Folks, we are in serious, serious trouble and I really don’t know if we are going to survive this. The world is not going to be the same world when this thing happens. Hold your family close. Prepare yourself mentally, physically, spiritually and temporally and with the help of God we will do the best we can.

That’s it for now. Maybe we’ll talk more later. It’s time to wake-y wake-y.

Frank

Liberators, by JWR

James Wesley, Rawles, of SurvivalBlog, has out a new novel, Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse. Today, October 21st, is his book bomb day. It’s available at all the usual bookstores. We have read all of Jim’s novels in this series and expect this one to be just as exciting and well done. This novel should be as thought provoking, educational and entertaining as his previous books were. Jim Rawles has been instrumental in our preparedness development. If you have the opportunity, please support his site, SurvivalBlog, you will not be let down.

Frank and Fern

P.S. There is an interesting article at Confessions of a Crazed Cattlewoman. It’s a good read. Check it out. 

We Interrupt This Blog for my Gallbladder

You have probably noticed that Frank has been writing a few more articles and responding to more of the comments lately. For the past six weeks, I have been suffering with a dead gallbladder which I will finally get rid of on Wednesday. It has been a difficult month and a half.

I know there must be a lot of gallbladder sufferers out there. I have talked to a number of folks that have had theirs removed and one common thread appears to have happened. It took a while for it to be diagnosed if they didn’t have obvious stones that could be seen by an ultra sound.

My problems started with an attack of sorts in the middle of the night that was painful enough to start packing a bag for the emergency room. Luckily the pain subsided somewhat and we stayed home. The next week I had an ultra sound that showed no stones. The next week I had an endoscopy where they looked over the upper part of my digestive tract all the way to the duodenum, or beginning of my small intestines, where the bile from the liver is added to aid in the digestion of fats. The only thing that showed up there was gastritis which I think was brought on by the attack.

Yet another week later I had a HIDA scan. This is a two hour long CT scan of sorts that tests the functioning of the gallbladder. The results were that my gallbladder is only functioning at 18% capacity, which means it is basically non-functional, so I’m calling it dead. They also did a CT scan of the rest of my guts which came back negative for other problems. That was good news. After all the scanning and checking I finally made it to the surgeon’s office. I couldn’t talk him into doing the surgery today, so Wednesday is the day. After suffering with pain, which is sometimes rather intense, and nausea which has greatly affected my appetite, I cannot wait to have this outpatient surgery.

And yet…..hospitals are not where we want to be right now. Between Enterovirus D68 and Ebola, hospitals are not where we want to be at all. It was interesting to note that the facility where I went to do my pre-surgery lab work was strangely deserted today. The last time we were there a few years ago the place was packed. Today there were few people. We also called another doctor’s office to schedule a routine check up. The normal wait time to see this doctor is a couple of months. This time our appointment is in a few weeks. Both of these odd occurrences make us wonder. Is it ObamaCare, Ebola or the economy? Why are there so many fewer patients?

I am truly grateful that I am still able to receive medical attention and have my gallbladder removed. I have gotten sicker and weaker with each passing week since that attack. If a collapse had occurred and I just had to live with this, I don’t think I would last very long. I guess that’s the way it used to be in the old days. I’m just glad it isn’t that way now. We hope to be back up to speed next week. In the meantime, pay attention. There are many indicators that the fragile stability of our society is wobbling ever greater. And like a big, old fashioned, wooden top, one day it will fall over and gradually spin to a halt. Be ready.

Until next time – Fern