Thursday, March 26, 2009

Surplus Store Adventures

I origionally wrote this post for FarmerGeek to post over at OPN, but I decided to post it here as well.....By the way, that's me on my uncle's lap, 1968, I was not quite 3. lol

Sometimes you feel alone in your prepping. Sure, you have your internet buddies, and maybe a friend or 2 that agree with what you are doing, but you never feel quite like anyone around you feels the same way. It's always "thouse guys" and never anyone "around here". You get strange looks when you approach the register with 30 cans of this, 10 jars of peanut butter, 12 boxes of that, and 2 cases of TP. Itmakes you really wonder sometimes-am I really the only one doing this?? Well, this Monday I got a dose of reality, and found out that I'm not alone. In fact, far from it.
As many of you may know from my regular blog, I'm pretty close with my 73 year old uncle. I went to visit him on Monday, to hook up his answering machine that I gave him for Christmas 2 years ago. (believe it or not, he still used a wall mounted rotary box-style phone-ya know the type with the bell shaped earpiece and other one you talked into?) Anyway, neighter of us really felt like doing much that day, so we decided to go to the gun shop since he wanted to get some more 30 carbine rounds and a box of 25 auto's. Here we are, on a Monday at 1:00 in the afternoon, and the place was PACKED. We looked through the used racks while counter space opened up, and the selection was pretty light, mostly turkey guns and percussion rifles.
We finally got a hole to get to the counter, and started looking back at the ammo selection. OK, I knew that things were selling more than normal, but I didn't expect THIS. 25 auto's, not a single box. 380's, nope, same thing. The ususal cheap or surplus .223 or 7.62x39 was non-existant. We did spot ONE brand of 30 carbine ammo, only 4 boxes, so Butch bought 2 of them. I remember not long ago when that USA brand 30 carbine ammo was $9.99, well not anymore. Try $24.99! He got the 2 boxes, a new .25 caliber cleaning brush, a fresh bottle of bore cleaner, and we left. Both os us were shaking our heads on the way out, finally realizing how bad things are getting.......
On the drive back, he started talking about wanting to find some good used BDU's. I just got off the freeway exit and went the opposite way from his place to this surplus store I knew. Why not?, it's only 10 minutes away. I walked in the door and about fell over, honestly. The usual racks and racks of BDU's and othe clothing were down to one 6 foot rack. What was there was really tattered and torn, and mostly mismatched US pattern or Swiss. There were 2 pairs of boots on the wall where there were normally 30+. All of the rifle cases & drag bags were gone, all the camo netting gone, all of the camo hats, facepaint, headnets, socks, belts, etc....gone! I have never seen such bare shelves in one of these places in my life. The owners wife was there, and told us that they have sold more in the past 6 months than they did in the previous 2 years! She pointed out that they just got a case of water pruification tablets in last week, and that there were only 3 left. They want to get more bdu's in, but are having a hard time finding an assortment of sizes. I spotted a few things I want to get when I have the money, including a medium alice pack and a magnesium firestarter. Butch ordered a patch and pin for the 6th armored, where he was in '59 and '60 in Korea. The owners wife talked a lot, and invited him to their Saturday morning veterans meetings there at the shop. I think he'll actually go!

As I said in the beginning of this post, I've often wondered how many people are actually prepping around here. Well....those 2 small trips really opened my eyes a LOT on things. I'm far from alone in what I am doing, as is anyone reading this now. It makes me happy to know there are more out there, but at the same time, it worries me that so many see something coming. There are a lot of speculations out there, and I wish I could choose just one to completely believe. But rather than choose one, I'm just sticking to my plan and list of "possibles". We're continuing the food storage as best we can with me being layed off. I'm working on ammo as well, hoping to do more trading. Today I'm working on a car bag to put in the Pontiac, and making another batch of TP tube & drier lint firestarters. I want to get that alice pack, and make up a bigger b.o.b. for here, and sometime a smaller one for my wife. I refuse to stop doing all this, and more everyday I find more reasons to continue. Monday was just one of those days when I got that big realty shock and a giant push to move forward. Hopefully, everyone out there is doing the same. I wanted to share my experience this week as just an example of how things are going around HERE. What about your area?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Busy few days

FINALLY the weather stayed nice for a few days straight, and I was able to get a lot accomplished outside, yayyyy!
The chicken run is complete, and now edged with landscape timbers. The rabbit hutches are back outside and totally cleaned. (the buck is in the bottom, and the 2 does are in the top 2 cages) I moved the woodpile, and cut, split, & stacked the rest of the tree's I had cut down from the last windstorm. There are still 3 tree trunks that need cut behind the garage, and I'll get to them later this week. I emptied and dismantled the composter, spread its contents on the garden area, then spread the rabbit hutch cleanup on top of that. The cold frame is now where the composter was, and the areas around that will be this year's new herb garden. I have plenty of soil behind the garage from where I dug the sod from the strawberry beds last year, so some of it will go in that spot. I STILL have to get the Lowboy started....that 50w oil is thicker than molasses in January when it's cold lol. Remind me to get a block heater for that thing next year! I need to pull the lawn tractor out, put the mowing deck back on, and replace the dry-rotted front tire. Luckily I have 2 that the neighbot gave me last year, so I dont have to pay for anything. Then.....when I get one of them up & running, I have to empty the trailer, back it to the back door, and start hauling out all of the trash from the basement so I can get Lisa's sewing room done.

Saturday we had people over for dinner. Two young people Lisa knows from work decided to start prepping and buying food, and wanted to talk about it. (you know you're getting old when two 26 year olds are "young people" or "kids" LOL) He started off right away with a $2000 order of freeze dried food. I didnt get to ask what all was in the package, but it's a start. We talked about all things prep around the table, then moved outside to the years first fire and were there till around 11:00. They wanted ideas on how to get started, and what to stock, so I gave them good ideas on where to start. (other than the giant order already purchased) They had most things covered and listed, so they're off to a good start. Sometime over the next weekend or 2, they want us to take them to Lehmans to look at more things. I'll love the trip, though going there flat broke will be tough. Ah well, watching first timers there will be fun enough. Especially someone looking to prep AND look at things to possibly start their own small homestead.

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