Well, 2014 hits its end in another few days. How did 2014 fare in terms of preparedness? Lets see…
It was a gun heavy year. At least four or five rifles and shotguns, and no less than a half dozen handguns. It wasn’t so much that I had any more money than usual, it was that I took advantage of some deals that came along.
Ammo was still a big deal with .22 ammo going from being ‘virtually unobtainable’ to simply ‘still overpriced’. The availability is there, if you’re willing to pony up about ten cents a round. I shot very little .22 this years, and with the acquisition of my Sparrow I now need to get a goodly stash of subsonic .22 as well.
In the centerfires I put back a little bit more .223 which is always good. I didn’t shoot very much centerfire ammo at all this year…probably less than 500 rounds total. Virtually all of that was used in function testing new guns.
Food levels remained pretty much the same. Went through one package of freeze drieds during hunting season and thats about it. Towards February we’ll pick up half a beef and restock the freezer. In short, the level of food around here stayed pretty constant.
Rotated some fuels during the year with fresher stuff. Again, zero-sum game. Fairly even amount of fuel as what the year started with.
A quick bit of math in Excel shows that the average cost, with premium, for silver acquisitions this year was $19.50 per ounce. Since the premiums can run anywhere between $1 and $3, depending on the form of silver, that would mean the spot price of silver purchased during the year was between $16.50-18.50.
Any consumables used during the year – batteries, toilet paper, soap, etc – were all replaced so we’re on an even keel there.
We did add fairly heavily to the supplies of first aid gear. That was the result of a lethal combination of eBay, a PayPal account, and late-night boredom. On the bright side 4,800 bandaids should last us a good while.
No major turmoil in the family, no job losses, dog is in good health, still married, truck still runs, house is still standing, so all in all I’d say that while 2014 wasn’t any remarkable advancement there weren’t any real losses…so I call that a win. Yay for homeostasis. Actually, thats not true…as I (poorly) proofread this, it occurs to me that we used a windfall to knock down almost 16% of our mortgage in one stroke. That shaved 2.5 years off the 15-year mortgage and really felt good.
There were no power outages or infrastructure failures that affected us this year, so it looks like the ‘fragile infrastructure’ that threatens to throw us into ‘grid down chaos’ at any moment might be a bit more resilient than we thought. Or, more likely, the appropriate challenge simply hasnt occurred yet. There was a little ebola buzz around here what with out local hospital being one of the handful of designated ‘ebola-ready’ hospitals. They are now backing away from that status and I suspect its because theyve discovered that all it takes is treating one ebola patient to bring a hospital to its knees in terms of function, readiness, and fiscal health.
I’m hoping 2015 will be a year of advancement. I’d like to make some progress on the mortgage towards paying it down early, I’d like to do some production-capacity upgrades at the shop, and a few other things. I dont do ‘resolutions’…I figure if something is a good enough idea, why wait until New Years to implement it? But I think 2015 will be a year with a focus on that ‘ol filthy lucre …. say what you will, money is the most concentrated form of energy available to the average joe and things go a lot easier with it than without.