Well, the United States has inaugurated it’s 45th President and undergone a peaceful transition of power. Just like in past elections, life goes on and people make necessary adjustments to the new reality. What’s important is not to put too much faith in a leader and his ability to “fix” things.

crying hillary supporters

After all, some people put their trust in an Earthly prince queen and were…disappointed.

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New year, new opportunities. Starting in February, Survival Life will publish some of my wit and wisdom on their website. This is a great opportunity to reach a wider audience and earn a few ducats while doing so. As you can imagine, I am thankful to have this opportunity come along and will make the most of it. The plan is to link my articles here as well as post original content on this site. This is a great way to start the year, stay tuned for more details.

For a few days, I had a chance to test my preparedness. It wasn’t anything life-threatening or urgent but it did give me an opportunity to see how ready I am for the unexpected. The experience was one I need to repeat in other areas too, but for now the water filtration test was a successful one. After all, when your reverse osmosis faucet slows to a trickle it’s time to take action.


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Fair warning dear reader, this will be a two-part post about an ongoing sage I am having with my alarm monitoring company. It may be worth your time though, since the lessons I learned through this saga could help you. If nothing else, I have some tips that can save you time and hassle when dealing with alarm monitoring companies. In the words of Dave Ramsey, I’ve paid the “stupid tax” on this already, hopefully you will learn from me and avoid paying it.

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Back when I had Cable TV, I would scan through the channels from time to time looking for a show to watch. There was one in particular that I could only watch a few episodes of because it was so disturbing.


You can read a good summary here but the what it boils down to is some people chronically hoard possessions to the point where it adversely affects their well-being. In most episodes, there is an intervention staged and an engagement with professional help to assist the hoarder with their situation. Truth be told, this is a very disturbing show to watch, akin to another A&E series…Intervention.

Over the past few years, what has struck me is how many people exhibit similar, albeit less extreme, examples of this behavior. For example, when I drive through my neighborhood I see garages packed with stuff. Everything from boxes to mattresses to tools and other sundry items, it’s all jammed in there. Forget about parking a bicycle, much less an automobile, in one of those garages! It’s almost as if some homeowners have an urge to pack their domicile to the gills with stuff, even if they can’t get to it readily.

Keep in mind that being a prepper doesn’t require you to have massive amounts of everything. To do so would be a waste of resources and space that could be more effectively used elsewhere. Think about what events are actually likely and how long those events would last. Forget about TEOTWAWKI, think instead of an extended power outage, severe weather, or a prolonged period of unemployment. Those are the types of events one should prepare for, which won’t require a garage full of stuff.

The takeaway from all this, is take stock of what you have now and determine if you are likely to need it. Having the right amount of equipment, supplies, and (most importantly) knowledge on-hand is more important than hoarding as much as you can store.

A long time ago I wrote about the importance of checking your batteries. I had just lost a couple of flashlights and had some corroded terminals on some other devices, so I felt compelled to write about it. Since then, I have done a decent job of regularly checking the batteries in my various devices. However, sometimes I forget to take the summer heat of Arizona into account though. A few weeks ago, I was reminded how important it is to take seasonal temperatures into account.

A couple of years ago I purchased some Maglite XL200 LED Flashlights to go into some of my kits. One of these was destined for the car kit because I wanted a bright yet compact flashlight that could be used in multiple signaling modes. It worked well for me but for most of the summer, I forgot to check it’s batteries. What you would expect to happen next…happened. I had yet another ruined flashlight on my hands despite my best efforts to clean it up. Now it’s back to square one for my automotive emergency flashlight.

However, I do have a plan that should help address this problem in the future. I recently purchased several additional Powerex rechargeable batteries to add to my inventory, which means I have a few that I can spare for a new flashlight. The Powerex batteries retain more of their charge for a longer period of time, so I can leave them in my replacement flashlight without worrying about them being dead when I need them. Plus, I will pack some extra ones in the storage box in my trunk in case I need them. This should address my (recurring) problem with leaking batteries.

None of us is perfect, that is for sure. One takeaway from this is to account for mistakes and use more resilient equipment (in this case rechargeable batteries) as a guard against human error. Let’s hope I heed my own advice more often in the months ahead.