Y2K --- The Heart of Darkness?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
A couple days ago Vern Bacon posted the question, "What's the use? Why prepare?" -- in reference to preparing for Y2K if it turns out to be a real humdinger. It elicited a tremendous response. I got in on the tail end with my post below. Only one person responded to it, and that wasn't Vern. I'm surprised no one else is concerned with this issue. I'm thinking maybe it's because my post was at the bottom of some SEVENTY odd responses Vern got. But also it's probably likely that my post was really "O.T." to what Vern and the rest on that thread preferred to discuss. So I'm going to start a new thread with the same post, but with a different header/title. If I get no response this time I will crawl away quietly into a little hole in the wall.
I don't know if this answer addresses your question, or whether it goes right by it, but here goes anyway.
I had a college English prof in the '40s after I came back from WWII, who had us read Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." I really didn't know what it was all about, or why the prof's eyes kept haunting us as he asked us questions about the book. (The prof was WAY out of place on that campus -- took his job too seriously, never went to the afternoon teas the President gave for his faculty, etc., etc.)
Didn't figure out what the book was about until after I ran smack into Y2K awareness in early Jan '97, upon reading Gary North's newsletter of that month. In the ensuing months, I went back & forth: doomer, polly, doomer, polly, ad nauseum. Finally, I became 'certain,' in Nov '99 that InfoMagic and I were the only ones who 'REALLY' knew how bad it is going to be. I'm now not as certain -- but still preparing for an 11 on a scale of 0 to 10.
So I think you'll agree I've got the bonafides to convince you I'm not a '2 wks and it'll all be back to normal' Doomster. That said here's my response:
1) You have looked into "the heart of darkness." The bulk of the posters here and on other y2k sites on the other hand have flinched, and blinked.
2) They use primarily two strategems to undercut a fullbore prep response to what may be coming. The first is to assume the mantle of Full On Doomster (replete with scathing flames directed at our resident Pollys.) While stalking around in that costume one can detect what they're really wearing underneath, by simply checking out some of their prep list details. Telltale is: storing water, instead of sourcing it; storing food instead of storing AND sourcing it; storing energy in the form of gasoline or diesel or propane, instead of storing AND preparing to generate it (via photovoltaic, wind, small-head hydro, or steam-engine driven alternators;) buying flashlights and kerosene lanterns and candles, instead of buying and/or building LED task lights; buying alkaline cells instead of nicads; staying in the cities or 'burbs' (because they "can't" leave for one reason or the other;) and, my pet peeve -- depending on a last minute 'bugout' strategy (while at the same time derisively slamming the corporate and gov't agencies planning on FOF [Fix On Failure] -- which is exactly what bugging out is!)
The other dynamic which allows them to avoid the core truths is: IGNORANCE OF THE TECHNICAL DETAILS INVOLVED IN SUCCESSFUL SURVIVAL if it comes to an 8, or 9, or 10, or? I've had it up to here with the mantra I've heard and read way too many times in the last 2 1/2 years: "Oh, we Americans really have that Ingenuity thing all locked up --- there's nothing we can't do when we put our mind to it!"
Like they know the difference between a zener diode, schottky diode, or a switching diode? Do they even know what a diode is?! Like they know what happens when they don't keep their lead-acid storage batteries charged up fully for long periods of time? Like they have even heard of the term that describes it, "sulfation?" Like they'll know how to take care of any infection that might come along by using herbal therapy? Like they know how to even grow, select, harvest, process, and prescribe herbals? Like they know how to collect rainwater, store it, prevent its contamination? Like they know how to purify water using solar distillation? Like they know how to preserve their crops using a technique that doesn't depend on going back to Wally-World to get more canning jar caps? Like they even know that you can do a much better job, preserving much more of the nutrients, in much less time and with much less fuss, by using solar dehydrators? Like they know how to BUILD one assuming they know they exist? Like they know how to weld at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, using a 3 1/2-foot diameter Fresnel lens and sunlight? Like they even know what a Fresnel lens is?!! Like they know why their hand windup-generator Baygen SW receiver ain't gonna receive nothin' unless the commercial transmitting stations can use hand windup generators too? Like their 2meter handy-talky ham radios aren't gonna get them further than 10 or 15 miles if the repeater network goes down? Repeater network --- wha's dat?
Americans certainly know how to fix whatever gets broken. Yeah.
3) So, Vern, now we come to the meat of it. If I know all the above, how come I'm still preparing? Well, if the truth be known, I've been in the dumps where you are a couple of times in the past couple years. What pulled me out was the realization that:
WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. FOR SURE. 100% But that was the rule of the game coming in; did we expect to somehow stumble on the Fountain of Youth, the Secret of Immortality and avoid The Man in Black? Really?
So finally I had to take a closeup look at the Big Illusion of Modern America: "Ican't die because I have too much going for me --- good food every day, a well-running automobile, surgery for the things that went wrong with my bod in the past few years, Maxzide for my hypertension, air conditioning in the summer, a nice warm home in winter. Why I CAN'T die -- 'cause it must be discriminatory, or against some law or other, or just downright inhuman (and maybe anti-Christian?)!"
So Vern, when I lost the protection of this LAST illusion, how can I still go on, prepping every day, having fun doing it, even laughing and enjoying relaxing times with the rest of my family (who are mostly DGIs, yet so really charming?)
I found a good answer for myself. Maybe, if it's part of His plan, it might ring a bell for you. I stumbled on it by looking inwards long enough (How else do we find any significant truth?), but I never was able to articulate it as well as this little quote:
"Life is known only by those who have found a way to be comfortable with change and the unknown. Given the nature of life, there may be no security, but only adventure..." --- Rachel Naomi Remen.
God Bless you, Vern, and thanks for having the courage to reach into the Heart of Darkness.
-- William J. Schenker, MD (email@example.com), September 09, 1999
Bill, I've read some of your posts and you come from that place in your heart of light that gives me the assurance to carry on. Thanks
-- Zeda (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 09, 1999.
Bill, you aren't alone in storing and sourcing.
Future thinking has to be done by someone. Some call it contingency planning.
The exigencies of circumstances likely to confront us will bring out hidden talents in some and weaknesses in others.
Most will think and learn.
And hopefully survive.
-- no talking please (email@example.com), September 09, 1999.
Have you compiled a source of references for technical information?
-- no talking please (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 09, 1999.
-- mar (email@example.com), September 09, 1999.
Thanks for the post. You definitely "got" me on the Fresnel lens and using it for welding - never heard of it. Much of the rest, though, I have managed to pick up over my few years. Always more to learn.
As important as having the technical skills is, the thought keeps surfacing that it is the will, the character of the individual which will improve their odds of success/survival. I just watched "Saving Private Ryan" - people under pressure sometimes surprise themselves - some fold, some rise to meet the need. Some of the most soft-spoken, sweet, pre-school teachers turn out to have the steely grit and determination to survive or save lives. I am not referring to the movie, but to a girlfriend of mine who has worked side-by-side with me on all sorts of crappy wrecks, shootings, fires and other medical and fire crises. Yeah, we may cry later, if it was a "really bad call", but we get the job done, and sometimes even did it right. :)
Sorry for the rambling, but I think I know what you mean. When people ask me "How can you DO that - I couldn't!?" I just look at them and smile and say "Because SOMEBODY has to." I hope more and more people will search within and develop a sense of what they CAN and SHOULD do instead of wimping out and whining about it all.
-- Kristi (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 09, 1999.
Sourcing and storing.....
Filters on order, drum in basement, BIG lake a short bike ride away, medium sized creek a longer ride away...
Seeds in storage LOTS of lessons from the tub garden.......
"Don't need no steenkin lectric" well the second winter may be interesting, hmmm gota work on that one.....
Thanks Bill, restarted the thought cell (only gots one, and it been workin overtime on work....)
-- Chuck, a night driver (email@example.com), September 09, 1999.
Bill: I can relate to what you say, although I put an Informagic scenario as only a 1:100 likelihood. Its easy to watch the slick commercials on TV, with the fascinating computer generated graphics, and fall for the illusion that we are progressing faster than we think, and that all of our old problems have somehow been taken care of. I see it a lot in the DoD arena, when a project is declared "complete" one third of the way through and focus shifts to other R&D. When you leave critical parts of the old infrastructure hanging like that, it's only a matter of time before you're overwhelmed by maintenance and migration issues.
-- a (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 09, 1999.
Nice post, good thoughts and information. Isn't it interesting that you were holding that ancient piece of college teaching for all these years, like a seed, dormant, until the right conditions caused it to sprout again. That professor reached at least one good apprentice, and the story and it's significance didn't die. Now you are passing it on, again.
You have approached this reality in one way, above, and I would like to add a little anecdote that approaches it differently. I also owe this one to someone from many years back, who planted this seed with me.
Picture a social gathering, a lot of single and married people milling about, talking and sharing moments together. Guy 1 sees an attractive female who is engaged in conversation within a small group across the room. He asks his friend, Guy 2, if he knows that woman? Sure, says Guy 2, I know her, she's single, very bright, and a real pleasure to be with, why do you ask? Well, says Guy 1, I would like to meet her but need an introduction, so how about it? Guy 2 says, nah, just go over there and introduce yourself to her, no big deal. Guy 1 says: Well, I'm afraid to do it that way, since she is already busy, she might not like being interrupted by me, since she doesn't know me, and then she might think me too forward, and not want to talk with me, because maybe she doesn't really like to meet people without an introduction, and I could ruin the whole thing, and never even get to start to know her, and possibly begin a longer term relationship, you know what I mean? Guy 2 justs looks at Guy 1 and says: "So, now you have the NO, why not go over there and try for the YES?"
I think that's sort of what you were getting at, isn't it?
-- Gordon (email@example.com), September 09, 1999.
All the possible futures can be categorized as either "bump in the road" or "teotwAWKI." A bump (may a bump big enougn to kill) still implies a return to present conditions after some period of time. Preparations for the bump are all disaster preparations--just enought to get you over the bump--whether it's a week, a month, a quarter, a year. If there is no return to present conditions then it is the end of the world we now know. Preparations for this must be "lifestyle preparations"--examining the way you live and making changes that will make you able or adaptable enough to survive and thrive in that different world. Many "doomers" are still expecting a return to present conditions after some period of time. The big question is how big of long of a bump will guarantee no return to present conditions and how different will they be?
-- David Webb (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 09, 1999.
Wow, what an inspirational piece you wrote. Here I am an 8 (secretly believing it could be worse) and fudging. Family members saying I am addicted to Y2K forum and going overboard on provisions (in case it's not as bad and we won't be able to utilize some of the supplies I'm buying in he real cozy pre8 Y2K world). I plan on running to the library to get "Heart of Darkness" to read. Life is a school to learn and I plan on getting my moneys worth. (okay...okay....so I won't get 2 meters, I'll go higher LOL).
-- Debi (LongTimeLurker@shy.com), September 09, 1999.
The simple-minded Greybear approach:
NEVER GIVE UP !
NEVER GIVE UP !
NEVER GIVE UP !
-- Got grit?
-- Greybear (email@example.com), September 09, 1999.
Interesting perspective. I accept that some people's sincerity is suspect for the reasons you mention, e.g. preps don't match expectations.
I do believe, however, that there are other explanations. First of all, just so we all know what scenario you are talking about, please define what you mean by "11 on a scale of 10". First of all, that is an oxymoron; you obviously can't have an 11 on a 10 scale. If it's an 11, the scale has to go at LEAST to 11. Sorry if this sounds picky, but, hey, if you are trying to give us an idea of how bad you think it will be, please use some kind of understandable terminology.
Even if you believe that y2k will be a TEN on a scale of 1 to 10, I suspect that there would be no need for most of the technology you are listing. Wouldn't a 10 indicate we'd regressed to the stone age (or worse--actually a 10, being the worst possible scenario, would seem to indicate that the human race, and I suppose all other life on the planet would be extinct, no?)
I've posted a question here, long ago, asking if there is some source which defines all the various levels from 1-10. No one could seem to find one, nor could (or would) anyone clarify what they mean by their different estimates, even though there was much disagreement between whether we'd be experiencing a 3-4 or a 6-8!
Now, Bill, assuming you're not expecting extinction, let's look at the problem you state with people not being well enough prepared, neither educationally nor physically.
Learning enough about all or most of the fields you cite takes years for the average person, if indeed the average person is intellectually capable of learning these disciplines. So the fact that some (all?) of us aren't at a journeyman level in all these fields does not necessarily indicate that we are not serious about our prognoses.
On the physical level, I suspect that many, or perhaps most, of us cannot afford to do all the "sourceing" you refer to. For instance, from the research I have done, it appears that it would cost around $40,000-50,000 to set up an average house with photovoltaic power, not even including such things as space heating, air conditioning clothes drying, or water heating. Then of course, there are the cars. Have you priced a solar car lately? I don't have numbers on this, but I believe they are selling in the $80,000-100,000 range, and are rather limited in their power and range even at that.
When you look at ONGOING costs for all this photovoltaic, Charlie Collins at www.mrsolar.com tells us that the long term costs of using photovoltaics, including purchase costs, upkeep costs, and replacement costs will cost a person approximately $.44 per kilowatt hour of power generated. This compares with $.055 where I live, in Oregon; $.025 where my son lives, in Washington;and, I'm told, up to $.15 more or less in parts of the eastern US.
Needless to say, moving to a new location is also financially overwhelming to the vast majority of people
If a person were SURE that we were going to have y2k problems resulting in total loss of the power grid for more than a few weeks, or perhaps months, it might be prudent to invest that much in your power source, if you have that much to invest. But another alternative is to do without electric power altogether. I have personally lived for a few years without power, over twenty years ago, and, while doing so creates its own set of challenges, it can be done, within certain limitations. So perhaps the best path is to prepare to the extent that is PRACTICAL, not necessarily to the level which is POSSIBLE.
Personally, I have been living with alternative energy, for a significant part of my needs, for 24 years, and it has necessitated much research and constant learning. But I don't think I could have become as knowledgeable and self sufficient as I am by suddenly "trying" to prepare myself for a disaster of uncertain severity, in a period of only a couple of years.
I hope I'm not coming across as confrontive, Bill, though I think I tend to write that way. I think your posting makes a lot of valid points; I just wanted to add my perspective.
I would like to hear,very much, from you and others, as to what your definitions of severity (1-10) are.
-- Al K. Lloyd (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 09, 1999.
Thanks for the reminder that my preps are way distant from what my mind has told me all along -- that Y2K could be big enough to start all the dominoes tumbling. It was a pleasure to be kicked in the butt with your well-written words. You make me acknowledge the fact that I've much more to do; that I am prepped merely for low-level problems, while I wait for something to happen to change my DWGI husband into a GI. But as the _other Kristi_ up above posted, there are alot of women who can drop the deferential facade and face a crisis with grit when they have to. I like to think I am one of them.
-- Kristi (KsaintA@aol.com), September 09, 1999.
Bill, you posted a compassionate and insightful response. I think most of us realize that most of the world is not prepared for major changes, that we cannot possibly accomplish all we wish to in such a short time because our funds are limited, and that we are running out of time to learn new skills. We contemplate a world that may run amok in madness and violence, but in the Greybear spirit, keep buying food, seeds, water filters etc. Even if we source water such as a lake, biowarfare may poison the water. We know we cannot possibly prepare completely, but we plug away. We try to eat the elephant one bite at a time. People like you, who contribute your medical knowledge and your experience with communications, help save us time and money and keep us from imprudent purchases and actions. Others that share their expertise have also performed a tremendous service to us. I think of the people who had done extensive prepping only to have it wiped out by a tornado. I agree with your quote, and add a thought of my own. I know that were I able to have many more years to prep and learn new skills, one fluke or disaster could undo all my carefully laid plans and work; therefore, I trust in my Creator and Father, who knows the number of hairs on my head. Regarding life and the future unknowns, I find much wisdom and comfort in Ecclesiastes:
"Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity. Therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun.....For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun? For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity. Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his sould should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.... To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven...I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor-- it is the gift of God."
-- Mumsie (Shezdremn@aol.com), September 09, 1999.
Al, it would be very interesting (and probably very beneficial) to hear some of your funky stories about living without power. Sort of a retro condensed journal. What were the pros and cons? What did you drive to town for? What did you miss the most? How's that solar shower working? :0)
-- Mumsie (Shezdremn@aol.com), September 09, 1999.
Some of us are scared to death and others of us are challenged. For the most part, I have enjoyed the last 2 yrs prepping for y2k. It employes gray matter, true, but one needs a good helping of wits to meet the challenge. To be honest, I have wondered, if its a BITR, what I will do to replace y2k? It keeps me challenged and my gray matter stimulated. Sure there are days when I wish it would all go away. But most the time I am enjoying the challenge. I also enjoy the knowledge that between Chubby Hubby and I, we WILL SURVIVE. We have lived the life of the 1800s and have the skills and wherewithall to do it again. And we are fortunate enuff to have beach property in Costa Rica, money and passport. Thats our bug out. If we have to, I will rent a plane and forget to return it!. I firmly believe that your personal outcome is dependent upon your personal outlook. Accept the challenge!
-- Taz (Tassie@aol.com), September 09, 1999.
Good post William...although I would tend to disagree with you re: other's sincerity being related to level of prep. It's more likely their degree of prep is related to their true sense of the degree of disruption they are likely to face; with some residual fear being worked out rather inappropriately on the pollies.
I agree with Al that the skills/knowledge you discuss cannot be learned overnight, or even in a few years, much less instantly implemented. Therein lies the dilemma...we each can do what we can do. There is no need to belittle those who are less able to pay the price financially, and who no longer have the luxury of time to learn the technical skills you are so proud of.
I, due to my lack of skillsets and financial wherewithal, will be taking the less technical approach. No electricity. If conditions turn into a 10+, and electricity goes down and isn't reestablished, then I'll have a head start on what those with generators/solar will eventually face when equipment/fuel cannot be replaced: no electric. Actually, if this is the case we will have haz/mat and nuclear disasters all over the landscape...rural/burbs...it won't matter...there won't be anywhere far enough. Bugging out is a joke. And anywhere that you feel is out there far enough probably is sitting right on top of a major oil/gas pipeline or nuclear/haz/mat dump...or your river or aquifer is underneath one. Better have some testing gear for those wells.
I personally don't think it's going to be worse than a 4 or 5 re: electricity (area outages lasting weeks, brownouts, rolling blackouts, and a resultant much less stable electrical infrastructure). What I am more concerned about is the probable recession/depression we could have. For this I can prepare and even to some extent source.
There has never been a social structure in which division of talents, knowledge, labor did not factor...I don't expect things to suddenly change in this respect. There may be a need for restructuring of the divisions.
So, I'll trade you what I know about solar cooking/water purification, herbal remedies and maybe you could build me that vertical blade fan for those hot summer nights in Texas when there is so little wind you think you'll suffocate.
-- Shelia (Shelia@active-stream.com), September 09, 1999.
Al - I believe it is the WDCY2K scale that is most usually referenced: http://wdcy2k.org/survey/survey98/ A "10" on that scale is not the end of the world (just a collapse of the U.S. government and possible famine), so it is possible to have a worse scenario.
-- Brooks (email@example.com), September 09, 1999.
Great points Bill,
Underneath all the Y2K lessons to learn... is the biggy IMHO... to face your fear of death straight on. Once youre over that hurdle, the rest of life can be a bump-in-the-road. Even next year... sorta.
Last night in Silicon Valley, we had a marvelous thunder and lightning storm. Quite rare here. I watched the natural magic for hours. Even got up a 4:30 a.m., sat on the back deck sipping coffee, petting a kitty cat, and just delighted in the effervescent light streaks and dark rumbles. (i.e. listening to Divine laughter).
Sometimes, we all need a reminder that we're not running this show... just players, onstage, for awhile. Even Koskinen, et. al., can play all the perception management games they choose, and still... theyre not in charge. Always... expect the unexpected. Its how the change game is played... on a much grander field.
Shift Happens. Cooperation creates a larger synergism.
When you are prepared to die, then you can freely choose to live, and then become prepared at the level your intuition and guidance directs.
Diane, camping and learning/sharing new skills... for the duration.. however many weeks, months, years it takes. Or not. ;-)
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 09, 1999.
"I learned early that the richness of life is adventure. Adventure calls on all the faculties of mind and spirit. It develops self reliance & independence. Life then teams with excitement. But man is not ready for adventure unless he's rid of fear. For fear confines him and limits his scope. He stays tethered by strings of doubt and indecision and has only a small narrow world to explore." ~William O Douglas
-- Downstreamer (email@example.com), September 09, 1999.
Good post, Bill.
The issues you raise are exactly why we will be in deep trouble. Many people who are 'preparing' for Y2K are preparing for a week or two of problems, then back to normal. They have not devoted the thought to what will happen if the situation isn't resolved in that week or two and if their stockpiles are inadequate.
When I first started researching the issues, there were endless debates on the Gary North Home Power forum about the fuel consumption, and engine life of generators, whether gasoline generators should even be considered for serious preps, and what happens when the fossil fuel runs out. There were serious discussions on the gardening forum and the food storage forum about growing food in the future and about storing food in a non-electric environment after the supply of canning jars had run out. There were serious discussions about making a well bucket or providing a hand pump for wells at the 170 foot level.
What evolved, at least for me, was a layered defense. OK, how long do I have to store food for? At least 7 months.....predicated on substantial food input from my garden at the end of that time, and on the recognition that storage for 7 years was impractical. The point is that we recognized the inadequacy of only stockpiling. What was the next step beyond stockpiling? (productive gardening and storage of what we grow) What do we need to reach sufficiency in that step?
I learned that a generator, by itself, will do little if the power stays out very long. I flinched when my brother in law proudly showed me his new Generac propane powered 20 KW system -- with enough propane for 2 weeks. But, it will generate enough so that he doesn't have to worry about even turning anything off. My own thought run to battery and inverter as the first step, adding a generator second, and finally adding solar and wind power that will fill some basic needs. Involved in this process is the realization that I won't be replacing all my power needs with alternate energy.....but that I will have achieved a level of sufficiency that will insure my survival.
Among other things we learned that we had to learn, and we have to store knowledge.....if the situation is severe our survival will depend on our ability to access the knowledge others have provided. Fresnel lense? Never used one( do know what they are) -- but, most importantly, can access information on them if I need it, without using the internet. [Large hard drives are wonderful, and the power required to run a PC is easily within reach of the most modest solar panel/battery/inverter setup]
If the situation reaches an "11 on a scale of 1 to 10" we will need two things.....knowledge of what works and how to make things work and the recognition that bemoaning the cost of enough solar panels to supply 100% of todays energy requirements isn't related to any solution, but is a part of the problem.
Al, lighten up. The "11 on a scale of 1 to 10" thing is an obvious overstatement, and the phrasing has been around for years. Man, you came off as a stick in the mud on that one......almost as bad as worrying about the cost of solar cars. I think your reply just illustrated Dr. Bill's points.
-- de (delewis@XOUTinetone.net), September 09, 1999.
Having looked into the face of the face that lived through the Batan death March and of another in the German prison camps, and another dying cancer warrior, I had a viceral reaction to your post. Well concieved and presented. And that nagging ache in the pit of my stomack began again--of course my plan is a FOF. Can't be otherwise unless I cash it all and go to the hills and live on what $10,000 will bring me, and what craftiness of skill and age can manipulate. Not a good thought. (I suspect I am in the vast minority reading this page.) Saying yes to death does make the perspective alter. Quit dodging and face up like so many befor us. This whole thing, however, just plain pisses me off.
-- John Q (dont'know@notenoughtime/$.net), September 09, 1999.
William: I feel that after the initial dust settles and the initial die-off inevitable in the scenario you envision (#11 on 1-10 scale), the survivors will re-organize into "community". Since each individual cannot master all of the skills needed in this brave new world, cooperation will be needed for survival into the second winter. I think most of us "doomers" can survive through the first winter on our stockpiled goods. In this new community, I feel that a barter system will allow us to compensate for the skills that we, as individuals, lack. For example, I can barter my medical skills (you and I share the same letters after our names) for the use of someone's Fresnel Lens, etc. At least this is what I hope will happen if TSHTF, if we can't work as a community and redevelop society, I fear that the human race is lost.
-- cath (fin@llyGI.com), September 09, 1999.
Bill, I do not know what will happen at rollover. I am glad that you have the knowledge that you display in your post. If it is a 10 we will need people with your skills to rebuild. I know with a limited amount of time and money that I can only do what I can do. I encourage all of those here to keep learning new survival skills both physical and emotional. Do what you can but keep doing something! Plan to live low on the food chain, keep a low profile. Have a back up plan. Practise your back up plan!
-- lili po (lili firstname.lastname@example.org), September 09, 1999.
To Bill and those that responded to Bill,
YOU ARE ALL JUST PLAIN NUTS !!!
-- Jack Mercer (email@example.com), September 10, 1999.
I thought this needed to be repeated:
The simple-minded Greybear approach:
NEVER GIVE UP !
NEVER GIVE UP !
NEVER GIVE UP !
-- Stan Faryna (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 10, 1999.
Greybear, nice to hear from you! :-)
-- Gayla (email@example.com), September 10, 1999.
NO TALKING PLEASE:
Unfortunately I've got no time (nor am I good at paperwork) to compile a list of technical references. Also, unfortunately this TB2000 doesn't even have a simple 'search' function -- so there's no easy way for you to make up your own list from some of my detailed posts here since mid-Spring. However, much/most of my technical writings were posted on the (y2k.entrewave.com) forum during 1997 and 1998. And that software DOES have a search function. Go the URL, click on 'Options'. Then on the 'forums' check off 'General Discussion', 'Alternative Energy', 'Y2k Survival', 'Dr. Schenker Speaks', 'Ham Radio Operators - QRU'. On the drop-down menu of 'Listed Threads' choose the one with no time frame (the row of hyphens). You can also type in "Schenker" in the 'Filtered by keyword' box --- I don't really know if that works or not. Then click on 'OK.' This route will give you a whole bunch of postings among many threads, by many different authors, including mine. I think this method will give you a good perspective.
If on the other hand, you want to restrict what comes up to only my posts then instead of clicking on 'Options' at the onset, click on 'Search.' Leave the 'Query' box empty. In the 'Scope' box highlight 'All Forums.' In author type 'Schenker.' Then click on 'Search.' That should get you all my posts. You'll have to sort thru them to find the particular bits of info you want.
Give this a whirl and report in if you run into trouble with the archives.
Yeah, it's interesting how character shows up in surprising ways during crisis situations. I saw some of that in the Field Artillery in '44-'46. I've been saying for a while now: "Y2K will be about preps but more so about character -- and the worse it gets the more important the latter."
Looking forward to exercising your One Brain Cell when we get to talking on the ham radio bands.
Yeah, as bad as the programming scene immediately around you gets it's hard to extrapolate that to an InfoMagic take on the future. But how come DoD looks like what I saw in Medical Information Systems in the '70s? And when at Humboldt State for a 1 week course on FORTH, hearing the same thing from my classmates in various industries? And after giving my papers at computer conferences, sitting around for dinner or coffee and hearing a replay from guys all across the country, especially the guys working on government jobs? Ah yes, I know the answer: coincidence.
Good, true story. Yep, and I've been Guy #1 so many times in my life thru the years. But going for the "Yes" even against high odds sure makes life funner.
Thanks for saying it like it is, David --- not many people do. And yes, we have to ask not only "How bad will it be?" (and plan accordingly) --- but also "How long will it take to come back up?" That 2nd question is one that almost everybody I've talked to or whose words I've read -- cave in on. And that includes the guys who are writing the books and giving the talks. It even includes Gary North who when looking into The Heart of Darkness, at the last moment flinches and comes up with: "Oh, when all the chaos is behind us, we'll finally make it to Utopia (Christian Reconstruction version, naturally.)" (Never mind he knocks the Utopianism of the socialists/humanists all the time --- rightly so of course.) Bravo to you, David.
If you switch from a 2-meter ham rig to an HF rig, I'll hound you on the air waves, too. ---- 73.
I always made sure I didn't cross a bear when it had made its mind up -- used to backpack in the Sierras in the '60s -- can't believe I came thru unscathed in bumping into the big ones on a mountain trail. One of them might have been you.
ALKALOID (a.k.a., AL K. LLOYD -- hey, Bro, wat yu smokin'?):
"I do believe, however, that there are other explanations. First of all, just so we all know what scenario you are talking about, please define what you mean by "11 on a scale of 10". First of all, that is an oxymoron; you obviously can't have an 11 on a 10 scale. If it's an 11, the scale has to go at LEAST to 11. Sorry if this sounds picky, but, hey, if you are trying to give us an idea of how bad you think it will be, please use some kind of understandable terminology. "
Hey, Al, come off it. You know that hyperbole is one of the keys to successful humor. (Why else would you use that moniker, which is much funnier than for instance calling yourself an ex-pothead?)
"Even if you believe that y2k will be a TEN on a scale of 1 to 10, I suspect that there would be no need for most of the technology you are listing. Wouldn't a 10 indicate we'd regressed to the stone age (or worse--actually a 10, being the worst possible scenario, would seem to indicate that the human race, and I suppose all other life on the planet would be extinct, no?)"
No, Al, even though guys like you and I think The End of The World As We Know It is really the extinction of the human race -- there are millions of people all around the globe WHO WON'T EVEN KNOW THAT A #10 HAPPENED, or that it caused the implosion of the USA, Europe, modern Asia, and a few other assorted advanced subcultures. Living without electricity, or gas, or oil, or steam-driven power SEEMS like the Stone Age to us softie Americans. It's actually a very livable kind of existence. People were doing it for millennia before we came along.
And my present Southern Belle wife is a SHARE CROPPER'S DAUGHTER. The family didn't have electricity on the homestead until the early '50s. Now granted, things down here in the South are a little different than up North, in the MidWest, and out West -- where I spent the first 72 of my 73 years. But, hey, some of these 'hi-tech rednecks' I've met are a real inspiration. And there's lots of 'em down here. They give 'survival' a different meaning than us city slickers or suburbanites in the northern or western tier accept as gospel.
"I've posted a question here, long ago, asking if there is some source which defines all the various levels from 1-10. No one could seem to find one, nor could (or would) anyone clarify what they mean by their different estimates, even though there was much disagreement between whether we'd be experiencing a 3-4 or a 6-8! "
Hey, Al, you've just broached one of my pet peeves: talking all around y2k survival, and not even settling on the ground rules. Because of that I offered my set of numbers back in the Fall of '97 and again I think in early '98 -- go look on the websites I specified to "No Talking Please" above. Other guys have published their standards too, notably Cory Hamasaki, and others in the DC area group I believe. Not that there's any agreement from standard set to standard set. But it's a start anyway. And it's been done --- you've just got to do your Net searches.
"Learning enough about all or most of the fields you cite takes years for the average person, if indeed the average person is intellectually capable of learning these disciplines."
You're absolutely on the mark here, Al.
"So the fact that some (all?) of us aren't at a journeyman level in all these fields does not necessarily indicate that we are not serious about our prognoses."
A correct statement. The operative word in it is necessarily. That's by way of saying: Can you acknowledge to yourself that you're astoundingly, probably impossibly, behind schedule in your preps -- and then stop right there, and take a breather, and let it sink in. If so, then you've passed phase I of "Coming To Terms With What Could Be Coming." However, most people can't get past this one. Instead of pausing to take a breather, and looking into the Heart of Darkness, they immediately fill the deafening silence of the frightening implications of their unpreparedness -- with a tailor-made prognosis of the future, which JUST HAPPENS to turn out to be a 2, or a 3, or even a 4, possibly a 5.
Now Al, I know we haven't agreed on the numbers -- but we can agree on what a zero or a 1 is. And we can agree on what a 10 is [or at least for the duration of this post, let's agree on what I just floated a few paragraphs back.] So when I say a 2, 3, 4, or 5 -- you REALLY DO KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS --- it means we'll all have heartburns of varying intensities, but as a nation, as a culture, as a lifestyle, we'll make it back on track some time in the reasonable future. We'll get back our cars, our A/C, our hi-tech medicine, our Internet, our cable TV, our cellfones, our cradle-to-grave Federal and State safety nets.
"On the physical level, I suspect that many, or perhaps most, of us cannot afford to do all the "sourceing" you refer to."
You may well be right there, Al. And you've got to have not only the $$$, but also the free time to build your systems --- I'm retired and that makes a big difference (altho there's more to my personal story, which I may spell out further down on this post.)
"For instance, from the research I have done, it appears that it would cost around $40,000-50,000 to set up an average house with photovoltaic power, not even including such things as space heating, air conditioning clothes drying, or water heating."
Ah now you're getting into interesting territory. I wrote a big thread on this very subject about a year ago --- wrote about how Y2K'ers and the alternate energy vendors were not talking the same language, so that the latter spec'ed out hi-end systems, WITH THE GOAL IN MIND OF PERPETUATING THE POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS' HIGH LIVING, ENERGY-GOBBLING YUPPIE LIFESTYLES (We're ALL yuppies, when we compare ourselves to what I grew up in in the Depression and my wife did up till the '50s in the rural South.) You're right on with your figures of $40-50k. When I quoted these numbers to the folks on the y2k forums last year they groaned in disbelief and went into brief Ventricular Fibrillation.
But then when I told them a much more APPROPRIATE system for Y2K would be to use their solar panels to drive an LCB (or similar "ARRAY-DIRECT" controller) for a water well pump, a few small LED task lights, radio communication gear, a colloidal silver generator, a very little else --- well their VF turned into Cardiac Arrest and that was the end of listening to kooky Doc Schenker and his off-the-wall advice. BTW, this system would NOT use large storage batteries, an expensive charge controller, assorted support gear, and a hunker DC-to-AC Inverter. Cost, figure $2000 to get you all you need (NOT want!) to help in your survival activities. If you want to add some batteries, get the large gel-cell type -- they're more expensive, but if you're a 'techie' you'll find them easier to use and maintain, by a LONG shot. Add $500 for them.
"Then of course, there are the cars. Have you priced a solar car lately? I don't have numbers on this, but I believe they are selling in the $80,000-100,000 range, and are rather limited in their power and range even at that."
Now, now, Al, you're playing games with me again. You know darn well that solar cars have nothing to do with nothing --- we're talking survival --- not the toys that Bill Gates and Paul Allen likes to play with and fantasize about.
"When you look at ONGOING costs for all this photovoltaic, Charlie Collins at www.mrsolar.com tells us that the long term costs of using photovoltaics, including purchase costs, upkeep costs, and replacement costs will cost a person approximately $.44 per kilowatt hour of power generated. This compares with $.055 where I live, in Oregon; $.025 where my son lives, in Washington;and, I'm told, up to $.15 more or less in parts of the eastern US."
Yes, Al, those are reasonable numbers -- but based on maintenance for the same Yuppie-style household I covered three paragraphs above. The solar panels will last longer than your lifetime. I've got some that were SURPLUS in 1980 (!) -- 20 years later they're still putting out close to their rated power. The LCB are built by Joe Bobier of Sun Selector, a great guy, who's stood behind his products for 2 decades. They're built to last (but I'd buy one for backup, just in case.) The gel-cells will last you 5 years, then they're kaput, and you're back to an 'array-direct' system, which means you'll only generate power when the sun shines. Could be worse. And that's it for the maintenance problem and associated costs.
Hey, Al, you like $.025 in Washington State? So did I when I lived there for 13 years. But I liked even better having my alternate energy system, which would have kept me alive had Y2K hit in 1990 instead of 2000.
"Needless to say, moving to a new location is also financially overwhelming to the vast majority of people"
Needless to say, it was 'also financially overwhelming' to my relatives in a certain mid-European country in the early '30s. They ended up not having to foot the bill for their relocation. It was paid for by their national railroad when they were relocated to 'modern' buildings, constructed just for them, in distant parts of their country. They even got a chance to get showers, altho they were the kind you only took once.
"If a person were SURE that we were going to have y2k problems resulting in total loss of the power grid for more than a few weeks, or perhaps months, it might be prudent to invest that much in your power source, if you have that much to invest."
Can't argue that statement.
"But another alternative is to do without electric power altogether. I have personally lived for a few years without power, over twenty years ago, and, while doing so creates its own set of challenges, it can be done, within certain limitations. So perhaps the best path is to prepare to the extent that is PRACTICAL, not necessarily to the level which is POSSIBLE."
Yes, it's not a lifestyle I would enjoy, but as you experienced it's doable. I have great respect for you and what you did back then.
"Personally, I have been living with alternative energy, for a significant part of my needs, for 24 years, and it has necessitated much research and constant learning. But I don't think I could have become as knowledgeable and self sufficient as I am by suddenly "trying" to prepare myself for a disaster of uncertain severity, in a period of only a couple of years."
I couldn't have said it better myself. You are in a very special class, Al. You are a good deal on the way to what Countryside Magazine calls a homesteader. I was on my way to it in the '80s when my (now ex-) wife told me, "If the world is going to turn into what you're planning on, Bill --- I don't want to be around." And she was right, she isn't.
"I hope I'm not coming across as confrontive, Bill, though I think I tend to write that way. I think your posting makes a lot of valid points; I just wanted to add my perspective."
Well, you and I have come a long way in this interchange. I believe it is of real value to both of us, and to a whole HORDE of lurkers reading it. Thanks very much for your interest, sharing your experiences and opinions with candor.
Atta girl! I continue to be more and more impressed with how those of your gender (Howzat for pomposity?) take hold of the issues at hand, with courage and a clear head. Would there were more guys doing the same.
Well said, and well quoted, Mumsie. After spending the 1st 40 years of my life as an atheist, I appreciate how tough looking into Y2K and The Darkness must be like if you don't have the Old and/or the New Testament, or some other spiritual guideline for support. The lack of it comes thru in the bitterness and rancor in so many of the y2k forum posts. There will be a settling up time.
We have a lot in common, gal. But in addition you've got some real Buccaneer in you, don't you! Say if you end up in Costa Rica try to have an HF ham rig going so we can talk post-y2k. Good luck with the flight.
"It's more likely their degree of prep is related to their true sense of the degree of disruption they are likely to face"
I believe that's true for the people who are honest with themselves.
"There is no need to belittle those who are less able to pay the price financially, and who no longer have the luxury of time to learn the technical skills you are so proud of. "
Did I come across as belittling the financially and time-frame-wise less able? Uh, oh. That's the hazard of conversing without the benefit of face-to-face, or at least voice-to-voice contact. What I did 'belittle' were those who, acknowledging they are unable to meet their optimum goals, commence to 'whistle in the dark,' telling themselves and others --- "Hey, as unprepared as we are, we'll come up with the ingenuity to get it all together when the chips are down." What I get into a fit about is their relying on Fix On Failure as a legitimate strategy in what may be coming down the pike -- instead of being straight with themselves and saying, "Hey, all I can do is all I can do --- the rest is up to God (or Fate if that fits better for you.)"
And did I come across as so proud of my technical skills? Uh, oh, again. How's this for balance? ---- I don't know ANYthing worthwhile about animal husbandry, sewing, cooking, plumbing. I know very little about herbals, and farming/gardening (except about fruit trees and nut trees --- we had a commercial cherry orchard in eastern Washington for 13 years, and I nursed a section of various nut-bearing trees for 7 years --- they finally fruited the summer we sold the farm! Never got to eat a nut one. But there's nothing in commercial agriculture that's of any value for subsistence and homesteading gardening. That's a whole new ballgame.)
"I, due to my lack of skillsets and financial wherewithal, will be taking the less technical approach. No electricity. If conditions turn into a 10+, and electricity goes down and isn't reestablished, then I'll have a head start on what those with generators/solar will eventually face when equipment/fuel cannot be replaced: no electric. Actually, if this is the case we will have haz/mat and nuclear disasters all over the landscape...rural/burbs...it won't matter...there won't be anywhere far enough. Bugging out is a joke. And anywhere that you feel is out there far enough probably is sitting right on top of a major oil/gas pipeline or nuclear/haz/mat dump...or your river or aquifer is underneath one. Better have some testing gear for those wells. "
I think you're talking a lot of sense, Shelia. My thing with alternate electricity is 1) I want to 'ease myself into' a more primitive lifestyle, and 2) I've LOVED gadgets, electrical and mechanical, all my life --- it's sort of an addiction. It just happens to come in handy if Y2K turns out bad.
"I personally don't think it's going to be worse than a 4 or 5 re: electricity (area outages lasting weeks, brownouts, rolling blackouts, and a resultant much less stable electrical infrastructure). What I am more concerned about is the probable recession/depression we could have. For this I can prepare and even to some extent source"
And you may be right in your prediction, in which case you'd be right about you're level of preps.
"There has never been a social structure in which division of talents, knowledge, labor did not factor...I don't expect things to suddenly change in this respect."
That certainly seems like a reasonable statement to make, based on the history of what we called the 'civilized world,' over the last maybe 3 or 4 millennia. But according to relatively recent archaelogical research there appears there have been entire cultures which did just that -- like disappeared, many millennia ago. And then there's always the story of Noah. But accepted wisdom in our culture is that's merely a myth, suitable for young children and old men.
No, most people "don't expect things to suddenly change" in this respect." What we've peeked in on here is the very interesting subject of continuity vs. discontinuity in history. But that's to talk about in another day, another thread.
"So, I'll trade you what I know about solar cooking/water purification, herbal remedies and maybe you could build me that vertical blade fan for those hot summer nights in Texas when there is so little wind you think you'll suffocate. "
Hey, now you're talking, Shelia. We might make a deal there. But with time short as it is, we may have to continue the mutual technical sharing via HF ham radio --- got a rig? And yes, as a matter of fact, I've got a carton of EXTREMELY low drain 12vDC muffin fans, which do a great job cooling my shop, using a small solar panel. The fans draw about 100 to 200 Milliamperes. A panel 12"x12" handles that just fine. And if I want to get fancy I can charge up my "D"-cell nicads and use them to get the cool breeeze during those long still Texas nights. Oh, and do I remember them during my training in WWII while stationed at Camp Hood, in Killeen!
Good talking to ya, pardner.
Tnx for filling in the details on Cory's beat.
If I were 40 years younger I'd start pen-palling with you. (Actually I'm marrying a senior citizen tomorrow, who's got hold of the same Reality you're describing.) You got it right -- a lot of right hemisphere stuff to allow the comprehension that left hemisphere, rational, linear, digital activity continually pfumpfers on.
Yeah, those T&L storms were rare during my 13 years in the Bay Area. I love those kinds of storms (but I'm having our log home rigged for lightning protection next week --- had two direct hits last month -- we live on top of a ridge.) Also love Big Winds. Also of course Big Snow Storms (Only thing I miss living in the South are my beloved Sierras and Rockies --- a romance of 35 years.) You lurkers wondering what has this got to do with Y2K? You think this is another OT thread? Yeah, well stick it up your nose!!
Divine laughter? Yeah, baby!
You're quoting one of the few liberals I ever got to admire while living in Washington State. Used to camp with our Boy Scout troop near his old stomping grounds.
Thanks for providing a wonderful example of what I'm talking about re Y2K preps. Weren't those threads on the old Gary North forum a gas!
Yeah, John, the first (very normal) reaction to getting the news that you have cancer -- is to get REAL mad. Then gradually you can move into the other stages. And finally you can achieve inner peace. It comes. I've seen it a lot in my 30 years of practice.
"of course my plan is a FOF. Can't be otherwise unless I cash it all and go to the hills and live on what $10,000 will bring me, and what craftiness of skill and age can manipulate. Not a good thought. (I suspect I am in the vast minority reading this page.)"
You'd be surprised how many may be lurking this page (and posting on other threads) who have settled for FOF --- but with a difference that separates you as wheat from chaff: many of them have that feeling of self-satisfaction that comes with believing they have 'played it smart' -- 'have your cake and eat it' -- 'play it down the middle and cover both bases.' Starting in 4 months we'll get to see if Bugout works.
Very good post, Cath (Anybody who generally agrees with me I always consider very smart.)
"I feel that a barter system will allow us to compensate for the skills that we, as individuals, lack."
We took a look at post-y2k bartering about a year ago. Most felt as you do. My take: to barter properly you need to have enough people living within walking distance, or bicycling distance, TO HAVE A MARKET. If the population density thins out too much, bartering fades away -- 'it takes 2 to tango.'
"my medical skills (you and I share the same letters after our names)"
You must be young -- all the old crock docs of my generation I talk to live in LaLaLand, a planet where Y2K disasters have been made ILLEGAL. Glad you're aboard -- it could be a wild wild ride.
"if we can't work as a community and redevelop society, I fear that the human race is lost. "
No, Cath, only the 'civilized' world is lost. Which might be a good thing for the rest of the, 'uncivilized,' world. Remember, it's us 'civilized' guys who have produced NBC warfare techniques; massive air, water, land pollution; massive deterioration in the quality of our soil; massive soil erosion; escalating crime in the streets, on the highways, and in the schools; and we've even produced a president who's re-writing Webster's dictionary of the English language; and he's in office because a majority of us put him there.
Cath, do you have the time and wherewithal to get a ham radio ticket? -- we could use you for our Y2K medical net.
THANK YOU ALL FOR ANSWERING MY POST --- IT DID STRIKE A CHORD AFTER ALL.
-- William J. Schenker, MD (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 10, 1999.
Bill, I have appreciated your frequent enlightening posts and the encouragement they have given me. However, this post of yours I did read at the end of the Vern thread, and it distressed me then and it does now. As a couple of replies have already said, there are some of us who GId late, because we didn't HEAR anything earlier and didn't have earlier access to the Internet. But when we did, we went gung-ho into doing whatever we could fast and furiously. We are attempting to survive the worst-case scenario by learning the mere basics possible in such a short time. A post like yours, though unintended to do this, discourages anyone from preparing at all. It feeds the "why bother" mentality we've seen recently expressed on other threads. Can you imagine a total-newbie reading it? I think we need extra sensitivity at this late and frightening stage. Thanks for listening.
-- Elaine Seavey (Gods1sheep@aol.com), September 10, 1999.
Thank you for the very thoughtful post. Yep, you are in a tough position. And it's NOT because you are a denialist --- you just didn't find out till recently the potential seriousness of the problem. And here I am pulling the rug out of your preparation MOTIVATION.
What can I say in my defense? Not much, but I'll try.
First let me cut/paste this from my lead post:
"The bulk of the posters here and on other y2k sites on the other hand have flinched, and blinked."
Second, I ask you to look at the 1st two words in that sentence -- The bulk. That's essentially my alibi: I didn't lump EVERYBODY into the category of those who knew all along, or very early, of what Y2K could mean for our culture, but nevertheless temporized. True, I didn't specifically address myself to the Newbie category. I guess I need to, and your post calls me to that account. Having done with my defense, now I need to address more specifically your (and maybe many more others' in the same category than I realized) dilemma.
Many of us knew back in '97 it would come to this eventually: people who have the right attitude, who do NOT have their heads in the sand -- but who just found out too late to do the massive preps that are warranted (if one is planning for a Really Bad One.)
That is why at that time I advised various high profile guys who were putting out the early warning signals (In the way of pamphlets, books, and websites) NOT to implement a significant part of their strategy. That strategy was based on (paraphrased):
"I know how bad it may well get, but I don't want to paint too discouraging a picture -- so I won't 'tell it 100% like it is' -- but rather 'sugarcoat' it a bit. That way I can keep them in the fold, and in the long run help them out more than if I blurt out 'the whole truth and nothing but the truth' -- and shock them into disappearing into total denial."
I felt that policy would cause less pain initially, but eventually the chickens would come home to roost and cause an anguish much deeper. I think my prediction may be coming true.
As a metaphor for the above let me tell you a story from my life as a doctor. It's one of the most painful of my career, and all the more so because it was so early, when I was still an intern.
I was rotating thru Surgical Service (which I hated -- never liked the sight of blood!), and had the duty one night when the ward nurse called me and said a Mr. X was screaming out with pain, would I please come down and authorize a shot of painkiller. I got down to the ward shortly after, and found Mr. X, in his sixties, writhing in pain in his bed, pleading for a shot to give him relief. I checked the order sheet quickly and sure enough sure there was an order: "Do NOT give pain medication."
Now because of lack of experience, my utter lack of knowledge about the case (which I didn't read up on -- I was too distracted by Mr. X screaming in front of me -- and therefore didn't investigate WHY that 'no pain shots' order was written), and my 'extra sensitivity' [I'm not being facetious in quoting your words -- that trait has caused me all kinds of grief in my life because of certain decisions I made as a result of that trait.] -- because of all that, I ordered the shot of Demerol, and within minutes the patient calmed down and thanked me, as did the nurse. And I likewise, reassured all was right in the world after all, I returned to bed and slept an uneventful rest of the night through.
Early in the morning however, I got a call from the Chief Surgical Resident -- would I immediately come down to the ward. When I got there the Chief gave me the 'good news.' Mr. X had died in the night of a perforated gut or maybe it was an abdominal aorta rupture. It was this condition that he and his staff were monitoring, and the onset of sudden pain was to be the signal for them to surgically intervene.
Elaine, that experience I'll never live down, nor ever forget. And because I will never forget, it's a little easier for me to 'be straight about it' when the situation is serious enough. Not that I'm a natural confronter. Actually I'm a natural coward as my new wife-to-be (Tomorrow's the wedding.) frequently observes -- I hate to 'bargain' with anybody, or call on the carpet service people who have screwed up. Jean has no trouble being the tuff guy.
So here we are, Elaine, with less than 4 months to go. What are my parting words? Hang in there, Elaine. Do what you can do. Face up to the Darkness --- I'll bet big bucks if you keep looking into it, you will come back out, with a strength that will get you through a bunch of things that may be coming down the road.
Another thought. Elaine, with all my fore-knowledge, and with all my preps I haven't even got my water source secured yet. I've re-located 5 times in the past two years, all because of Y2K, and because my ex-wife stonewalled my every Y2K prep. Cost me dearly in money, time, and energy. I'm now trying to cobble together my fifth y2k homestead. Not much time left and a whole pile of jobs undone. Besides the uncompleted water sourcing, haven't got the wood stoves hooked up yet, haven't laid in a supply of coal or firewood, haven't got our root cellar built yet (doubles as a tornado shelter), haven't got ANY gardening installed yet, haven't re-assembled my solar electrical system yet. Haven't got any spare change to do my preps with (The divorce took up a lot of THAT slack.) -- still waiting on some new money to come in.
Still another thought. Consider that if I get all the preps done I plan on, I become the focus of a LOT of envy among my neighbors. My family and I may end up casualties a lot sooner than you --- I call it 'acute lead poisoning' -- getting on the wrong end of a shotgun, a rifle, or a handgun.
Then there's the fact that "Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans." I like to call it Cohen' Corollary to Murphy's Law. Serendipity, or Fate, may reign -- or God may have other plans for you and yours and me and mine. You may survive, I may go down for the count, because of who knows what other myriad possibilities.
And finally, we extreme doomers could be wrong. The new millennium COULD end up as benign as the Pollys predict.
May God bless us both,
-- William J. Schenker, MD (email@example.com), September 10, 1999.
For the love of GOD William, MD.........SHUT THE HELL UP!!! You talk toooooo much. You can tell an egomaniac who didn't get enuff attention as a child by the way he rambles on and on and on and on!
-- Jack Mercer (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 10, 1999.
Jack...you can also tell when someone was not raised well by their rude and arrogant ways.
Do not presume for a moment that you speak for others. As someone posted earlier, kill your mouse and be free to read what you wish, but do not pompously impose your views on us. (Hint, ...you are not omniscient or omnipresent; therefore, you are not omnipotent!) Who is the true egomaniac here?
-- Mumsie (Shezdremn@aol.com), September 11, 1999.