Thoughts on the Future of this Forum Welcomed : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

It's well known that I still expect very serious Y2K impacts though I am SO happy about the "bump" to date and have lots of canned crow set aside for celebrations later.

But it's never out-of-season to discuss the future of this forum (and thanks to A.T. Hagan for a recent post here on the wisdom of prepping). You might want to go back and read my mission statement thread last week.

Like any Greenspun fora, this one will stay up as long as anyone is posting. Heck, people are still posting to the Titanic movie forum! The archives along are invaluable and will be helpful to me for years to come.

The more interesting issue, though, is what would draw you/me back here regularly (whether that is daily or monthly)? What can/do we want to do together on the subject of "preparation"? If, in the future, we are not "preparing" for Y2K, what are we preparing for? Or is the word "preparation" not the right one for the future (some other concept being more applicable)?

I suspect that this forum has always been centered, though humbly and practically, around the core question, "how would we LIKE to live our lives more peacefully, securely and happily?" That desire doesn't end with Y2K, whenever or however Y2K impacts may fall out over the coming months.

I have some additional thoughts on this, but let's get some discussion flowing over the coming days ......

-- BigDog (, January 03, 2000


I think it would be a wonderful idea to help people really put all those preps to good use..There is so much know how here to tap why let it go away... Not to mention the wonderful community you have put together. May I offer For those of you who have tons of instant mashed potatoes..they are very tasty made with canned milk and use powered ranch dressing (to your taste) when cooking them. Large five gallon pails make great patio containers for tomatoe, cucumber, strawberry. and many other types of plants. I drill holes in the bottom of mine but some small rocks for drainage will work as well. I hope this starts a roll as I could use alot of ideas myself.

-- jdrakester (, January 03, 2000.

BigDog, you have created a happy ambiance for this forum and I see absolutely no reason to criticize you now! It's always been a pleasure to come in here, sit down and take off my shoes, knowing I don't have to fight or flee becasue the barbarians have arrived at the gates.

At the risk of causing people to tear out their hair, I'm going to say it again--"it's not just Y2K"!!! CNN has just finished a long piece on the worldwide water crisis, for instance. There are other problems on the horizon, any one or combination of which could affect our lives. I hope the regular forum evolves into a place where such eventualities can be discussed and this forum evolve into a place where contingencies and preps can be discussed.

This forum is also the perfect venue for informing folks about new thingamajugs, such as the neat battery charger I got from Real Goods, which will charge all types and sizes of battery (except the hydride thingies) AT THE SAME TIME! It can keep us abreast of legislation that might affect us as we try to become more self-sustaining.

I say certainly let the forum continue. We may not pop in every single day, especially as spring gardening chores approach, but I, for one, will pop in more than once a week--probably more like three or four times/week.

Thanks for running such a good forum!

PS - jdr, may I suggest a separate post on your good suggestions so that people might more easily find them in the categorized archives?

-- Old Git (, January 03, 2000.

Change the name to a self-sufficiency forum. That is what it is all about anyway...


The Dog

-- The Dog (, January 03, 2000.

Hi Big Dog

I have so immensely enjoyed learning from all of you that I would hate to see this forum go. I really agree with the suggestion of how to keep using the preps we have. I need at least 100 new recipes for beans and rice!

Thank you for all your work here. My very best wishes to you and yours for 2000!

-- citygirl (, January 03, 2000.

All along, when I have spoken to people about prepping, I have told them that Y2K to me did NOT mean just the computer bug, but meant ALL of the many things that we still need to lead a preparedness lifestyle to meet properly. I still maintain this viewpoint, and will continue that myself.

Do hold onto your preps for awhile, because we don't yet know what may happen to the supply chain. Seeing what happened to Hershey, Revlon, Fruit of the Loom, etc., etc., and knowing that small businesses and suppliers may STILL not be able to deliver promptly, and knowing that the stock market bubble may still burst, causing a recession, we should still be being prudent. Saturday on "Inside Washington" (TV) my favorite member of the panel, Charles Krauthhammer, stated emphatically that he still expects a major terrorist bombing in the USA in a major city in the next few years. Today one of my execs called frantically on my voice mail even before I'd reached work, to say that an airline didn't have his reservation, when clearly American Express and I did have hard copies of got "lost" at the airline computers, apparently. That surely has to be a Y2K glitch... never, ever happened in my umpteen years of making travel for numerous execs. So don't let all of your guard down just yet, please. I love you all and want you kept safe!

BigDog, that is why we can still learn from one another. Although I am now in debt due to preparing, I have no regrets, and as soon as I can clear up that debt, I wish to continue to improve my preparedness lifestyle.

-- Elaine Seavey (, January 03, 2000.

[posted Dec 34 1999]

leave the forum up.

We just started the Year-2000.

Just because everything didn't collapse on 1/1/19100
doesn't mean that discussion of preps should stop.

the discussion should never stop.

-- plonk! (, January 03, 2000.

The more interesting issue, though, is what would draw you/me back here regularly (whether that is daily or monthly)? What can/do we want to do together on the subject of "preparation"? If, in the future, we are not "preparing" for Y2K, what are we preparing for? Or is the word "preparation" not the right one for the future (some other concept being more applicable)?

If it is technically possible to do so I think changing the name of the forum to the "preparedness forum" or even the "self-reliance" forum is a good idea. As we pass through 2000 the Y2K problem is probably going to become less and less of an issue, even if problems do occur. Changing the name will keep the subject fresher in people's memories. "Preparedness" is generally associated with more immediate problems and "self-reliance" is generally associated with long term problems and lifestyle choices but for the purposes of this forum they'd be largely interchangeable.

This has been a good forum, it's easy to use and fairly fast loading unlike some others. I suppose some folks may get tired of hearing me say it but the need to be prepared will never go away as long as natural and man-made disasters keep occurring. This forum can serve a useful purpose for a long, long time. I'm looking forward to being here.


The Providence Cooperative

-- A.T. Hagan (, January 03, 2000.

Frankly, I'd like to see both fora stay up, if for no other reason than the wonderful and wide-ranging tips, advice and "how-tos" available in the archives.

I told my Dad early last week that, in the event Y2K was a BITR, we should move ahead with installing a solar power system.

So much of what has been said here is just plain old-fashioned good advice and information and is valuable to any sort of lifestyle.

-- Vic (, January 03, 2000.

I like self sufficiency forum. It applies to those of us who live rural and those who live in high rises. And we certainly can use the recipes re beans, rice and TVP. It can be kind of like an on going daily CountrySide Journal full of life style tips to building a chicken house to making hamburger nuggets and jerkey. It can also maintain the connectivness that the members of the forum currently enjoy and value. Where else could you go and meet such a diverse and interesting and CARING and NICE group of people?

Taz...who is typing and reading and trying to weave a rug all at the same time!!

-- Taz (, January 03, 2000.

Hi BD--

Great question, and one that I have been thinking of over the past few (thankfully) non-eventful days. I have learned so much over the past couple of years as a daily lurker and infrequent poster. I will use the knowledge gained from this forum for the rest of my life. I will also always strive to be prepared for the unexpected--whether it be earthquake, civil unrest, or prolonged power outages (which we do have here!). I think that many people who stumble across this forum, as I did initially, will similarly benefit from this information.

As to what to name the forum--my suggestions:

Emergency preparation forum Self-sufficiency forum Country living forum Living more simply or All the wonderful people who overprepared for Y2K forum

Thank you for everything to all the wonderful people of this forum, I have no regrets!

-- Cath (, January 03, 2000.

What has been shared here, over the past months, has been much more than advice, tips, tricks and how-too. We have also shared of ourselves.

We all brought our concerns and cares here, and left them at the door. We where able to share of our trials (and errors), we cared for one another, and we understood how each other felt, without so many words needing to be exchanged.

I have sat at this keyboard in tears, uncertain about tomarrow, and found great comfort here in the familiarity of similar concerns.

Likewise, I have sat at this keyboard with my eyes filled with tears of laughter when someone shared the more "humorous" side of prepping. Will we ever forget Helen's billy goat or Taz's hobo stove experiments? :-)

Old Git makes some good points, as usual. For many of us, self-reliency has been a long term goal. We still have much to learn, and I have heard many speak of wishing to become less dependant on the grid, working towards renewable solutions.

For others, the seeds of desire to be more self-relienct are sown. (And for some of us, it is about time to be thinking about starting some seedlings in another month or so). Whether it is gardening, chickens, canning, solar systems or homeschooling, for lots of our fellows, new experiences are yet to be discovered. To leave those on the verge of spring babies and new gardens seems rather premature.

And, HELP!, some sharing of bean and rice recipts would be sooo nice.

I am also rather sure, that casting aside the necessity for being prepared against the effects of Y2K is very premature. We could very easily slide into a recession of some magnitude over the next few months. This, of course is yet to be known. Unemployment and inflation may yet impact many of us.

One thing we have all learned, city and country alike, we shall never leave ourselves and our families well-being to the whims of the unknown. We have had a crash course in the fragilness of our social institutions. These are not simple times we live in.

We where never doomers; this is indeed a community of optimists.

-- Lilly (, January 03, 2000.

BigDog, I can't begin to tell you how much this forum has meant to me. I sincerely want to continue to improve my self-sufficiency. I have no 'elders' I can go to to ask 'how did you do things then?'. I want to receive and give help from/to all on this forum. My life did not begin nor end with Y2k outcomes, but it did set me on a better path for the future. The name 'Preparedness Forum' is appropos, prepare specifically for what? Just look around everyday. My love and best wishes to all on this forum.

-- Sammie (, January 03, 2000.

Both throughout and after-Y2K impacts are known, here are some subjects beyond the ones we have ALREADY been discussing that might be interesting --

Alternative energy (we've done a little on this but not much)

Alternative schooling (home but not only home-schooling)

Using the Internet to enhance self-sufficiency (knowledge gathering in a more systematic way)

Enlarging the circle of self-sufficiency among neighbors and in our community

Making self-sufficiency FUN (perhaps the most important)

Taking small steps towards a philosophy of personal CONTROL over our technologies and tools

.... and so it goes.

A kind of poor man's "Whole Earth Catalog" in real-time.

-- BigDog (, January 03, 2000.

I agree with everyones comments above. I have been extremely thankful for this forum. I truely hope that it will continue. Having been in a few emergency situation during my life, I have come to realize the importance of preparedness. We will always be confronted with winter storms and other problems that we need to be prepared for. I enjoy the wisdom here and hopefully I can occasionally contribute some of the things I have learned. I vote to keep this forum going, whether under a new name or not. Thanks again.

-- Hope (, January 03, 2000.

I also have appreciated this forum...

Even though we've come through rollover okay, here on Kaua'i, we still have hurricane season, solar storm maximum, a meteor shower tonight, tsunamis (the last one was only 2" high!), earthquakes (rare, but we are living on a volcanic island!), neighbors who need help, unexpected guests, etc. The preps stay! Fresh eggs rule!!

-- Mad Monk (, January 03, 2000.

Why is it that all the dumb people I know thought nothing could go wrong from Y2K?

Hang on to those preps!

-- cgbg jr (, January 03, 2000.


this has been a great place for me for the past year or two, and I would hate to see it go down. As others have stated, there is a great deal of information on here that we might spend huge amounts of time attempting to learn individually.

There is an interesting dynamic that has developed on these boards. We have become a community of sorts, even though most of us wouldn't recognize each other of we passed on the street. If for no other reason, we need the forum to stay in touch. IMHO



-- gene (, January 03, 2000.

I like "Crisis Preparations" and "Self-Sufficiency" with the archives of the Y2K under one of those or similar titles. I had the rural get-away a year or two before understanding Y2K problems. The idea of being at the tag-end of the REA coop line and the telephone line was not the same blessing that getting "off the beaten path" was. So I began to think of solar power, etc. It never hurts to be prepared for more trouble than we expect next week, next month, etc. I have appreciated lurking on this forum for a few m

-- Jim (, January 03, 2000.

Big Dog and others:

I agree, this forum is a special and important place. I vote for "preparedness" or "self-reliance" as names that capture the main idea of the place.

As to the value of preps in a post-y2k world, let me just note that my partner, kids and I are now ready (in theory) to buy a plot of rural land (something we've always wanted to do), and live on it independently, in almost any structure, for as long as half a year. That we now have the skills for this (from homeschooling to baking bread) blows my mind! Y2k was the catalyst, but I have the prep forum to thank for showing me how to make it happen.

I'm a Big Fan of Big Dog's virtual community. Let's go on from here!

-- silver ion (, January 03, 2000.


This is the forum I would miss the most.

We talked about how much better it would be for our kids to live rurally....along comes Y2K and here we are in the country! We have a dairy cow, chickens and rabbits, plus dogs, cat and birds.

I still need lots of advice with gardening, canning, animal husbandry and maintaining sanity.

I still believe that these skills are desirable and wise.

Please continue this forum!

-- Mumsie (, January 03, 2000.

Big Dog,

Simple living never goes out of style, even if 98% of "the people" don't believe. There will always be a need to swap stories, fellowship,trade, argue, learn, teach, and just generally be a social being. To find a group of people willing to share and commit the time necessary to form bonds of friendship is a very precious thing indeed. This, I think, is the basis of a true community.

We have such a group of people right here on this forum.

Let's keep working on the development of our community.

-- Possible Impact (, January 04, 2000.

I think that the name should be Simple Living! The idea is not mine ... I just "jumped out at me" from another post.

-- Midnightmom (, January 04, 2000.

There is a tremendous wealth of knowledge on this forum on the subject of "Self Reliance" (my vote for subject head or keyword). There is also a tremendous community participating here. Neither the information, nor the community of interest and the friendly and co- operative spirit should be lost.

There is also (particularly on the other, unmonitored forum) a tremendous amount of drivel! My personal opinion is that "preparedness/self reliance" information should be copied from there to this forum, and then that forum should be closed off other than for people being able to download/FTP the files. Note that I am NOT saying destroy the information - there must be much there of historical interest. However, reducing the transaction processing load of these fora appears to have become desirable. Also, if we should be privileged to continue to have the services of those who have been monitoring this forum (smooch, smooch, suck, suck:-) or anyone else then I think it's only fair that we refine the focus and reduce the workload involved.

I would have to leave it to others (not generally relevant to me in Australia) to decide whether "Self Reliance" could also accomodate threads on "watch your back - the guvmint/big business are out to get you".

-- Don Armstrong (, January 04, 2000.

I have gained lots of very valuable information from this group and while dropping the 2000 specific identifier there are lots of other things to be prepared for.

There are too many kinds of emergencies to deal with to earn everything yourself. This forum is wonderful to be a gathering place for that information.

For example a couple of years ago we had a blizzard and due to the wind direction snow blew into the attic through the gable vents. We ended up with a foot of snow in the attic and didn't know about it until two days later when it began to melt. We then put in gable vent doors to close in the winter.

Leave this forum up so we can talk about problems and solution

-- Steve Cooper (, January 04, 2000.

Just wanted to register my votes to keep the forum perking along and if it gets a new moniker, self-reliance probably comes closer than any other in summing up the main interests discussed here.

And thanks, Big Dog and all the regulars here, for your many fine contributions.

-- Brian McLaughlin (, January 04, 2000.

A new name is possible, though I seem to recall it being a bear for Greenspun to change forum names, but, hey, it's 01/04/2000. "It's still Y2K".

I'm wondering which topics you folks are interested in (even passionate about) LONG-TERM -- rural living? livestock? alternative energy? tools? ham and communications? computers ;-)? security? ???

-- BigDog (, January 04, 2000.

IMHO, I think the concept of preparedness hits closer to home. In a sense, self reliance is almost an oxymoron. That is why we want and need this forum to stay active. Alone, without wisdom, without skills, without tools, without each other, we are simply vulnerable naked nomads (term borrowed from George Grant). Don't know how difficult changing the name is, but dropping the Y whatever might be good. Here, we exchange knowledge and pieces of our heart. We learn to prepare for change, for adventure, for loss, and for whatever may come. I know there are 'survival' forums, but to me, this forum is about much more than surviving. It is about being prepared for whatever may come, or whatever we choose to do, and 'thriving' in spite of the dips in the road of life.

I don't know if I have a particular passion to pursue on this forum. My questions and needs seem to just arise with day's challenges. Presently, I am just coping with post holiday/Y2K exhaustion. Any good suggestions for an invigorating tea or cleansing diet? Something to clear out the excess and thankfully unneeded adrenalin?

Thanks for sticking with us BD!

-- Mumsie (, January 04, 2000.

I vote for "Self-Reliance" rather than "Preparedness" -- the key difference between us and the pollies has been that we feel PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE for taking care of our needs.

OTOH, the masses are also concerned about 'preparedness' -- but that means to them to "make sure and get Congress to vote in enough money to enlarge FEMA, so that FEMA can take care of us when TSHTF." It also means to them to "make sure the Governor or the President has enough money to send in sufficient Disaster Relief (when the disaster we ostriched happened after all.)"

As for the continued need for the kind of info that's surfaced here in the past year -- it's only the tip of the iceberg. To properly become self-sufficient' takes 5 years minimum, 10 years more realistically (Ck that stat out with J.D. Belanger, the editor of the fine mag, "Countryside." His long experience confirms what the rest of us who've played with self-reliance for many years have discovered on our own.)

What's been written on this forum in response to the Y2K stimulus is only Chapter I.

God Bless all,


-- William J. Schenker, MD (, January 05, 2000.

Bill -- Important point. While most of us are thankfully aware of our interdependence with-and-on modern technology (think: Internet!), a self-reliant (and joyfully self-reliant) lifestyle takes years to develop and years further for "passing on" to others. The Prep Forum may perhaps be in its mere infancy.

Re self-reliance -- will be re-reading Emerson's essay on same in next couple of days and posting thoughts. If any of you want to join in a little online seminar, read! You can download from

-- BigDog (, January 05, 2000.

Big Dog et al, My vote goes firmly in the box for keeping the prep forum open.I'm not too sure though if changing the name to something like the Self Sufficiency/Self Reliant or Countryside Forum would be be entirely appropriate.Thinking over posts during the last year,it strikes me that not all of us are in a rural location & many of us would not hesitate to use utilities & services if they were available...which happily seems to be the case now.

A common denominator for us all is the desire for independence allied with curiosity.We seem as a group to enjoy the challenge of experimenting & learning new skills;we have the willingness to embrace new ideas & to pass on knowledge.

Perhaps we could name it after an individual, real or fictional,who has demonstrated those qualities.

-- Chris (, January 05, 2000.

What Chris (griffen) said...

I love this forum and would hate to lose it!

-- Deb M. (, January 05, 2000.

Chris -- Agree about urban/rural, this isn't a "country" board, though many of us, including me, are rural and doing homsteading-type stuff. Like idea of considering interesting names of "people" though it has to be "just right" in order to do it. Anyway, no rush on name changes at this time.

-- BigDog (, January 06, 2000.

I hope there's a consensus to keep the word "preparation" in the forum's title. "Preparation" connotes "do it now!" (or at least soon), a reminder we all need. Had it not been for Y2K I might still be thinking, yeah, it would be nice to have some solar panels/extra food/more varied garden/more hurricane supplies--TOMORROW. And I guess I'd like to keep the TB2K as well--a proud heritage, far as I'm concerned! If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

-- Old Git (, January 06, 2000.

BigDog, there is another offshoot benefit I can envision from this forum continuing as a preparedness forum. Having only become aware in 1999 of the possibility of becoming far more self-sufficient and prepared to meet life's emergencies than ever before, I have had almost no one with whom to share this perspective, this lifestyle. Here I have "met" in cyberspace such people, and I would like to pursue this even beyond the cyber meeting, and meet some of these good folk in person, and learn from them directly. Y2K made me aware also of the fact that I never did what I'd wished to do when my children were small and I couldn't do it due to my husband's calling: live in a more rural setting, while still being able to work at being self-supporting. That will take a lot of exploration, and I don't know anywhere else I'd rather do it than here, among people with whom I feel such an affinity.

-- Elaine Seavey (, January 06, 2000.

The "We Keep Ticking" Forum :-)

Joy and Love and Marvel to all of you!

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, January 07, 2000.

Far as I can tell there will probably be fires, earthquakes, strikes, huricanes, firings, floods, layoffs, accidents, tornados, and other itmes to prevent boredom in the 21st Century. Therefore the utility of this forum as an information source will continue to be valuable to those that are aware of the fact that disasters are a normal part of life and that the difference between a disaster and a problem is one's level of preparedness.

-- Ken Seger (, January 07, 2000.

I too vote that this forum continue. Whatever the name, its the participants that count. I have learned so much, from so many of you.

Whatever the future holds for us, I don't know of a better group of folks to prepare with.


-- Dian (, January 08, 2000.

BigDog: Looks like it is unanimous to keep things going here, and why not? I have consistently posted that we live our lives going from one uncertainty to the next uncertainty. Y2K for many of us was the first awareness of our dependence and the extent of that dependence, and self-reliance is the worthy goal to work towards in mitigating that dependency. Uncertainty, like the poor, shall always be with us.

On the renaming of the forum, I would note that this forum has already 'made a name for itself'. While I understand the points being made to change the name, the idea of 'branding' should also be considered - as a business would for example. This forum has a 'brand name'! I would prefer changing the mission statement instead and leaving the name the same because of this. The name itself has attained recognition and value over the months. In addition, this would probably be easier to do than have Phil get involved with a name change, and also it would keep the archives on other forums 'in sync'. People looking at older threads would be looking for the 'prep forum' and if the name is the same it will not be confusing when they get here. Just my two cents.

Gotta run now. I have other ideas as well regarding the subject matter and focus but that will have to wait for now. One question I do have for you BigDog is more on a personal level - that is, you are familiar with the things that interest me, the types of questions I tend to raise, etc., Any thoughts on if you see a place here for threads of that nature? Open-ended exploratory exercises in thought aka "Robs vexing questions"? Zero hard feelings if the answer is no. Just want your opinion.

-- (, January 08, 2000.

Over the past few years my family have been looking for something besides the run of the mill lifestyle. Our son is an Electronic Eng. and he too is looking. He loves the computer side of life, but says there is so much more. We think that a blend of the old and new ways will be the perfect match for our lifestyles. Yes I do like the ease of just opening a can of something, but when you go to a store, pick something up that is prepackaged, and don't have an idea of how to can or prepare this product for yourself I find that the price of that item can be whatever the company wants to set on that item. At that point you either pay the price, or do without. This forum has offered another choice. The do it yourself choice. And with that choice you gain pride and self independence.

We live just outside of a small town, and plan to move to an even smaller populated area in the next few years. If I can live the lifestyle I would like, it will include doing things for myself and my family. I like knowing what is in my food, and I like the self satisfaction of doing for myself. This forum has helped with that. There are so many ideas on this thread that one can use. Now yes I know that there are dozens of books out there on any number of subjects, but it is also the support of this group that gives one the courage to try to do these things. The courage to say I don't care if every person does not agree with doing things for oneself. Yes this forum is important, or you and I would not be here right now. We are all different people, with different lifestyles, but through this forum we connect, and that in itself is good. Keep up the good work people, and as long as the forum is alive, I will keep visiting and saying hello every now and then. Thanks for everything.


-- Beth (, January 08, 2000.

Rob -- Absolutely. While it is great to have a forum that shares bean recipes, "prepping" need not and should not be separated from the larger questions of "how should we then live?" Not least, as I've mentioned on this thread, we want to live joyfully "prepping".

Also, I have said on the other forum that even if Y2K were TEOTWAWKI, technology is our destiny. We are not returning to an Amish lifestyle. The question is, "how can we choose our technologies intentionally?" And, correspondingly (the question is almost the same for the 21st century, "how can we choose our lives -- that is, live intentionally?"

If we are unwilling to stress our gray matter with important questions such as these, however unanswerable they are in a formulaic fashion, then I wonder whether prepping is anything other than just another mode of consumer shopping.

My argument might be that, in 2050, my grandchildren should still be raising chickens and pigs; growing a fair portion of their own food (sure, let the robots do much of the weeding, though not all, weeding is valuable work too) and also taking awe-inspiring trips to the Moon. Why? What am I implying there? Is our culture heading in that direction or not? If not, why not?

Are these not, in a sense, prepping questions?

-- BigDog (, January 08, 2000.

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