God, I’m Tired

18 04 2013

By Snarky_Basterd

So the mental exhaustion of learning how to farm — and the ‘how to’ is just as if not more important than the ‘can do’ at this point — is like having a truck run your brain run over in the middle of the road.

And this happens by noon.

However, the difference between learning to farm and working a desk job is … with farming, you want to wake up tomorrow and learn more, while with the desk job you want that truck to put the rest of your body out of its misery, so you don’t have to wake up tomorrow and do nothing for nothing.


Need vs. Want

11 04 2013

My 1965 Webster’s dictionary, to which I refer when I want a more traditional definition of a word rather than the watered-down definitions one finds in more modern dictionaries, defines need as “a lack of something requisite, desirable, or useful.”

Yesterday we received a quote from a contractor. We need a water line run for the LG Combination Washer/Dryer that we’re purchasing. We currently haul our laundry down to the local laundromat, something I haven’t done in twenty years and which I wouldn’t have conceived of doing just a few years ago. I wouldn’t even rent an apartment when I moved to Las Vegas if it didn’t come equipped with this necessity. I was too old for lugging laundry. I was beyond this college-day’s activity. Yet here we are, in our late 40’s, having purchased a house with no laundry room, space, or closet. We need it.

We also have an electric range with one oven. Having been raised on gas ovens, the act of cooking well on electric still eludes me, even after being stuck with electric for years at my various abodes. At least the rest were self-cleaning; this archaic model has the four requisite burners and two racks in the single-oven and no broiler pan. We need a five-burner, double-oven range with the ability to “cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures”, one of them being a convection to “circulate air in the lower oven for consistent temperatures and uniform browning”. This, of course, means running gas to the location of the out-of-date, wholly inadequate range that currently sits in the kitchen.

Our third need is a tankless water heater to replace the minuscule, 30-gallon, wholly inadequate water heater taking up space underneath a cabinet in the kitchen. This appliance is so insufficient that I can’t wash my hair and shave my legs during the same shower; Snarky can’t take a bath in more than 3 or 4 inches of water which does absolutely nothing for someone trying to soak after a hard day’s work.

Last but not least, our fourth need is electricity: additional outlets in the sun room and run to the shop for Snarky to run his power tools and to give us room to plug in the freezer that will store all that meat we’re going to have.

Please note that these are household needs and pale in comparison to the needs of the farm (fencing, plowing, animals, etc.) that need to be obtained.

With all these needs in tow we called a local plumber/electrician/gas guy. “Barry is his name but he’s called ‘Blue'”, our friendly real estate agent told us over breakfast the other morning. Van had taken Snarky out turkey hunting at daylight and then subjected himself to my electric stove-top cooking. “As in blueberry”. Ahhh, local humor.

Blue told us he’d be by either before noon or after; he showed up at 2:30, clipboard in hand and Pall Mall’s in his shirt pocket. After explaining all our needs and showing him the appliances with which we were filling our “requisites”, he provided us an estimate.

In my experience, estimates are provided with a breakdown, an itemization of labor and parts so that one knows for what one is paying. Not so in the case of the blueberry. We received a paragraph describing the fulfillment of our needs. Our needs had a requisite $2,760 price tag.

While we may be able to “afford” this, some re-evaluation was…needed. We certainly don’t want to be known as those newcomers with more money than sense. Hell, we’re already talked about down at the post office as, “the new people on the hill who get the most packages.” Yes, that’s what our postal driver told me the other day. My response was, “And I don’t pay taxes or shipping or make a trip to town, so there will be more.”

After getting over the sticker shock and some discussion, two of our needs became wants. There will be no electricity in the shop; an extension cord run from the house will suffice and we’ll find freezer space. There will be no five-burner, double-oven gas range with the ability to cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures; over-cooked, sometimes burned meals will have to suffice.

And with that, another lesson in truly going Galt has been learned, and $1,000 has been saved after the revised estimate.

But I still really want a double-oven gas range…

So We’ve Gone Galt

31 03 2013

As you may have heard, the Basterds bought a farm somewhere on the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee, an area dubbed the “Redoubt of the East” by none other than M.D. Creekmore over on his survivalist blog, so I guess this means we intuitively “done good” and picked the perfect place to bug…and stay bugged…out.

If you just need the short version of the story: I sold some property, we bought land in Tennessee, we left our jobs, we moved out of the rat race that is Atlanta, and we’re going to be farmers. If you want the details, read on…

For awhile there we talked of really bugging out to Ecuador where we could buy land cheaply, hopefully with existing crops and existing buyers, but thankfully the rose colored glasses came off and we rethought the reality of such an extreme move. That, and the fact that the mosquitoes there carry every horrible disease they can, I’m allergic to them, and I’d probably drop dead the moment I stepped off the plane when one infected me (it’s not that I’m a wimp or anything, I just happen to have the sweetest blood imaginable and mosquitoes love me. I could take a bath in DDT and they wouldn’t care.)

So, what does it mean that we’ve “gone Galt”, and how did we do it?

Well, we happened to find this particular place by doing a little research in the areas that were close enough to Atlanta for Snarky to get the kids. We had certain criteria that had to be met or we’d keep looking or even stay put: the property (or at least the house) had to be out of the view of neighbors…not because we run around naked in the yard doing rain dances or anything, but because we just    want   to   be   left   alone; it had to be tillable land on which we could, at the very least, sustain ourselves, or better yet, grow enough to sell; it had to have a house on the property but how much house wasn’t an issue – we were willing to take a lesser house for more land; and the sale price had to be less than $250,000.

With that, Snarky sent me a list of at least 30 properties in Georgia and Tennessee and I, naturally, started at the bottom in order to work my way up the list. I was in love with the second property and it was this picture that hooked me: Side Yard

Hooked is one thing, but looking is another. I think it took us a few months to actually look at the place (we were preoccupied with thoughts of leaving the country entirely) and it was a last minute decision to hang out in Chattanooga for the weekend. I called the listing agent but didn’t leave a message because answer your phone, yo. Impatiently, I called the main office and they told me to call him back on his home phone. Blah, blah, blah, so I did and his wife told me he could call me back after 1 p.m. when he was back from a training class. “Great, we’ve got an amateur”, my pessimistic brain told me, but I settled down and waited.

At 1 a heavily-accented Southern man called (“we’re not in Cali anymore, Toto”) and we arranged to meet the next day. I’m still learning about Southern ways but after spending time with our agent, Van, I think I’m catching the pulse of this place. Southerners tend to be story tellers. They may not be the next Carson McCullers or Tennessee Williams but they still have something to say and they’re going to say it and there will be no interrupting them, changing the topic in mid-stream, or, least of all, getting them to stop all together before the tale is told (if you can get a word in edge-wise.) Their slow manner of speaking makes one think Southerners are slow thinkers but don’t be fooled; just because they don’t speak in rapid-fire New York-ese doesn’t mean they’re not three steps ahead of you. The complete learning will be a lifetime but there’s nothing like spending a full day with a Southerner to get a jump start.

With that said, Van drove us through the local downtown, pointing out various points of interest with an ongoing monologue of what the terrain was like (“You got this valley, then this big plateau, then another big valley, then another plateau, then Nashville beyond that”), what happened where (“Have ya ever heard of the Scopes – Monkey trial? Well, right thar is where it was held”), and local hot spots. Oh wait, there aren’t any.

After driving us past several properties, it was time to see “Ellen’s place”. Just 1/8 of a mile off “the main drag” and down a 1/4-mile or so gravel drive, I could barely contain myself when we pulled into the driveway (“driveway” being a subjective term…this is the country, ya know); Van got out to go see Ellen and I looked at Snarky with widened eyes and a big smile.

He said, “Do you hear that?”


“Absolutely nothing.” (Well, there was an expletive in between “absolutely” and “nothing” but I’ll leave that out).

Being a wonderfully foggy January day, all sound was eliminated…the peace was deafening. I was in love.

The house was cute (bigger than I imagined), the fields are perfect, the soil is black, we can’t see any neighbors (we don’t really have any), and the garden is going to be amazing once this long winter gets over and everything starts to bloom.

Needless to say we went back two weeks later to make sure we still loved it and made an offer; after a little wrangling we came to an agreement…27 acres, complete with a two-bedroom house, small pole barn, 4 fields, acres of hardwood to harvest, and a tractor and other equipment, was going to be ours come March 15 for the bargain price of $162,000!

As for the “we left our jobs” part, we both had had enough of corporate America and the uselessness of our positions; I announced my retirement to my company and Snarky left his job of seven years (more on those tales in other posts).

What does “we’ve gone Galt” mean? We’re starving the beast as much as possible by:

  • Not paying into the system via income/payroll taxes.
  • Purchasing as little as possible and, when we do have to purchase a taxable item, we look for it first online where we don’t have to pay taxes.
  • We’re not driving long distances for jobs we hate (spending huge amounts on gas and vehicle maintenance).
  • We’re raising our own food (or will be), thereby paying even less into the system and eventually making money from what we raise.
  • We are “on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties.”

We plan to share everything about our adventure here, both good and bad, successes and mistakes. Join us on this journey and perhaps you’ll find a path of your own.

Know The Law: Americans Can Have The Same Firearms As The National Guard!

18 03 2013

Extremely important…KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, people!

Second Amendment Patriots

Know The Law Bill of Rights Guns

In order to win the war on guns, the Progressive Left and Democrats are counting on our ignorance of not only the Constitution, but recent case law that supports the Second Amendment. The government school systems, over the last 30 years, have educated the children of America down to the mindless souls we see today. They have systematically prevented generations of people from truly understanding the meaning and intent of the Constitution. In doing so, they have bred into our society a semi-permanent sense of co-dependence on the government for entitlement services and information. While this is by design; they did not anticipate, nor do they control, the vast independent information sources available to people today.

“Know The Law” is a new category of Second Amendment Patriots articles that are designed to help community members in the defense, application, and everyday usage of the 2nd amendment. While this…

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What Won’t Work

14 11 2012

Mankind has always sought to substitute energy for reason, as if running faster will give one a better sense of direction. Periodically, we should stop and ask ourselves if our efforts are focused upon the crux of the problem – the things that must be settled if there is to be a manageable solution – or if we are expending our energies on side issues which cannot yield a decision, no matter what their outcome.

-Bernard Baruch

To continue the topic of Taking Back America, the following list outlines those things that won’t work:

  • Either listening to, or dishing out, meaningless “patriotic” rhetoric, whether in the form of slogans, admonishing statements, or appeals to custom and tradition. None of this “patriotic” gibberish will do one thing to change the realities of where we now stand.
    You are not indebted to government (politicians) for allowing you to exercise some of your remaining natural rights. You were born with these rights, and government can take them away from you only through the use of force.
    Self-proclaimed patriots profess a love of “country”; libertarians profess a love of human freedom.
  • Continuing to listen to half-cocked, short-term solutions served up by vote-conscious politicians. We’ve had our fill of them, even though our nature is to emotionally follow a charismatic leader who offers easy solutions.
    It is time to start ignoring the political “solutions” that have actually been the cause of our problems. They have been ignoring you for years.
    To paraphrase Voltaire, men will stop committing atrocities when men stop believing absurdities.
  • Looking to the government for solutions to your problems. Government cannot solve your problems because government is the problem. When people proclaim that “there ought to be a law” to correct what they deem to be a “social injustice,” they are advocating the use of government force to make others conform to their desires or moral beliefs.
    Compassion is a good thing; charity is a good thing; concern is a good thing. Force is not a good thing. The question is not whether man loves his fellowman enough to insist on “helping” him. The survival question for mankind is whether man loves his fellowman enough to leave him alone! Your neighbor has the right to be left alone to live his life as he pleases.
  • Getting hung up on the question of equality. Guaranteed security and equality conflict with freedom. Forcible equality conflicts with freedom. The American Dream gives all men equal rights; it does not call for making all men equal.
  • Wasting your time arguing with irrational people – people who believe that something for nothing is possible, that theft is justified by a “worthwhile” end, or that government is a living, omnipotent, omni-benevolent entity that can solve everyone’s problems. You do not have enough time to improve your well-being, enhance the cause of liberty, and also function as a flyswatter. 

This post is based on Robert Ringer’s Restoring the American Dream.

Taking Back America

12 11 2012

The time has come. The citizens of this country either must draw the line and take America back from the politicians and entitlement-hungry looters who now control it or we must be prepared to relinquish forever their remaining claims on liberty.

I’m talking about restoring the American Dream. This means each individual regaining his right to his life, his liberty, and his pursuit of happiness. It is time for Big Brother to get out of our lives – to let go of the reins and allow us to control our own destinies.

The fundamental concept of our founding fathers was that people have a natural right to sovereignty over their own lives and that governments have no right to interfere with that sovereignty. In that respect, the Declaration of Independence, as a document, was unique in human history. For the first time, men were saying that they were above government, that governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Government has nothing to do with the American Dream. It is government that has succeeded in destroying that dream. The American Dream is a way of life that can be experienced only by free individuals.

Please understand that the American Dream has nothing to do with a country. The American Dream has to do with the freedom of people to pursue their own happiness without the interference from others. It could have originated anywhere, but luckily its birth occurred in a geographical area called the United States of America.

What loving America really means is loving the American Dream. It means loving freedom and individualism. It means admiring all the people who have contributed both to the birth of that dream and to its furtherance. These people cannot be distinguished by race, religious belief, nationality, occupation, or sex. They can be distinguished only by their common belief that liberty must be accorded the highest of all values.

Another concept is destroying the American Dream, however. The proponents of the welfare state (the collectivists) have succeeded in making millions of people believe that the America Dream is outdated. But how can an idea as basic as freedom ever be outdated?

In truth, it is the firmly controlled society that is outdated; it has been around since the beginning of recorded time. Indeed, it is rare to find a government at any time in history that was not a monarchy or other kind of dictatorship; the attempt to make men free was almost unheard of until 1776.

The American Dream means the freedom to pursue a better life and it was that freedom which inspired millions of people to cross oceans to get to America. Those millions of immigrants were not looking for government handouts; they were looking for opportunity. The American Dream gave them that opportunity. Unfortunately, with the nanny state we have built and with unbelievably porous borders and no upholding of our laws, illegal immigrants flood here and receive instant handouts at the expense of honest producers.

We do live in the greatest and freest country on earth. But it is much less great and much less free that it once was. The question is, do we love living here enough to do something about preserving what is left of that greatness and freedom, enough to restore them to their original state?

(Further posts and steps you can take right now are forthcoming. A start of some steps is here.)

This post is based on Robert Ringer’s Restoring the American Dream.

Going Galt

11 11 2012

What is Going Galt?

“There is a difference between our strike and all those you’ve practiced for centuries: our strike consists, not of making demands, but of granting them. We are evil, according to your morality. We have chosen not to harm you any longer. We are useless, according to your economics. We have chosen not to exploit you any longer. We are dangerous and to be shackled, according to your politics. We have chosen not to endanger you, nor to wear the shackles any longer. We are only an illusion, according to your philosophy. We have chosen not to blind you any longer and have left you free to face reality-the reality you wanted, the world as you see it now, a world without mind.

“We have granted you everything you demanded of us, we who had always been the givers, but have only now understood it. We have no demands to present to you, no terms to bargain about, no compromise to reach. You have nothing to offer us. We do not need you.

Going Galt is the term coined from Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, where one goes on strike, removing one’s self and one’s production from the perpetuation of a collectivist society. Given the outcome of the 2012 election and that Americans have voted themselves into a fully entitlement society, a nanny state where government takes care of their every need, it is time to deny the destroyers and the looters your assets, including your mind.

It means starving the beast.

How Do I Starve The Beast?

Unlike in Atlas Shrugged, we have no magic valley to which we can escape. There are certainly remote areas in America and if you’re lucky enough to own a piece of land in one of these havens, or have the means to purchase one, lucky you!

More importantly, Galt’s Gulch was not a permanent home to most of the characters; it was a haven to which they escaped for a month, once a year. During the other eleven months each member had to exist in the outside world any way they could save one: they could not work in their chosen profession. They could not give to the world the benefit of their expertise. Scientists worked as railroad workers and professors ran hamburger stands. They lived frugally, owning little; there is no need to keep up with the Jones’ when you’re on strike.

So how to you starve the beast in reality world? The folks over at Reaganite Republican have some good ideas:

1. Buy used or new via secondary markets. Use Craigslist to find new stuff at less than retail… and you pay no taxes into the system.

2. Contribute to the secondary market by having a yard sale, you’ve probably got tons of junk you haven’t even seen in years.

3. Forget status symbols and keeping-up-with-the-Jones’. Maybe you can afford that nice new car, but you’ll pay A TON of taxes on it. Find a lesser vehicle that makes you happy that feeds the beast less, perhaps one bartered from within the family.

4. Invest and hold. Avoid taxable capital gains until Jan 2017.

5. FIX YOUR STUFF instead of replacing it. So many people look at durable possessions as disposable. Take those pants to the tailor, or better yet, get a used sewing machine and fix them yourself. Find someone with a welding machine to fix that patio chair.

6. Maintain your possessions properly. Clean the dust out of your computer. Keep on top of the car, house, and tools.

7. Plant a garden and grow as much of your own food as possible… and don’t forget spices in your window box, fresh is best anyway..

8. Enjoy life more simply. Choose a day at the park over an afternoon at the movies.  Attend a church cookout instead of going to Outback.

9. Speaking of things like the movies – stop going (Ed- I did yearsago). Wait for the DVD and rent it for $1 at Redbox. If there is a cheaper option to do something, take that option.

Or – here’s a radical idea – buy used books dirt (at yard sales, etc.) cheap and READ.

10. Set up two days a week to run errands. Run them all at once and efficiently instead of wasting money (and taxes) on fuel. If your workplace offers a work-from-home option, TAKE IT. (The ‘green’ Left will love this one, but we’re talking about opportunities to avoid paying taxes into the system, while saving yourself some coin in the process) .

11. Create gifts instead of buying them.

12. Barter for goods and services under-the-table

13. Avoid all union shops, products, and services

14. If possible, move to a low-tax Red state

15. Lower the amount the feds withhold from your paycheck- just take the maximum allowable deductions. Yes, it may mean you have to ‘pay’ come tax time BUT if just 10% of the people who receive paychecks would do this it would put a severe crimp on the DC cash flow. Just stash the extra cash somewhere and come tax time if you need it to pay Uncle Obama well then you have it.

Preparing Your Family

The Mormons are the best at prepping. Why? Because they believe in taking care of one’s self and one’s family and not relying on the government to take care of them should disaster strike. We all saw how well it worked out for those who relied on FEMA when hurricane’s Katrina and Sandy hit.

Whether you want to prep because you believe civil disobedience and a break down of our system is coming or because you realize you must rely on yourself, this document should be downloaded, printed, and applied in your daily life. It outlines how to purchase supplies over time, how much you’ll need, and what you’ll need. It’s an invaluable reference and should be printed and put in a binder so if the power does go out, you’re not relying on your PC to access it.

LDS Preparedness Manual

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