Members Sound Off and Introduce Yourselves
I’m hoping that it is OK with the staff if I take this initiative and request that CM.com members stop by here and introduce yourselves. Perhaps tell us a little about yourselves and why you are here, what brought you here, and what your plans, hopes, fears, and aspirations are during this historical era.
So, I’ll lead off by telling you a little about myself. Please, don’t feel compelled to divulge anything that you are not comfortable with.
My real name is Pete. Originally from snow country (Buffalo, NY), the City of Good Neighbors as it’s called. I’ve been through hard times, having been raised in deep poverty (a riches to rags scenario) in a chronically depressed part of the nation. But, the one thing that my hometown instilled in me is a deep longing for “community”. “The City of Good Neighbors” was bestowed upon Buffalo, not self-decreed.
I now live in one of the least communal, consumer-oriented, and plastic parts of the nation. Ground zero for the bubble. South Florida. And we plan on getting out within the year. Perhaps sooner as events unfold.
We at CM are an online community. Sure we bicker, disagree, and are sometimes a bit snide to certain views, but we are still bound by a common bond. Like a not-so-dysfunctional family but with a common interest and common views. Not to far from the roots that I came from.
Today, I am 43, just slightly partially disabled with post-back surgical pain, but a fighter nevertheless. I’ve done the rags to upper middle class story, but never forgot my roots. My desperate upbringing taught me to never be unprepared, never waste, and never avoid.
I’m an engineer, electronics and RF engineering by trade, nearly completing a Ph.D before I realized that I had to stop with the schoolin’ and get educated.
I’ve done my thing in technology. Now I want to settle in the country. And homestead. Crash or no crash, I tire from riding the perpetual hamster wheel of corporate America. My life deserves more meaning, more discovery. And I am moving towards just that.
My fiancee brought me to The Crash Course. As a scientist, it was the ONE model that most closely explained the cognitive dissonance I felt with the disconnect between “official” pop-culture media explanations of politcal economy, and what I experience first-hand.
I am grateful to Chris, and all of you, with your open-mindedness, creative energy, and selflessness and courage to share it.
As a result of this site, my fiancee Shari and I are actively preparing for three stages of the future: 1. Emergency shock, 2. Intermediate-term survival, and 3) Long-term thrivival. We’re no longer content sitting bunkered in a condo with pails of rice and ammo should the crap hit the fan. That’s not living; That’s prison. No. I want to live in a small community where I can trust my neighbor with my life. And vice versa.
And nowhere do we get more, and better information than on this site.
So that’s why I call this forum “my homepage”. I left a politics site where I was the #2 guy (a superadministrator) for 5 years to call CM.com my online home. I got sick of being told “nothing’s happened yet” and “you have an active imagination” or “the authorities have plans for this stuff. You’re going to give yourself an ulcer”.
I found a place that best explains current events, and is chock full of good folks with the courage and resolve not to “go with the flow”.
So, that’s the long of it. Please, Sound off. I, and others, would love to know more about you.
I don’t have time to contribute right now but I wanted to pop in and let you know I think this is a nice idea and thanks for starting it.
What a great idea, Morpheus. Though I don’t post much, this site (and sites linked from it) have become practically the only places I visit on the internet anymore. When people send me other info, I usually do a search at this site to see what you folks have said about it. In the vast sea of information that is the internet there is a distinct feeling that the truth is touched on here more often than other places.
Like you, I live in a probable ground zero: San Diego. I am a homeschooling mother to 3 boys (hence the lack of time to post) and have wanted to homestead for as long as I can remember, despite being city born and bred. Not out of any premonition that it would be necessary but simply because I thought it a more wholesome way of living. However, dh is self-employed and it’s not the type of work that is likely to be needed in a small-town community (wood refinishing.) Business has been good enough through the years to keep me home with the kids, but San Diego home prices have always managed to stay two steps ahead of our savings and so we remain in our first home, which has only a small front yard and nothing but a pool in the back. Earlier this year we came very close to purchasing a home on 2 acres, but it fell through when the owner decided to claim bankruptcy. The realtor recently called to ask if we were still interested, but now I’m unsure, my main concerns being a) remaining in a big city and b) the lack of water here in Southern California. A few years ago when homesteading was for fun, water wasn’t such a concern. Now that I see it as a necessary lifestyle, being dependent on government for your water supply seems like an easy way for them to have control.
So, unable to move to larger quarters, we have been working with what we have, considering ourselves in training so that if an opportunity arises or TS hitting TF forces an exodus, we aren’t complete newbies. To that end, we dug up the front lawn and planted a garden (actually, for several years we’ve had a community garden plot, but this past year we decided to expand to our own home.) Purchased an old 60’s truck and made faster progress on a Rambler restoration so we have two older cars. Have as much food storage as we can in our limited space and purchased a generator to keep the extra freezer and fridge operating in case of power problems. I’ve started keeping bees, worked with the park ranger at a local reserve to get chickens (which a small group of us will help raise) and recently found a source for duck eggs. I also have a source for raw milk and locally raised pork, lamb and beef. I’m training myself in traditional culinary arts as much as I can so to be able to make as much as possible from basic stores (bread, yogurt, ferments, etc.) Much of this has been the result of wanting to eat traditionally (check out http://www.westonaprice.org/ if unfamiliar with that) but a happy consequence has been having sources I can trust for food in the event of an economic fallout.
A conservative with our money with no debt except the house and a car, I’ve been furious that all our hard work and sacrifice could go up in smoke. We purchased some PMs and have become a little frivolous with buying what we might need when TSHTF – dh loves that I don’t complain about purchases anymore. If we had the space, I would love to stock up on things that might be good for future barter.
One thing we do not possess is firearms, but we’ve started looking into that and the lessons to go with it. I am more interested in this for a hunting aspect as I prefer to keep my head in the sand about protecting myself against hungry citizens gone mad. This may not be 100% the truth, but for my own sanity I have to hold out hope that my children’s future, while challenging, will not be disastrous. Learning to hunt would thus serve a dual purpose. There was a place mentioned in another thread a couple months ago that teaches survival – I need to track that down as they also had a course in hunting and my 14yo expressed interest (wonder if he’s considered he’ll have to skin what he shoots 😉
So, what else to say … though born here, I lived for many years in a foreign country that had a revolution while we were there (hint: it was next on Bush’s attack list.) Probably the reason why I *do* believe TS can HTF – I’ve stood in lines for kerosene (to heat the house) and bread, have sat in candlelight when the power was cut during evening curfew, have seen life go from normal to not so in the course of a month, and spent an entire school year doing nothing but discussing current events (the teachers saw no point in sticking with lessons when real life was history in the making.) It’s also why the “gentle crash” idea seems more realistic to me – people still live lives in the middle of crazy happenings. You tend to tighten your belts and hunker down for a long time before believing that it’s not going to be over and get better soon.
Over the years as all my “crazy” ideas have become more common and even popular (homeopathy, not vaccinating, homeschooling, etc) dh has learned to trust my instincts. Some of our preparations (garden, food storage) were started a couple years ago – before it was common to hear about such things on the radio (his source for info) and before he had the same level of belief I had that we *needed* to do this. The one remaining difference we have is the necessity of being in a small community, though it’s not so much a difference of opinion as his desire to keep providing for his family as he knows how, while I’m tempted to chuck it all and go. Our compromise is to look for a place we could purchase in a community somewhere that we could prepare (i.e. by planting fruit trees and building up the soil) while continuing to live and work here.
wow, I’m a little embarrassed with how much I wrote – can you tell I’m a night person?
Hey guys – there is a thread for this already – it’s been dormant for a while, but maybe we can get some of the newer members to introduce themselves.
I was raised by parents who grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II. You know, members of the Greatest Generation. Even though I greatly miss them both, I’m glad that neither is here to see what has happened to this country. I remember going to the ballpark and seeing tears come down my father’s face whenever the anthem was played.
I was raised in suburbia but my grandparent’s farm was nearby. There I played in the barn, fished in a pond, and helped my grandmother with her garden. There were cows for milk, hens for eggs and meat, and rabbits too. I was always reminded that hard times might be around the corner, so be prepared.
In the early 80’s the US economy was not doing very well. I headed for rural Tennessee with my young bride and we were able to buy 15 acres of land for just a few thousand dollars. We cleared a small patch of the wooded lot and plowed ourselves a garden using a neighbors team of horses. We used our spring and creek for our water supply and for refrigeration. We lived in a tent most of the first year we were there. All the while building our little house using recycled materials that we gathered from abondoned buildings. We enjoyed living there three years without a calendar or a clock… it was heaven, but it was also very hard physically. It didn’t take long after the birth of our first child to realize our desire to return to the world in which we were raised, to raise our own children.
Those years in the woods greatly effected the rest of our lives. We homebirthed all our children, and homeschooled them. My experience in using salvaged antique materials has been greatly received in the more affluent areas of central Virginia. (what is it about so many of this boards members living here in Virginia?)
I did a lot of prepping for a potential economic problem with the Y2K problem. Y2K never happened, but all those preperations came in handy a few years later when I faced some tough times. I wasn’t all that convinced that Y2K was likely, but felt that it didn’t hurt to be prepared.
This time around, well, I just can’t see how we will not be facing the reality of a currency collapse. I think we’ve got a little bit of time to prepare, maybe two years, but eventually this house of cards is going to fall. I hope and pray that I’m ready.
Well I posted in the old thread, but that was a while ago and stuff has changed since then…
As most can guess my real name is Nick (I’m a big Dilbert fan hence the “-bert” suffix). I’m 35 years old and an engineer working in a remote area in interior Alaska. I was born and grew up in Alaska, and except for some schooling in Arizona and a few years working in Colorado I’ve lived there most of my life. I have a wife and 1-year old son who live with me in a small town about an hour’s drive from Anchorage. My wife’s an RN and former geologist originally from Mongolia, and as someone who had lived through an economic and currency collapse in her own country back in the 90’s she’s very supportive of efforts to prepare our family for hard times ahead. I found this site about a year ago, and even though I’d been digging on my own to find the truth of our current situation for many months previous to that, it was never put together as well or as clearly as I’d seen here. So while I still dig for info in lots of different places, this site is by far the top resource for me.
I don’t have any special skills or knowledge that relate to the current economic situation…. I have an educated layman’s grasp of economics and finances, but no specialized knowledge. Most of our financial preparations include getting out of the stock market (even if I were an expert like some here I don’t like the idea of playing in a rigged casino), selling the houses and cutting expenses, paying down my remaining student loan debt, keeping most of our savings in gold/silver and cash, and saving as much as possible. I’m not counting on having employment for the long-term, so even though my present job is not very fulfilling and requires me to spend some time away from home, it pays very well and is guaranteed employment in the short term. Our plan is that a couple years at this job will give us enough savings to start our own small business without needing credit. Like Pete we’d like to get off the hamster wheel, and going into business for ourselves would give us more control over our financial future and a chance for doing something we enjoy. I expect a 21st century version of the Great Depression and a slow collapse as the most likely outcome, and I think with some savings and a good plan there will be many opportunities. While I see them as less likely, we are still making what reasonable preparations we can for more severe collapse situations. We are starting a small-scale solar energy project, we have some extra food and supplies stored away, and have a plan to relocate my family out of the country if the trends look to be heading for the worst. I know how to shoot well enough, but I will be taking some defensive handgun and other firearm courses in the spring. I know how to defend myself in other ways, but again I’m no highly-trained expert and am still learning. We live in a small, relatively close-knit community, and I figure that will be one of the greater assets whether we see a slow decline or a fast collapse. In the meantime we just live as simply as we can, save as much as possible, learn and hone skills we think might be highly useful, and use whatever time we have to prepare materially and mentally .
Thanks to Morpheus for the idea for this thread. I’ve often wondered about the folks here and I appreciate the opportunity to get better acquainted.
I’m 53 years old, lived in the Los Angeles suburbs most of my life. Being from a broken home with a working mother, I essentially was what was called back then a “latchkey” kid. After sleeping through high school yet still finishing with an A average (so much for public education), my attempt at higher education was derailed by the discovery that in college, the beer was colder, the girls were warmer and both were more plentiful. I eventually found employment in the aircraft/aerospace field. I also found that responsibility had it’s rewards, namely being able to attract a respectable young lady to whom I’ve been fortunate enough to be married to for the past 28 years. Almost accidentally, I started a landscape contracting business in the San Diego area in the mid ’80s. We eventually built our home on 4 acres in a beautiful rural setting (I always wanted to be a Redneck when I grew up) and just when we thought we were entering our “Golden Years” with our parenting duties nearing completion, we were presented the opportunity to adopt a baby boy at birth. Woohoo!! Then, incredibly, two years later another adoption, also a boy. Woohoo!! Before our amazment at the blessings bestowed upon us could wear off, we were called upon to adopt yet another baby boy at birth. Wow!! We now have three boys ages five, three and one and a half and hoping for grandchildren soon! We have a truly idyllic lifestyle here as my wife and I both work from home allowing us to homeschool and spend loads of time with the boys; we have lots of critters and are surrounded by lots of open space.
About three years ago (2005 or 2006 I think), I was disturbed by a guy on TV. I happened to be channel surfing, came across a channel I’d never heard of (HNN), saw a guy talking about the dire economic straits the US was facing down the road caused by massive debt and continued profligate spending. The numbers were unbelievable, but it was back in the good times, the middle of a huge bubble economy, so I largely dismissed him. That couldn’t happen to us, we’re America, the world’s greatest superpower, so I thought. Until September 2008 and the Lehman Brothers collapse and the ensuing economic shock. Then, while working in my woodshop, I heard on a talk radio station an interview with a guy who proposed the possibity of a collapse greater than the Great Depression. His name was Gerald Celente and he was scary. The next weekend an interview with Thomas Woods, author of the book “Meltdown” had me reeling. I needed to know more so while searching online I came across Youtube videos called “Peter Schiff Was Right”, and he was predicting massive difficulties. Uh oh. The links provided on the sites for Celente, Woods and Schiff eventually led me to PeakProsperity.com which is now my “clearinghouse” for all things economic. The info here is priceless. (Oh, by the way, the guy from HNN who originally burst my bubble of ignorance later resurfaced with his own show on FOX News. His name is Glenn Beck.)
Nowadays, after becoming aware of the precarious economic situation we’re in, I’ve turned my four acre ranch into what I think is the perfect “lifeboat” should a collapse occur. With stockpiles of food, critters (horses, sheep, chickens, rabbits) and critter food, extensive vegetable gardens, fruit trees, gold, guns and ammo, and two like-minded neighbors, I hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I guess my dream of being a redneck came true, just not how I expected.
My name is Mia. I’m actually an Aussie living in Southern California. I’ve been here for two years already and have one more year until I head home to Australia. These last two years have been a real eye opener, especially being here during the start of the global financial crises. So far Australia has escaped the recession due to a continuing property bubble and trade with China, but I expect it will catch up with my country sooner or later.
Meanwhile I live here in the US and experience it all firsthand. Like Nickbert, I’m an Engineer in my early 30’s. I have a husband here with me, but no children yet. I found this site earlier this year when someone gave me a copy of the Crash Course on DVD. Until then I had been trying to piece things together on my own. Soon after arriving in the US I had an uneasy feeling that all was not right here and I started looking onto what was going on. While I was aware of Peak Oil, environmental issues and the faltering economy, it was not until I watched the Crash Course that I was able to piece it all together.
Since then I’ve got out of the stock market, am selling property in Australia while the market is still firing and getting out of debt as quickly as possible. We started an organic vegetable garden in our front yard in February and have been gaining skills in areas we think will be useful in the future. As an Aerospace Engineer I don’t expect to be working in the field for much longer so I’m preparing for a change in ‘career’ in the midterm future. My husband is really interested in renewable energy, so he’s been learning as much as possible in that area.
I’m thankful for the headstart I’ll have when going back to Australia. When I was there in September it seemed like most people were merely interested observers of the global financial crises as it was not yet affecting them. I don’t hold too much hope that it won’t spill over into Australia at some point and I’m thankful of this opportunity to learn as much as I can and to inform family and friends when I have the chance.
We plan to buy land in a small town when property prices come down to a reasonable level. Until then, we intend to build skills, get out of debt, turn cash into useful assets and learn as much as possible.
I tend to lurk here mostly due to lack of time, but am thankful for this website and community and this is usually my first stop on the internet when I have the time.
As an Aerospace Engineer I don’t expect to be working in the field for much longer so I’m preparing for a change in ‘career’ in the midterm future. My husband is really interested in renewable energy, so he’s been learning as much as possible in that area.
Deja vu … I also happen to be an aerospace engineer, and like you I’m also preparing for an eventual change in career (in fact my current job has little to do with my education or previous job). I’m still hopeful I can find work in the field in the future, but I’m not betting the farm on that so to speak. Somehow I think a field this specialized will suffer somewhat in the coming years, and some of us will have to be more flexible in our careers (I take it you feel the same way). Renewable energy isn’t a bad way to go…. my wife and I are still brainstorming small business ideas, and renewable energy is one of the options at the top of our list. If my DIY small-scale solar PV project goes well and I enjoy doing it, we just might go that route.
[quote]My real name is Pete. Originally from snow country (Buffalo, NY), the City of Good Neighbors as it’s called. I’ve been through hard times, having been raised in deep poverty (a riches to rags scenario) in a chronically depressed part of the nation. But, the one thing that my hometown instilled in me is a deep longing for “community”. “The City of Good Neighbors” was bestowed upon Buffalo, not self-decreed.[/quote]
I live about an hour south of Buffalo. Western NY barely felt the crash, and things are beginning to look up economically. Real estate prices never experienced the boom and consequently haven’t suffered a crash. You might consider relocating back to your hometown or surrounding environs. There are a lot of advantages to the area.