This Brave New World...

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Vanityfox451
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This Brave New World...

How much can you lift above your head? A fit grown man can, in all probability, lift 40kg and straighten his arms. Yet, how far could he comfortably carry that weight for a distance? one hundred yards; a thousand? What of ten tons? How long would it take to carry that weight, in varying shapes, a distance of five miles? This weight carrying is to shift wood to the home without the use of oil. How long would it take with conventional tools such as an axe and saw to cut and produce that wood for cooking and heating? In truly present terms, this takes five strong men, two chainsaws, two axes, a tractor, one large trailor and about eight hours to create the same. Without chainsaws, tractor and trailor, I have no idea how long it would take to collect four months worth of wood in preparation for winter. The best time is around March 1st here in Hungary, before the leaves start to grow, and the wood needs at least six months to season before use. A horse and trap could well be a useful tool, yet this needs feed for the horse and skilled tools to create and maintain the trap. These are the realities you face when owning a farm at a time when fossil fuels are in geological and political decline.

The wood also has to be navigated as the crow flies, this, across mud that can deepen up to your shins in wet weather; everything is structured here to season.

If a farmer were to look at the property we've bought, he would thumb his nose and tell you that you have no more than four years worth of trees (wood) to support you, and would advise planting five hundred sapplings if he knew about peak oil. He would also tell you that it will take 6+ years for the wood (trees) ...to be useable for fuel and that it would be adviseable to build a stock supply of at least 60+ tons of wood as a reserve against uncertainty; this before water and seedlings and pickling vegetables and stocking manure and maintaining food for any number of animals without going outside of your land to support them. These are realities that are enforceable to your sanity and future well-being in an uncertain world which has been the lifestyle here for generations, up until fossil fuel garnered the working peasant to take to the cities for a 'New' lifestyle on the back of oil.

I still fear on the likelyhood of war (when time permits), in all of its forms, that the world cannot support the size of population it presently carries without oil, and that for the largest majority of those that see other than what I visualise as the road we are on and the destiny we face, a great many people are not going to be perpendicular to the ground; a great many less than present numbers and positive thinking would suggest.

So, what of suburban living and community? Will it hasten your survival with a thousand neighbours, ten thousand neighbours, a hundred neighbours; five neighbours? Would the cities of the world be a place to live without a gun; without fresh water? What distance to a city or town would make life easier\harder, ten miles, twenty, fifty, a hundred? What is the ground-swell of reasoning when we live in the present world on the convenience of 'just in time' delivery and 'three meals from anarchy'?

How are your teeth? It is proven from history that many preventable deaths were caused by septicaemia, by abscess from poor hygiene and neglect. Cut yourself somewhere that bleeds profusely and you need a cool head and medical supplies, no ambulance to run red lights for you here...

These aren't my imaginings, they are my daily mantra of 'what ifs' from a man who has grown up in a land-of-plenty, who carries no political torch for anyone in mind and has been told again and again that he is well-read.

So, what is the past to do with our present if our future is so uncertain? We need live and awake people to carry the weight of the future of our species and maintain our offspring so that their future is a worthwhile one; we didn't give them the choice of the life we've given them, almost for selfish reasons, yet more that it is our driven need to leave our gene in the pool of life in creating them in our image as our fathers did for us.

What recognition could I give to the past and those misdemeanors that 'Huxley' wrote of in parody of 'Wells'? Soma was his drug of choice and, in reality, Prozac and Ritalin are the modern standard in my eyes. A depression in human beings, created upon a formula called society, that stultifies the genious within, builds ignorance for its perpetuation, yet is born upon something so unsustainable that it requires five planet Earths to maintain the illusion. If the 'Genius Within' could, in effect be emerged in youth with the spirit intact and unbridled, would order really be lost to a world built with too many chiefs and not enough indians, or is that not the illusion that we've already been sold?

John Taylor Gatto really did say that children are under-educated for a purpose. The striving of the man so held back by 'The System' in place and, in turn, the childs future with his place in society condemned or admired dependant on your take as to the success of fitting one round peg into one round hole; for those with rough edges like me, I pose a challenge, and always have. Does that liken me to a problem child that grew up indifferent? No, I've carried my burden just as others carry theirs, the difference is about levels of awareness. Values are taught, but are they understood? Nationalism has always made me feel the world was in a state of attrition when so much could be shared without borders, whether physical or in the mind; flag waving has never been my idea of a day out; colour and culture are there to embrace and nurture, not corrupt and control for profit; one way or another.

The system educates to the standard it wishes to create. A man in debt is a man too busy to fight for his control over that debt when soft soaped with an ever decreasing wage through inflation and taxation. Only when the descent is large enough and the debts beyond him; only when the workplace becomes a breeding-ground for reality and redundancy; only when the media tells the truth when it cannot; and then, and only then, when the policeman and soldier stand to question what they've come to represent, does the whole edifice gain a new voice; even then, the void left behind can still be filled with something ever less worth fighting for, and that is the attrition we've built while our eyes and ears were closed to reason. 

Political termoil and protest are just on the fringes of life here and, after some brave translation of a group that is gaining a courageous following through religious and transition towns, I'm pasting below a list of 21 outlined objectives set out on a Hungarian web-page. There advising that at least 4 months of food be stored in preparation for the onslaught, with disruptions to every concieveable part of day to day life later on in the year. I'm thinking that the gentle way of life I've been living here for the past few months is about to change :-

1.The creation of public and State System based on the historical constitution.

2.Uniting The Nation. All our members of the Hungarian nation, who believe themselves Hungarians, regardless their place of residency, and for whom the Hungarian citizenship (conditions of which to be determined at later stage) should be given. Representatives of the separated national areas to be involved in the nations vital decision making.

3.To set up a smaller, two chamber parliament. Reform of the referendum and electoral processes, the exclusion of potential fraud. Elected members who represent the nation should hold their posts for a specific time and with specific program, at local and national level. Members to take responsibility for their actions, be liable, and maybe recalled.

4.Take into and keep in community ownership of national assets which serve the nations long-term objectives.

5.Independent Hungarian foreign policy based on the nation's self-interests.

6.To create the possibility of the use of local and community money, and subordinate the National Bank to bodies of national representatives.

7.Review the components of the state debt, establish their legitimacy, start negotiations for their elimination or re-scheduling.

8.Restoration of the ratios of rights and obligations. Prohibition of abusive exercise, proper exercise duty.

9.The creation of Hungarian defense based on shared responsibility. The Hungarian soldiers to come home, and the foreign ones to go home.

10.Transparent public administration system, the strict punishment of abuse. A review of unfairly acquired assets, and the material-moral reparation of those omitted from recompensation, privatization.

11.Review of large irrational investments/projects.

12.The formulation and enforcement of briefing the nation to quality requirements.

13.The creation of economic balance for the state and public authorities, to increase the opportunities for self-administration. To set up local government law enforcement agencies (game-, fish-, field warden, provost).

14.The educational program to also draw on folk tradition, at all levels of education. The protection of national symbols and traditions. Develop support systems for soul-building works of art.

15.The protection of families, encouraging the regeneration of communities.

16.Development of National health and pension systems, reform of benefit/aid practices.

17.Grant land for those who wish to work in land based production, restore common proprietaryship.

18.Create a program for those without jobs - the creation of jobs based on local resources, thus the ability to succeed locally, setting up of regional and subregional training centers (retraining courses, for example; folk crafts, organic farming, etc.)..

19.Prioritise the support of inventions, research and development, practical help with their implementation. Encourage production facilities to become Hungarian property.

20.Give priority to Hungarian products, marketing support. Promotion of trade to be in Hungarian hands.

21.We strive for all activities to be in harmony with the living environment.

.....................

How is it that one day life is orderly and you are content, a little cynical perhaps, but on the whole just so, and then without warning you find the solid floor a trapdoor and you are now in another place whose geography is uncertain and whose customs are strange. - Jeanette Winterson 

egészségedre!

Paul

 

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Re: This Brave New World...

Paul,

You sum up nicely what I have been thinking.  It is strange how it hits you and how one looks at things differently.

It sounds strange to say this and maybe some people will slam for me for it, but whilst I don't wish for dramatic changes part of me just wants to "get this show on the road".  Once I realised the reality of modern life and the work environment, I couldn't help but keep thinking how stupid it all was; I actually find it very very liberating!!  On a lighter note, seeing people fight over promotions and the usual work politics is a bit like watching flys fighting over sh*te.  

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Re: This Brave New World...

Britinbe,

you see it on the faces of drivers in morning traffic, over the desks piled up with more and more stuff acting as a middle-man cog for all those pointless tasks for modern life; the nurseries you pay for your children to be looked after while you earn a living to pay for it. To gain the better view from the corporate office building on a higher floor so you can while away your pointless life doing 'self-important' tasks for less and less worthy people; many of whom have bought the ideal hook-line-and-sinker and balk at you when you say the things you really feel on a monday morning or a Friday afternoon.

I saw Ibuprofen packets littering the tiny back seat of a high-powered Porsche - the man in the silk suit in a hurry from nowhere to nowhere; mothers dragging red-faced tired children from car to shopping trolley, trolley to car for the long and exhausting drive home to a neighbourhood filled with identical houses and identical cars on identical driveways with clean mown lawns for a dinner out of a box, to smile at friends over a Saturday evening meal that you nolonger even like.

When are people going to scream at the futility of it and take control of their own lives and do for themselves? When are they going to cast the puppet-strings and the power-outfits and their lying faces and really ask themselves,"what the hell am I doing this for!!" "There has to be a better way than this!!"

I never wanted to roll over to my wife at fifty and realise she never really loved me, just the baubles and geegaws that I could afford a trophy wife. I didn't want to be told at fifty that "I never really loved you", and realised I'd lived a lie for a thirty year marriage being fueled by suburbia and keeping up with my neighbours capped teeth and the holidays to Crete and the crashing bores at 'The Club' that know no different but equally questiion "WHY?"

...so I didn't; I haven't and I wouldn't...

I've lived quite freely in amongst a circle of friends and travelled countries where I avoided such stifling criticism and dullard accountability but, finally, aged thirty-three ( a sign-post year?) I finally succumbed to the hormones and glands clashing and met the lady I always wanted; absolutely no interest in baubles and geegaws and is driven along by reality...

But...we bought a house in suburbia with the lawns and the matching cars and corporate jobs, and something felt like I was dying deep down inside of me; something felt wrong and sick; beyond the scope of what reality really is with all these Peters and Janes telling me "it's just the way things are Paul, always have and always will!"

Yeah...Bullshit...

Then I found out about Peak Oil...Cool

Paul

 

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Re: This Brave New World...

I found myself faced with the true realization that I had "moved one" from the blissful ignorance yesterday. After muddling through traffic on roads congested by too many gas guzzlers and seemingly endless road repairs, I ended up sitting at my doctor's office for 30 minutes past my appointment time, surrounded by sick and miserable people and screaming bored children. The waiting room is littered with magazines that alternately warn of financial collapse, while touting expensive watches and vehicles; diet and health articles side-by-side with the ads for the latest medication and the new dollar-menu at your local junk food place. The television in the corner played 3 minutes worth of program and 5 minutes worth of commercials. And there I sat, amidst all this chaos and consumerism, and I thought to myself "My God, doesn't anyone see where this is all heading? Do they really believe that all this crap and nonsense is really important?"  I mean, really, exactly how important is getting a new cell phone or switching carriers when our very survival hangs by a thread? Does the world really need another new brand of breakfast cereal with even less nutritional value?

I seriously had a panic attack, right there in the middle of the waiting room. Guess it was a good thing I was already at the doctor's office... trying to make sure that I'm as healthy as possible now while there is still medicines and doctors and time to fix things before the Collapse. 

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Re: This Brave New World...

Plickety,

I want some of your charisma bottled for safe keeping!! I think of it as like a creature whos colours are too bright for captivity.

We're still a minority and it's just plain madness that we're watching others doing what they're doing because everyone else is doing the same; round and round goes the merry-go-round on a road to...

Is it a switch that needs to be flicked inside peoples heads or a belt around the ear?

Have you seen this...? :-

Paul

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Re: This Brave New World...
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Is it a switch that needs to be flicked inside peoples heads or a belt around the ear?

Have you seen this...? :-

Paul

Paul

I remember a drunken walk home which at university when we laughed and joked about life holding the prospect of a wife, 2.4 kids, a semi detatched house, a ford mondeo and a labrador.........

Well, there's no dog, so I'm not quite there.  

I've been reading a book by George Monbiot called Bring on the Apocalypse, Six Arguements for Global Justice.  Its a little to the left but there are some good points in there like when were you asked for sponsorship for someone running a marathon to buy a tank or some bombs?? Laughing He talks in the intro about people confusing "information with ideology"; its a great observation!!

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Re: This Brave New World...
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Have you seen this...? :-

Paul

OMG!!! I absolutely loved that movie! I started noticing weird stuff years ago, but it wasn't until 2007 when I finally put on my magic sunglasses and saw the whole picture. Now, it's just gotten to the point where I can't ignore it or put it in the back of my mind anymore. Don't you sometimes get the overwhelming desire to run up to peoplehypnotized with consumerism milling about in stores, grab them by their shoulders and tell them to wake the f#%k up already?!

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Re: This Brave New World...

Plickety,

YesYesYes!!! They're bulimic and anaemic and look like they've stepped off a cat-walk - 'livin' the dream' and 'up-themselves'. I had a moment of glory a while ago in a rusty Mini behind a guy in a carpark driving a gleaming white Lotus Europa. My Mini smoked and I 'bunny-hopped' behind him and gained a rousing round of applause from three onlookers - Perfect!!

I like to prick the outer bubble on these class-acts, which is little naughty because they never get my 'private joke' or realise their preening is seriously tedious to me. I like to loudly remark, "Ooh, I've just split my nail right down to the quick!" with a really 'camp' and 'feminine' voice, it makes my wife howl!!

Ahh, the little things in life...Wink

Best,

Paul 

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Re: This Brave New World...

Britinbe,

loads of respect for George Monbiot after watching him rip the hell out of Fatih Birol over the IEA figures in December; he's a class act! I haven't read the book but I can see the temptation in drawing Woody Allen into this in one of his movies where he talked of people mis-pronouncing alegorical and didacticism while eating cheesey nibbles...it just hurts, you know??

 I'll check him out by ordering a copy from the Capital based on your review...

For Gods sake, don'tbuy a dog!!Laughing

Paul

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Re: This Brave New World...

Oh Paul, too funny!!  I'm still driving my 91 Chevy Cavalier than has been totaled twice and fixed up. She ain't pretty but she gets me there and still gets 30 mpg.

I was vindicated the other day when some Yuppie driving her new trumped-up Escalade attempted to take my lane without signaling, without looking, and while (of course) talking on their cell phone. I didn't slow down or swerve... figured, what the heck, when she plows into me I'm getting a new car!! I beeped my horn when she was about 6 inches from me and she totally freaked out, whipped the wheel over, almost hit another car, dropped her cellphone out the window and spilled her coffee all over her designer outfit. To top it all off... there was a cop right behind her who immediately pulled us both over (after running over her cellphone, which was priceless) and gave her a ticket for several moving violations while she was pouting and preening and trying to talk her way out of it. The cop just ignored her, handed her a ticket for $800 and half the points allowed before they take away your license... then he simply asked if I was ok and got my info as a witness in case the woman was stupid enough to try to take the ticket to court.  Ahhhh, sometimes there is justice in the world!

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Re: This Brave New World...

Plickety,

I've got this vivid imagination,see, and I could visualise every graunching moment, right from the veering squeal, to the coffee spill, the phone bounce - it's spiritless and ground-down satisfying crunch under a two-ton eight-ply black-and-round-front-and-back, and the look - that look - the one she gave the copper; like a bull dog licking piss off a nettle... Class act Plickety, but did you gloat? I would've...Wink

Aahhh...hehehehe!!!Laughing

Paul

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Re: This Brave New World...

Hello (and Jo napot!) Paul,

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your writing. It's soulful and beautiful like some adagio in a minor key. Our future world is going to need all the beauty it can get.

Thanks,

Becky

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Re: This Brave New World...

Oh yeah, and back to how much wood can a woodchuck chuck :)

I can axe fell and hand saw about 3 trees a days (sectioning them where they fall). I either leave them to season in place (so they're lighter to haul) or put them on a sled and haul them -- one person can do this, one tree a day, if you cut in fall when the sap is down and there is snow on the ground. Another 8 hours to spilt them all into stove lengths. 3 trees of manageable size (easily get your arms around, and 12 meters tall) equals about 2 cords of split firewood. Many homes in the area need to burn 10 cords of wood during the heating season... which would equate to 25 man-days. My super-insulated home should only take about 5 cords... so only 12 man-days, less if I had help or a mule/horse/ox to help with the hauling (cuz hauling really is the hardest part).  Of course, with my nifty electric chainsaw (charged by wind & solar) I can fell and section the 10 the trees I need in a day and split all of them with my foot-pump hydraulic splitter (instead of with an axe) in another day... but hauling is still hauling and still takes the most time and effort :)

Luckily, I have enough trees on my property, that even cutting down 10 a year would be sustainable and keep everything within a quarter-mile hauling range. Cutting in the early winter (for next year's fuel) presents a lot of logistical advantages, but that means that you have to cut ahead of time (i.e. the year before your first winter) unless you can actually locate dead, dry standing trees that are already seasoned on the stump (yippe - we have more than a few of those).

As my husband keeps reminding me, though, manpower isn't any more free than horsepower... you still gotta feed 'em!

Anyone trying to carry trees or firewood above their head is CRAZY!! Cut the suckers to length first, let them season where they fall if you can, drag them either way if you can, but definitely don't be carrying it above your head! If you don't break your back, your gonna bust your head!

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Re: This Brave New World...

Becky,

,,,I just had to hold my breath with the reply you just gave me...I was listening to Samuel Barber - Adagio for strings, op.11 when I was writing the piece for this thread and I genuinely mean that...You are a truly stunning human being.

Welcome to the forum Becky, with your first official post that blew me away with how I felt when I was writing...

With Affection,

Paul

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Re: This Brave New World...
Vanityfox451 wrote:

We're still a minority and it's just plain madness that we're watching others doing what they're doing because everyone else is doing the same; round and round goes the merry-go-round on a road to...

Thought you'd get a kick out of this:

MindlessConformity.png Mindless Conformity picture by PlicketyCat

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Re: This Brave New World...

Paul,

That's amazing!

I've been lurking and reading for months -- too shy to post. But, your post today moved me to tears. It's so easy (and sorta fun!) to just focus on preparing and stocking up. But, reflecting on all the good and wonderful things that we as humans are in danger of losing.....

Thanks for the welcoming,

Becky

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Re: This Brave New World...

Plickety,

I have those friday nights here where I put something up on a thread and it gets completely overlooked, and I thought, maybe this is one of those nights where I actually get a handful of responses that'll help me climb into bed after I've switched my old computer off and sleep fitfully, knowing I've sent a little of myself out into the ether. Well, with the response from Becky, Britinbe and You, I'm not sure sleeping is going to be so easy, but it surely has been a real pleasure to find you all on this forum!!!

Where on earth did you find that cracking book cover???Cool

Paul

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Re: This Brave New World...

Becky,

lots of people stumbling in this malstrum of chaos in the halls and passageways of Chris Martenson.com. We're all looking how to visualise, hear and touch the answers as best we can. A little hollaring from time to time but generally a welcoming crowd that simply want to give of themselves as altruistically as they can. Don't be a stranger here, the possibilities you'll find are endless because we're all trying our best to think outside the box...

I get low sometimes at what the future is going to bring, because it is part of passing through so much stark reality when spending so much of life metaphorically playing in the sunshine. There is hope in knowledgeable numbers...

Best,

Paul

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Re: This Brave New World...
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Where on earth did you find that cracking book cover???Cool

I made it one day when I was feeling particularly disenchanted with humanity (there's a tool to create spoof book covers at signgenerator.org). Glad you enjoyed it :)

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Re: This Brave New World...
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Plickety,

I've got this vivid imagination,see, and I could visualise every graunching moment, right from the veering squeal, to the coffee spill, the phone bounce - it's spiritless and ground-down satisfying crunch under a two-ton eight-ply black-and-round-front-and-back, and the look - that look - the one she gave the copper; like a bull dog licking piss off a nettle... Class act Plickety, but did you gloat? I would've...Wink

Aahhh...hehehehe!!!Laughing

Paul

 

Haha - of coures I gloated. Just like a little kid sneering at their sibling behind daddy's back while they were getting scolded. I almost stuck my tongue out at her and waggled my fingers in my ear, but instead I just hummed "na na ya nan nya" under my breath. 

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Re: This Brave New World...

Hi guys.

Woke up this morning and found this wonderful thread and have enjoyed every word!  When I read your opening post, Paul, what struck me was that - Paul you should write a book - seriously.  Put all this well thought out and eloquently written information in to a book.  It is a slightly different spin on things and I haven't seen that niche filled yet. 

However, then I wondered if the world really needs another book with "lots of answers".  Along the philosophy of "seek and you shall find", if people want the answers they will find them if they look.  And maybe your energy is better used to brighten up our day here on the CM forum, to prepare for yourself, and niggle at the local community as best you can to get prepared.

I am hoping there really is something in "the hundredth monkey" effect.  So if we keep plugging away there will be a paradigm shift eventually.  I have joined transition towns and am being as active as I can to do my bit. 

It was great reading, Britinbe, Plicketycat, and Becky.  I really get where you are coming from.  Kind of like you look at the world during the day like it is a movie playing in front of you (or a horror movie).  And you know the movie is going to reach a climax soon but you have no idea how it will pan out.  And you are both nervous and anxious for the end of the movie hoping it will all be OK.  Only you are living in it so if it is not all OK, and TSHTF your character is dead !

Paul, I know some stuff on the site tends to get over looked a bit.  There is so much on the site.  I often read things on the forum and still enjoy them though, even if I am not able to respond at that time, and I am sure others do too.  Please always post away.  Your thoughts are always appreciated.

A couple of points about being prepared that has been made before about all this stuff: 

1. It seems to take longer than you think for TSHTF but when it does happen, it happens faster than you think.  (so be prepared)

2. The four main parts of being prepared are security, food, shelter and transport.  I have put them in my own prioritised order.

The other thing is this:  all those beautiful preened ladies and men driving their fancy cars and dropping their children off at day care so they can go and work to pay for it, etc etc.  They will be the ones deeply suffering from psychological shock when they cannot maintain this lifestyle.   At least for the likes of us, there will be no shock that the system has collapsed, and we are not so attached to all those commodities.

Lastly - thank you for who ever it was again reminding me I must get to the dentist before TSHTF !!! 

 

 

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Re: This Brave New World...

Plickety,

how long have you been farming? I've dug my heels in after jumping into the deep end and so far I'm absolutely loving it, short of the political rumblings that are thrumbing closer by the day. I can't think of a single reason why I want my old life back, other than sidewalk cafe cheese cake and latte at 2am and the movies, the sea and sunsets, city bookshops, the buzz of traffic and people-watching, I'm pretty much covered...

I love the lapping quietness where all you can hear are the birds in the trees with the wind; so quiet you can almost hear the sound of the vegetable plot sprouting shoots; you can hear your own thoughts better too, without city distractions 'at you' and 'from all angles'. I'm not a born natural to it but did grow up out in the country and far enough away from the city but not so far I couldn't visit.

The way you explain chopping wood is as though your 'at one' with the axe...Respect the axe, I have one permanent scar and I'll be damned if I get another. I like to turn the axe over with it stuck into a lump and ram the back head of the axe on the block so it splits from underneath. I'm a bit of a performer and like an audience. My Dadinlaw is old and whiley but thought I'd had fair practice; little knowing I nearly bled to death the week before!! Kidding...

Has your experience been past on from family?

Best,

Paul

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Re: This Brave New World...

Oh yes, Amanda - I just went to the dentist for my cleaning and got a tiny cavity filled (without anesthesia and for free.. my dentist is awesome, if a little sadistic).

I agree with your top 4 list as well... for us, they all boil down to being equally important since we need the transportation to get to where we're secure, but none of it matters if you starve or freeze to death!

Les Stroud (Survivorman) once said that two things most commonly kill people in survival situations 1) not realizing soon enough that they are in a survival situation, and 2) panicking or giving up hope.  Those of us who are preparing now, even if we don't have all our ducks in a row when TSHTF, still have much higher chances of survival because we aren't going to be facing total culture shock and clueless about what we have to do. We're becoming masters of the "Assess, Adapt, Overcome" rules of life, while everyone else keeps going on like business is usual.

While it pains me to think that so many will suffer and possibly die if TSHTF the way many of us think it will; I am at least hopeful that it will return some humility to humans and result in a better world for all the species who live on it. As much as it would be nice for us few to be able to divert the disaster, perhaps the Cleansing caused by a Collapse is needed, like ripping off a giant bandage. I hope we're all around to see the sunrise after the storm!

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Amanda V
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Re: This Brave New World...

I hope the internet keeps going through it all - though I do have doubts.  So the CM forum can watch it unravel together.

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PlicketyCat
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Re: This Brave New World...
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Plickety,

how long have you been farming? I've dug my heels in after jumping into the deep end and so far I'm absolutely loving it, short of the political rumblings that are thrumbing closer by the day. I can't think of a single reason why I want my old life back, other than sidewalk cafe cheese cake and latte at 2am and the movies, the sea and sunsets, city bookshops, the buzz of traffic and people-watching, I'm pretty much covered...

I love the lapping quietness where all you can hear are the birds in the trees with the wind; so quiet you can almost hear the sound of the vegetable plot sprouting shoots; you can hear your own thoughts better too, without city distractions 'at you' and 'from all angles'. I'm not a born natural to it but did grow up out in the country and far enough away from the city but not so far I couldn't visit.

The way you explain chopping wood is as though your 'at one' with the axe...Respect the axe, I have one permanent scar and I'll be damned if I get another. I like to turn the axe over with it stuck into a lump and ram the back head of the axe on the block so it splits from underneath. I'm a bit of a performer and like an audience. My Dadinlaw is old and whiley but thought I'd had fair practice; little knowing I nearly bled to death the week before!! Kidding...

Has your experience been past on from family?

Best,

Paul

Paul, we haven't actually started our farmstead yet, but have purchased our land are are planning to move up there this autumn. I have, however, worked on farms, ranches and plant nurseries in my lifetime and found that I have a natural affinity for growing things. I kill my houseplants and do don't well with people; but let me put my hands in the earth and talk to animals and miracles occur. I can get lost easily in a city, but put me in the forest and I can find my way out and most likely be able to tell you exactly where to find water while I'm at it.

None of my knowledge has been passed done to me by my immediate family. I guess the land is just in my blood, possibly from my great-grandfathers who both had farms, although they passed while I was still young so I didn't have the opportunity to learn much from them. My parents both have black thumbs... nothing in their gardens ever grow unless my sister or I are visiting. Which is weird, because we don't even have to work in the garden, we just have to be near it... perhaps we're blessed by the Green Man, Hecate or some other agriculture/fertility deity.

Yes, you must be at one with the axe. And wear steel-toed boots!! I refuse to split wood with a hammer and wedge after having the wedge fly out on a bad blow and nail me square in the shin. I wear my scar proudly! Felling trees and splitting firewood is a meditation for me... if you listen and look, the wood will tell you where to hit it. A tree in the forest wants to fall, all you have to do is see how to help gravity fulfill its wishes. You can put your hands on a tree and tell whether its time to come down, or whether it still wants to stay up a few more years... well, at least I can, maybe I'm a freak LOL.

I've always felt more comfortable on the edges of civilization, or well beyond its borders. I feel more peaceful and safe in the midst of a forest or field surrounded by moose and bears than I do among skyscrapers and people. There is nothing quite so revitalizing than laying in a field on a summer's evening and listening to all the critters going about their business while the sky bleeds to red and the first stars twinkle out. You can reach out and feel the Earth hold your hand. Beautiful.

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Vanityfox451
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Re: This Brave New World...

Amanda,

hope you know my second choice (family in Hungary!) was NZ - I really miss the old place!! I really haven't a clue how things are going to pan out here, it really doesn't look good from what I'm hearing on the grape vine. I kind of like a good black comedy if I'm going to be starring in one but, hopefully not Peter Jacksons 'Bad Taste', especially not the 'ear in the soup' sketch; aah, Kiwi movies...

I was thinking of putting a book online a while ago, but with so many on the bandwagon I figured it would be lost under the weight of all the other authors jostling for readership, so I let that little passion go and concentrated on writing to people on forums like this one and sharing info instead. Seems to have been the right thing to do with such limited timescale these days to sit down and write 10,000 words at a sitting, with the odd tea and smoko break for sanity.

I'm feeling very prepared, yet that might be false modesty and can be your downfall. Ticks and checks of everything twice, three times and still it feels like I've missed something and can't think what; the joys of self-sustain. Battery banks topped and charged and second set topped and checked. Dry food stocked and veggies and fruits packed in seperators in boxes in a dark store-room. I can't get enough of this Hungarian sausage called chaba(spelling?). It's made from pig meat and full of paprika seasoning; we've fifty or so of those hanging up and they last like that for months. We've no freezer but a 12volt fridge that's small and isn't too much of a draw on power. Dried milk powder is a boon but doesn't make my English tea tastes as happy as I'd like; beggars can't be choosers my Grandmother used to say.

So, the ground work is done and it was 70 fahrenheit today and the snow went last week. Head down and hope and pray we've plenty more time to see some crops harvested.

We're heading upto Budapest next week. This might well be the last but one time we head up there for English books and bits and pieces and it gives me a pang in my heart when I see everyone getting on with their day and not knowing whats coming. It's a strange country. Individually the people are just wonderful but, enmass they can be quite stubborn and an unforgiving race. Socialism and Communism has crushed a great many male ego's in the past and now it seems that driving their cars like fairground dodgems and everyone wanting to be the first is the way the muscles are flexed.

I'm still wondering how this internet thingy is going to be working after October here, but again it is speculation. I'll just have to go back to writing a journal the way I used do things before.

Now you're up and about and I'm hitting the sack...

Have a lovely day,

Paul

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PlicketyCat
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Re: This Brave New World...

I certainly hope the Internet stays up for a good long while, or doesn't even get wiped out completely. I think as long as there are some people on the spine with alternate energy backup systems (as you know there are somewhere!) it won't disappear but might just be harder to access. It's the access points and hubs that might be trickier to find. The infrastructure will likely remain, but without power they'll just sit there like bumps on a log.  Hmmmm... now I'm going to have to go research service providers who aren't grid-tied for power (as if I didn't have enough to research LOL).

I'd read your book, Paul. I've been thinking of chronicling my adventures in sub-arctic homesteading and just publishing them online or in PDF download for whoever wants to read them (maybe accept donations if they think the info was valuable or amusing). I don't think there are enough people actually portraying the realities of self-sufficient life... you get a bunch of "hey look what we did" but a lot of the meat of how and why is missing, and no one ever tells you that they tried something that failed and why they think it failed. That's the sort of thing I'd be really interested in reading about.

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Amanda V
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Re: This Brave New World...
Vanityfox451 wrote:

I'm still wondering how this internet thingy is going to be working after October here, but again it is speculation. I'll just have to go back to writing a journal the way I used do things before.

What is it about October can I ask ?  Why then ? 

You seem very prepared Paul.  Good on you.  Before you go to Budapest maybe for the last time, print out a list from this site of all the places people have listed things to collect.  Some stuff might be good for trading.  Other stuff might just be things you may not have thought about.  There are some good threads with great info.

Don't forget Paul about security.  If you don't have that, you effectively may have nothing.  I am going to get a dog, and I am not a dog person.  Other forms of security are close friendly neighbours (to help keep an eye and ear out), and dare I say it, weapons.

I wish you had chosen NZ.  I would like to see people like you come here.  Not to worry.  If you ever change your mind let me know, you can come and stay with us.

Paul, I hope we are minimum 6 months away from any chaos.  We are still renting (like you recommended not to rush).  About to buy some land then build a small, warm, solar panelled, wet backed, house, with big water collection tanks and hand pumps.  (which incidently was why your original post was really interesting ).

We have two options.  We either do this and become and debt slave (with a mortgage) or stay renting and possibly see our deposit money in the bank slowley be whittled away with inflation.  We have chosen to buy rural and have a mortgage.  Only time will tell if this was the right decision.  We are planning to buy where we can still build close to at least a few other houses.  And hope they are nice, community minded, friendly people in future. 

Hope you had a good night's sleep, and a productive time in Budapest.

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Vanityfox451
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Re: This Brave New World...

Plickety,

now that is a gorgeous line,"You can reach out and feel the Earth hold your hand...", that's visionary; soul candy. How I love words...

My signature of Elliot "...to know the place for the first time", gives me a settled feeling of belonging somewhere, the place and the moment is within you and that is the place that you return. Here, evening in the pitch-black-darkness of night, I feel safe, surrounded by two overstuffed ten year old tortoishell moggies and the few items we hauld over from the UK. We have each other and that is the most important thing; everything except the cats can go to hell and back and I won't bat an eye. I've always been like this, possessions really own you and not the other way around.

I travelled freely for years, never tied to my country of origin and always among lively friends that balster and support with laughter and a 'can-do' spirit. Simple living with a shoulder bag, books and a bit of money were all I needed. I laughed at a story one of my friends told me once. She said, "Never own a fridge, because the day you own a fridge you need somewhere to plug it in, then you find the light goes on when you open the door and you find its bare. So you need to fill it with food. You need a house a kitchen, electricity and food and all this costs money - TRAPPED!!!" I loved the open road and all the joy it could bring without even searching for it because, if your spirit is positive, people are drawn naturally toward you as if you were a 'meat magnet'. Lovely...

I've worked in vinyards and fruit farms and found the work came naturally to me. This was in Australia where the sun is not your friend at midday and only 'mad dogs and Englishmen' venture out in 40 degrees. Early morning and late afternoon harvesting is something carried over on the plains of Hungary too in the height of late summer. I'm looking forward to having some quality time where I can escape off to do things like learn to fish from the Tisza river, which is a couple of miles from here and spot more of the local wildlife. There are around 50 deer that munch on a the grass outside our fencing about 30 metres from the house; a very beautiful creature that also lives free; tastey between two bits of bread but...

Axes, yes!! Steel toe-capped boots are a must!! I won't venture near the block without them. I have little spasms of fear with this weapon-like tool and my chainsaw makes me break out in hives just at the thought of what you can do to yourself if you've left in your stupid gene on the big day in question. I'm helping out family tomorrow with a few chores with it that'll keep our stocks up for seasoning.

My fingers are crossed for you in the Autumn and moving onto your land. We came over towing a caravan and lived inside that for a few weeks while repairs were made to the farm house. The house was built in 1922 and was showing some interesting battle-scars that needed attending to. Are you putting a house on your land or are you self-building, mobile home - just using the land for crop?

Now I'm definately hitting the sack,

Night,

Best,

Paul

 

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PlicketyCat
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Re: This Brave New World...

Paul, the land we pruchased is virgin forest recently parceled from state lands. There is nothing on our glorious 80 acres except trees, bushes, bears, moose, a million different birds of prey and fowl, and a whole lot of porcupines and hares. We were intending to live in a wall-tent or yurt when we first arrive, but renting a cabin in the nearby village this first winter would probably be necessary. In the spring, we'll move into the tent until we can clear our homesite and build our house... a straw bale celtic roundhouse on post & beam skeleton from our own trees (we'd go traditional waddle & daub if we didn't need the extra insulation!). While the house is going up, I'll be amending the soil for a few raised veggie beds to get things started, and will broadcast pasture seed mix to get those going for the livestock that are on the list as soon as we know that we can feed and house them properly.  We briefly considered living in a caravan while we built the house, but we're a mile off the road.. which is just a gravel haul road anyway, barely respectable enough to earn it's "highway" moniker. Getting a caravan back to the homesite through all that forest would be a unique experiment in particle physics, so we decided packing in a tent would be much much easier and would, actually, afford us more space.

I have always been a wanderer myself, growing up in Germany and traveling through Europe while my father was in the military and then randomly throwing darts at a map to wander the US once I was done with school. I really could kick myself for buying a house and being strapped with an anchor... I never lived anywhere longer than 3 years before and never owned more than would fit in my car; and now I'm suffocated with all this "stuff". I totally agree with your friend... I should never have bought a refrigerator because now I'm TRAPPED!

As long as I have my husband, my two cats, and a warm bed to sleep in all is right with the world. No matter what fun and interesting adversities and challenges we experience in our Alaskan Adventure, I know that we'll get through it together. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Probably not surprising, but we get along so much better when we have problems to fix rather than trying to fix each other :)  It's a good thing that there are several creeks in the area and the big river is only a few miles away, going fishing will become the new "alone time" I suspect.

Oh yes, chainsaws are glorious wreakers of havoc and have no loyalty or compassion for any of your soft body parts. Lumberjacking and woodsplitting in general is something always best approached with caution, because trees and tools love to bite and knock you about when you're not paying attention. It's all worth it in the end, but you can never get complacent with a large tree or power tool. I once almost lost a thumb to a bandsaw because I wasn't paying attention to the knots in the plank... good thing I had quick reflexes and only lost a pint of blood and an ounce of flesh (just kidding) because the scar reminds me to keep my attention on what I'm doing. I am seriously clumsy, so I must always be vigilent... no, really, I once drove myself over with my own car... don't ask, it's complicated!  Surprised

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britinbe
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Posts: 381
Re: This Brave New World...
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Britinbe,

loads of respect for George Monbiot after watching him rip the hell out of Fatih Birol over the IEA figures in December; he's a class act! I haven't read the book but I can see the temptation in drawing Woody Allen into this in one of his movies where he talked of people mis-pronouncing alegorical and didacticism while eating cheesey nibbles...it just hurts, you know??

I'll check him out by ordering a copy from the Capital based on your review...

For Gods sake, don'tbuy a dog!!Laughing

Paul

I got v angry with myself for being so blind, seeing all these columns in place really openned my eyes.  I've been looking at comments from the right of centre folks as well, but as George say "look, observe and think".

The thing about any conspiracy is that they often go against our personal
sense of decency and can often be abhorrent.  Assuming a conspiracy is real, the
"abhorrentness" can be its strength.  I checked out and verified some the info
regarding development and humanitarian agencies for the US and the UK,
unfortunately the facts appear to suggest he is correct.  It is disgusting to
see this aid coming with such strings attached adding further to the rape and
pillage of states in dire need of help.  Of course we just get the good sounding
headlines on the 6 o'clock news.

 

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