Hey, how’d your Christmas go? Mine was good…got some usefull stuff. Let’s see, I got a very nice Dewey cleaning rod for keeping my .308 boltgun clean, a really nice flashlight ustilizing a CREE LED module that throws a humongous amount of light…very impressive, a Filson wool vest (I’ve been wanting a vest and one of their Double Mackinaw Cruiser coats for a while…maybe next year on the coat), and a few other odds and ends.
Everyones thoughts run towards gifts…right up until December 26th. Then they start thinking of New Years resolution. I never do any because I figure if I really want to make a change why would I wait until January first instead of starting them immediately? However, theres a certain tidiness to starting new habits on the same day you start a new calendar. My only resolution for 2008 is to work more and try like hell to get money in the bank. Everything else that might be a good idea I am probably already doing.
Whats 2008 look like from this side of the fence? Well, there is absolutely no doubt that its going to be an interesting year. That’s interesting as in the Chinese curse about ‘may you live in interesting times’. Theres quite a few things going on in 2008…the biggest being the elections in November. However, theres still fallout from the housing bubble collapse, the war in the middle east, the upcoming Supreme Court decision on firearms, fuel and food prices continuing to rise, etc, etc. In short, theres no reason to think 2008 may be better than 2007 and a few reasons to think it may be worse.
So whats a poor paranoiac like myself to do? Keep on keeping on, I reckon. Continue to play it cautious. Continue socking away food and ammo. Continue keeping the luxuries to a minimum. Stay the course and remain wary. Does that sort of attitude diminish my enjoyment of life? Not at all…it enhances it. It allows me to feel more secure than if I weren’t keeping one eye on which way the wind blows.
If someone were to say to me “Zero, in addition to being a fabulously handsome guy you seem to have a few good ideas. What should I be doing in 2008 to maximize my personal security and safety?” Glad you asked.
First, make every effort to make/save more money. Not because you want to have it sit in the bank and slowly devalue but because you want to have money available for purchasing the things that you’re going to need to give you an advantage. By and large, money is the ultimate multitool. It heats buildings, fixes your car, puts food in the fridge, gives you clean laundry, and keeps the lights on… having a bunch of it tucked away is always a good idea. In a true societal collapse it may not be useful (although it might be) but it’ll be damn useful leading right up to it.
Start socking away food when its on sale. Food prices are going up. If theres a food you like that has a long shelf life and you have the opportunity to buy it in large quantities at sale prices why wouldn’t you? You know its going to cost more later so why would you wait to buy it when the price is higher? Buy/build a nice set of shelves somewhere and start reading those little flyers in the doorway to the supermarket that tell you whats on sale that week. Buy stuff you normally eat. If your favorite canned soup is normally $2.00 but its on sale for $0.75 why wouldn’t you stock up? Ten cans is $12.50 that you can funnel into other needs. It really is like money in your pocket.
Elections are coming up and none of the likely outcomes look happy. If you don’t have yourself an ‘assault rifle’ buy one now. Own a good pistol? Buy another. If you have an ‘assault rifle’ or ‘high capacity semiauto’ buy as many magazines as you can afford. Think you’re good to go on mags and guns? Then buy more ammo. At the rate metal prices are going up you will not see ammo costing less than it does right now…at least not for a good while. Even if all you have is a Ruger 10/22 buy yourself as many Butler Creek mags as you can afford and at least a couple zillion $10 bricks of ammo. Not because it’ll cost more in the future (although it will) but because you may not be able to get it at all.
Whittling away and removing debt would be nice. If things go south and your job vanishes it’ll be nice to be able to channel what resources you have into things like mortgage, food and utilities rather than $500 to Visa every month. Only you know what you really can and cannot live without in terms of cutting back on luxuries. Eating out twice a week is nice but cutting it back to once a week or less can add up in a hurry, etc, etc.
Keep on top of the news. Forewarned really is forearmed. You need to know if theres a forecast for a severe weather situation, if armies somewhere have been moved to some contested border, if some nutjob shot up a shopping mall in a neighboring state, if your local industry giant is announcing layoffs, etc, etc. You don’t have to live with a newsfeed piped into your earpiece but you should at least check the news in the morning before work and in the evening before bed.
These, my friends, are the first things that spring to mind were someone to ask me what they should do for 2008. You don’t even have to do all of them. Just one of them would be enough to put you ahead of the sheep. Im no expert, you may have better ideas and they may be right…Im just giving you my two cents worth. However, I think that any and all of the previously mentioned ideas might prove to have some merit in the upcoming year.