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Re: Reader Survey

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  • Fri, Feb 27, 2009 - 05:41am

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 31 2017

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    Re: Reader Survey

Oh, goody… my turn! 

  • where in the worldSeattle, WA (for now, hopefully Interior AK by end of year)
  • age—me 38, DH almost 40
  • family—married, two cats, and no kids
  • educational background— DH definitely has more onion-skins than I do, mostly because I always felt school was a massive waste of my time (give me a book, a manual, a map, and I’ll figure it out myself). DH is this way, too, but his UK upperclass family pushed higher education much harder than my US military middleclass family did. Well, they pushed it, but we couldn’t afford it. All total, between the two of us, I think we have something equivalent to 4 US bachelor’s degrees and 2 masters (both his).

    My formal education is Liberal Arts (heavy on literature), General Science (heavy on biology), and Graphic Design. My informal/independent education encompasses a random mixture of things: mechanics, construction, medicine, psychology, nutrition, software functional design, process design, GUI design and programming, and extending the Graphic Arts with photography, videography and 3D modeling.

    DH’s formal education is heavily slanted toward Electrical, Computer, and Systems Design & Engineering. Informal/independent education includes Music (drums & guitar), military tactics & strategy, philosophy, mechanics, and electronic maintenance. He also holds several dans (black belts) in different martial arts.

  • occupation— My employment background runs the gamut from blue/no-collar construction, working on a ranch, owning my Graphic Design business, all the way to sparkling-white collar Program Management for "a leading international software development company based in Redmond, WA". That was, ultimately, my last occupation… because I suffered massive "breakdown" there (and am currently fighting SSA for disability benefits).

    DH’s occupational history is directly inline with his education… a series of ever-increasing complex and high profile engineering and design positions (including his own company for a while) right up to Lead Software Design Engineer at that same leading software development company. 

  • How did you find the Crash Course?— I stumbled upon it while researching green living, renewable energy, and sustainable modern homesteading.
  • How extreme do you think this economic downturn will be?  EXTREME. I can easily envision a crash of enough magnitude that our current socio-economic-political structure falls into complete chaos. I can see how we are quite rapidly headed toward a metphoric plane crash… we are going to fall from the sky and smash into the ground with little warning other than some turbulence (which is what we’re experiencing right now).
  • What have you done to prepare if you believe it is going to be severe?
    • We’ve drastically reduced our consumption and spending on non-essentials
    • We’ve begun buying in bulk from local organic farmers and preserving the food (there is a legal/health issue because the only viable part of our property for a garden is over our leach field)
    • We’ve purchased several acres of remote land (in cash) and are planning to off-grid homestead there
    • We’re researching everything we can get our hands on in order to have a self-sufficient homestead – renewable energy, water treatment, alternative building, bio-intensive farming, self-defense, etc.
    • We’ve begun collecting necessary food, supplies and equipment to set-up our homestead
    • We’ve made full use of DH’s corporate medical insurance to ensure we are healthy and will remain so with minimal (if any) future medications or medical care. 
    • We have been liquidating our stocks, 401k, and Mutual Funds and investing that cash in acheiving maximum health (because insurance doesn’t really pay for much these days!) and hard goods for subsistence (rather than gold/metals, we’d rather produce what we need than need to "purchase" it)… and keeping enough cash handy to get from here to our property in a hurry.
    • We’ve begun networking with residents of the small community neighboring our property… this community has less than 70 full-time residents, which is perfect because my husband and I both agree that 100 people would be the maximum effective population in the event of civil collapse (any more and the community couldn’t hold together and be equally/mutually supportive)
  •  "Unique" Complications — after my breakdown, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of autism) and I haven’t been able to return to work. Almost overnight, we went from a double upper income family to a single income family in a very expensive city in a house much too large for us. I’ve been fighting for Disability benefits for over a year and have been denied twice… next stop if a judicial hearing and Lord knows when that will be… I’m pissed that I’ve paid into the system since I was 14yo and now they’re denying the benefits that I already paid for!! 

    Unfortunately, DH has had to deal with proving to Immigration that we have a "real marriage" and he should be allowed to become a citizen ever since my breakdown, so we couldn’t sell the house before the market crashed.  We have no debt other than the house… but the market value has gone down so much since last summer that we’re now upside-down on the loan and none of the houses in our neighborhood have sold (at any price) in that same timeframe. We may, as much as we hate to, end up defaulting on the house and bugging out before we lose everything. The only thing keeping us in Seattle at the moment is DH’s citizenship process (fingers-crossed that will be resolved this summer). Many people have been laid off at work, so we have no guarantee he’ll still be employed by the time that happens.

    Both of us are (extrme) Introverts… so community building is NOT one of our higher fucntioning skill sets. The benefit of our land is that we are close enough to a community to be mutually supportive, but we don’t have to interface with people directly very much or very often. Most of the people in that community are private, self-reliant folks, so we already fit in even though we have only been able to visit a few times. Folks are aware of mini-farm plans, and seem really supportive of the idea since they currently have to commute 4 hours to stock up at the Super WalMart!