Argggh! (Part 2)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Wow! I didn't expect that much of a response so soon! First off, let me thank everyone who responded. Some responses were harsh (but not uncalled for), most were good - all were relevant.
Let me respond a little to some of the concerns brought up in the various letters I received.
Yes, I am "on the fence", so to speak - and I realize that one way may be death and the other is personal economic setback, depending on how the coin lands. I stated this - I do have income, but most of that income goes back out in the form of bills - I can't just stop paying those and go into "survival mode" and get prepared. I do like the suggestions I received for "bugout bags" and survivalism-on-the-cheap ideas. I will see what I can do about seed - my girlfriend and I are pretty good at growing things, and we can get advice from my dad and mom on gardening (they do it a lot) - plus I have a great amount of reference material available (My two main sources are Kurt Saxon's The Survivor books, and an Army Ranger Manual).
If it were me alone, I would get rid of all the furniture and use every available nook and cranny to store staples and water - but I am not alone. I live with my girlfriend, who has gotten so sick of me talking about Y2K that she doesn't want to hear more - she only wants her comfort. I can understand that. I am doing what I can to prepare what I can quietly.
I am planning on storing water in two liter bottles, purifying it with bleach. I am also going to store rice and beans in two liter bottles with some dry ice. I will also have sugar, salt, flour and spices on hand as well.
Like I said before - I have a CB radio, but I forgot to mention that I also have an AM radio as well. I plan on buying a crystal kit sometime soon. I have a couple of solar panels (nothing huge, just big enough to charge a 12V gel-cell I have). My apartment faces west - not the best direction, but I will be able to charge the batteries in the evening. I also have a couple of bike generators, which may come in handy for something at a later time (I might buy a bike this summer - be a good thing to have if the gas pumps don't work).
My apartment? Let's just say I live downtown - not the best place to be if riots break out. My girlfriend's family all live way north of the city and have their own well - if we have to, we can bug out to there. Her mom also has a cabin even further north in a wooded community area. But the apartment is the place where we are. We don't have a choice about living downtown - it is close to both of our work places, and I am the only one with a car - I take her to work at lunchtime, so the drive to both of our jobs has to be short. We simply cannot afford to live outside of the city (where I live, "outside of the city" would mean a two hour drive each way to my job).
As far as my work is concerned? I am a programmer - if things truely head south, I might not have a job come Monday morning - no power, no computers to program, right? What other skills do I have? I could work at a store - I used to do that at one time. I also am handy - all of the furniture in my apartment office I built (it is of a rough, rustic style - but functional). I also know electricity and electronics, so maybe I could build AM radios from junk and sell/barter those, eh? My laptop will have as many programming languages on it as I can manage - so that I might become a traveling "fixer" to fix Y2K code issues - it may be possible...
Weapons? Well - I plan on doing the slingshot and crossbow thing - just because projectiles are easy and cheap to come by, the devices are relatively silent, and are not considered a firearm. I am also thinking of buying a machete, for ordinary uses, but also as a backup weapon, JIC.
Tools? I have a compass. I also have many hand tools at my disposal. I also have a "Multi-Tool" style knife - this has helped me the most since I bought it. I saw at a store once something that was like a "survival shovel" - it had quite a few uses - anyone know if these are a good thing to have?
I have a ton of paper and pencils for anything I need them for.
Rest assured, though, that if TSHTF, all of my "possessions" will be left behind, and I will get out of Dodge - I plan on keeping my truck topped off until the power fails or the 31st, whichever comes first. I will also have about 10 gallons of gas ready for later, if I need it.
I have a tent, three sleeping bags, a propane stove and a fair amount of camping gear also ready (my girlfriend and I love to camp when we can - we took a week long trip once through New Mexico, camping all the way).
Even with all of this thinking, I still hope and pray that everything stays relatively normal, and that things _do_not_ go south. I know in my mind that it is selfish and childish - but I don't think any normal person, as well as myself, should have to pay for a mistake made by greedy businesses and/or incompetent/lazy managers. Computers could have handled the date fine, the programs could have been created ok, programmers were warning their bosses years ago - did anyone listen? Hell - they aren't even listening now! It all came down to greed. Sure, punch cards only had 80 columns per row to work with - so instead of one line per record, why not use one CARD per record (ok, more cards, more money, less storage - but this problem wouldn't be here today)? When disk drives came on the scene, why not dedicate the space then (larger drives, more money - a lot more money)? Years later, in the 80's - drives were cheaper, memory was cheaper - was anything done? No. Today? You can get drives and memory for a song - yesterday's server is today's entry-level PC - has it helped? If it did, why am I writing this? I don't want to pay for others short-sightedness. I was at one company in which we (the company, and anyone else that used a PICK style system) went through what was known as the "Day 10000" problem. At the time, I noticed the issue with Y2K (this was in 92), and I suggested that we incorporate Y2K changes for dates, since we were going to be doing date related changes anyhow - it was shot down. Why? Take too long, cost too much - in a word, greed.
-- Andrew (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 17, 1999
Andrew -- You're right on that the bottom line cause of Y2K, bar none, unsanitized, was greed.
-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), March 17, 1999.
Sounds to me as if you already have tradeable skills in case of TEOTWAWKI. That is a great step forward. And as for someone who "only wants her comfort" well, that's what I'm interested in, too! I prepared enough basics for a couple of months, in a pinch, and now am working on getting the house and garden comfortable in case my "camping expedition" stretches into the longer term. One other bit of comfort is knowing I have a "plan C". Sounds like you have the start of one, too, and all you need to do is fine tune it during the rest of this year.
Good luck to you and yours.
-- Margaret (email@example.com), March 17, 1999.
Sounds like a plan to visit your girlfriend's family for the New Year is in order!! (smile). You're thinking...I joke with my husband when he teases me a bit about all the food and such...I try to be sensitive to his need to not feel overwhelmed with Y2k all the time, plus he helps me stay balanced (or something like that). Good luck! Sounds hopeful...Kristi
-- Kristi (securx@Succeed.Net), March 17, 1999.
As you know, a wide range of opinions are tolerated on this forum. Even those of us that don't believe Y2K will cause 20 million deaths are welcome (Barely sometimes).
However, there is one firm and unalterable standard that will NEVER be tolerated here.........
That is.....when you spell AAAAAARRRGGGGGGGGGHHH, it must have at least five A's in it and a smattering of R,G and H's. Spelling it as you did, with only one A, is completely unacceptable.
You are of course forgiven, as you know not what you did. However, please refrain from that major faux pas in the future.
-- Craig (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 18, 1999.
Craig, Craig, Criag,....
I'm disappointed in your recommendation -and after all our work teaching ang guiding....
- yes, it's true that an ordinary ARGH may have "a smattering" of "R's" and "G's" - BUT -
- a good ARGH *must* have an equal number of "R's" and "G's", and to be properly balanced and elegently symetric with aproper rythmetic and ascending scale of frustration and volume, as a whole the ARGH should be symetrically balanced between the leading "AAA...'s" and the trailing "!!!!!...'s".
Some ARGH purists and English literature majors (whom we will not stoop so low as to castigate here, but they know who they are!) would add that the assembled exclamation need be centered in the page geometrically based on the relative width of the smaller "!" and the somewhat wider "A", "R","G" and "H", but this convention must, in truth, be moderated by certain real-world options based on the constraints of proportional fonts, fixed width characters in certain fonts, and html formatting limits.
Mac users, of course, have only one mouse button and are immune from these concerns.
-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (email@example.com), March 18, 1999.