Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tractor Time - Wait for It

I know not the usual style of the other Tractor Time posts but an entertaining picture none-the-less.

Heading down almost to Arkansas today so I thought a good look at an Arkansas swimming pool would be in character. I doubt I will be back before 10PM at the earliest.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Another Step Down, a Real Life Economic Collapse and Daily Ramblings

An interesting development with this new Greek election isn't it? I been watching and reading and I am wondering if this isn't a sign that the next step in our long slow stairway of collapse isn't coming soon.

After the lies, brutal taxes, falling jobs and velocity of money, crumbling infrastructure and other steps down eventually we run into the the default stage. The default stage is simply once the people and the elected leaders figure out that they don't care about the debt and they don't have to repay it. Once they begin to default things become interesting and there is simply no telling where that merry go round will stop or who will ultimately get burned.

I also came across this article over at the Dailysheeple today.

This is what a Real-Life Economic collapse looks like

I find this article very interesting because, well, simply put it pretty much says the same thing I been preaching for a few years now.

If you ain't homesteading and producing, you ain't really prepping to survive. You are simply a hoarder and deluding yourself.

I can only suggest you read the article. It is well worth your time even if you don't agree with me.

Besides normal routine chores I spent today banging in 50 some new T-posts for the temporary fence. I am way short on electric fence clips though not that it matters much as after getting all those posts pounded in I didn't have time to do much else anyway besides put up the panel for the charger and get the ground rod sunk. I will need to go pick upa  few bags of new clips tomorrow I guess.

Looks like our beautiful weather is going to come to an end tonight and be back down into the 30's and below starting tomorrow for a good while. One reason I had to get the posts put in today as I wanted to get it done before the ground freezes again. Once I get some more clips and string up the temporary wire I can begin ripping out the old fence and the cold won't matter then.

I then had a guy come by to look at some of last years lambs because he said he wanted some breeding ewes. The guy was from some Middle Eastern country of which I didn't ask but he immediately kinda put me off when he said the new lamb/ewes (what do you call a ewe too young to breed but not a lamb anymore?) should have been bred this Winter. We never breed a ewe before she is at least 16 months old that's just wrong and it really hurts them in getting their full growth potential in.

Anyway so this guy is looking at all my ewes and rams plus the few slaughter whethers I have left and then turns around and offers me 20K for the lot. All of them... Needless to say I declined his offer. As a lot purchase it wasn't so low as to be insulting but well I would have to start over and all that....ya know...ya.... that's my story and I am sticking with it.

I think I will wait and just take some to market next week.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!

“What can you store?” is not the answer to this conundrum.
“What can you make?” – that’s the answer.
Your focus has to be on long-term sustainability, frugality, and self-reliance.  Don’t get me wrong – a stockpile is sensible and an important course of action. It should definitely be part of your preparedness plan.
- See more at:
“What can you store?” is not the answer to this conundrum.
“What can you make?” – that’s the answer.
Your focus has to be on long-term sustainability, frugality, and self-reliance.  Don’t get me wrong – a stockpile is sensible and an important course of action. It should definitely be part of your preparedness plan.
- See more at:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blade Mode

I had to make a quick work run into St. Louis this morning but I had the afternoon free to start moving equipment around and figuring out how I was going to fit the 861 into the barn. I also needed to figure out what I was going to use each girl for as things progress so a bit of test driving was in order.... Wink..Wink that's my excuse anyway. I also needed to do a bit of maintenance on the 8N as well.

The wildly warming and falling temps has caused a fair amount of moisture (ie Water) to build up in the sediment bowl on the 8N so I needed to clean it out.

After running the two girls around a bit I finally decided the 861 was geared so low and tended to jump easier when the clutch was let out that the 8N would do a better job for driveway snow removal. At this stage I needed one of the girls with the blade on in case we get snow and to begin pulling some fence posts and ripping out that old fence line. Since there are no corner posts to rip out I decided the 8N would be the blade tractor for the time being. The 861 is heavier and has a much higher maximum lift on the three point but I think the 8N should be able to handle the post removal as well and it won't rut out the driveway either.

There other big difference I noticed between the two is that although the 861 likes to jump easier at take off she also settles down to a much slower ground speed when needed without wrapping the engine out as much. Because of this I think the 861 will now become my main brush hog tractor and I will probably use her in post hole drilling mode as well and sickle mowing when the time comes.

So the 8N got the blade and was then moved up to the front of the barn where I can easily pull her out for snow removal while the 861 now get's the former 8N's home in the back.

It's hard to believe by looking at the two of them next to each other that the 861 is so much more powerful and heavier. The only hint I see from the side is that you can see barn through the top of the engine compartment on the 8N while the 861 is totally filled. From the back you can also tell the 861's tires are almost half again as wide as the 8N's.

While I had em both out my neighbor pulled in on his Big New Holland and was all over the 861 reminiscing about the good old days LOL. He told me he saw a gas one sell at an auction last Summer for $4300.00 in about the same body shape overall, so I am feeling pretty good about my deal right about now.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

The 8N has a Big Sister

We went and picked up the "new" tractor today. A 1962 Ford 861 Diesel. Purchased in Hannibal, Missouri new off the lot with power steering, Live PTO and external hydraulics. The 860's and 960 Powermasters were the largest most powerful Ford tractors you could buy that still came in the old red and gray color scheme, after these "01" series models Ford went to the Blue and White scheme. 48 horse power off the three point, 60 HP engine output and supposedly rated at a maximum 1200 pounds lift from the three point but I don't plan on ever testing the seals that high myself.

On the way home with her we stopped a couple of times to check the tie down straps and at each point we had an audience coming to check her out. Two gentlemen even told me Ford never made a diesel before 1965. They were really surprised when I told them they actually made an LP version of the "01" series as well.

The LP version is next on my list :)

Finding an old reliable diesel tractor around here is next to impossible. Finding one you can drive on to the trailer and drive off for under $2500.00? Well I couldn't turn that deal down. I could more than likely turn around and resell her right now as she sits for double the money. I haven't seen a small diesel go for less than 4K in years and those were in much worse shape and much harder to find parts for.

She has some rust but nothing that can't be fixed. The Red paint on the body parts tends to fade and rust faster than the gray so most of the red is gone. There is one lug on the back right side rim that is broken off and the starter button was replaced without removing the panel so it has to be twisted with a pair of vise grips sometimes.

Other than that she runs like a friggin top. Starts right up, I have even personally seen her start at under 15 degrees without being plugged in only waiting about 30 seconds for the elements to heat up.  The seat has been bounced around in so much that I am going to have to figure something out because I am much longer legged than the former owner and it's damned uncomfortable for me to operate her as it is. The throttle also tends to power down from the vibration so I held her back with a bungee cord. 

I plan on slowly getting her repaired, repainted and cleaned up. Compared to how much use she has been put to on a  regular basis this place is going to feel like a retirement home to her and she even has her little sister to share the duties with.

Tomorrow I will begin trying to figure out how I am going to stick her into the barn.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Reading - Friggin Rain

No matter how hard I try to remember how bad drought is or tell myself I am not going to complain about rain it always puts me in a bad mood. Rain always interrupts my plans and it always seems to come at the most inconvenient times. Although I guess to be fair there rarely is a convenient time for it unless it's at night and even then I would more than likely complain about the mud the next day.

If you can't tell it's been raining here lightly all day. Just enough to make everything wet and keep me from doing anything useful or pressing and to make matters worse the weather people keep promising it's going to stop any minute now. They been saying it all day. Even now the radar tells me it isn't raining while if I step outside I find out they are lying.

The thaw we been getting for the last couple of weeks has made the ground pretty wet anyway. We haven't had much rain this month and even though it has been warm it hasn't been warm enough to really dry the ground much so this day long drizzle has made getting off the gravel or well compacted roads impossible which also pretty much killed my wood cutting plan for the day. No big deal as I still have plenty in reserve or needing to be split but every time I go out to do it it starts raining harder.

I try to change my attitude towards the stuff, I really do but it never works. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the forecasters weren't so often wrong and I could make myself trust them more but 7 out of 10 times they say it's going to rain it never does so I end up ignoring their forecasts and then get disappointed when I find out they were right for a change.

To make matters worse I was stuck inside and kinda suffering from a bit of writers block as well. Bored and irritable and just hopeful enough the rain would stop that I didn't start looking for something else to do.

Rain. Something to complain about when it happens and when it doesn't. It's kinda like dating an exotic dancer when your young. Annoying if it goes on too long but ya sure as hell miss it during the dry spells.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Random Notes

I updated a couple of links to other bloggers who had created a link back or needed moving to other sections.

I also noticed that the blog "Gates of Vienna" was still up. I used to read that blog every day religiously and then I swear it closed down and was gone for good a couple of years back. I saw it linked from another site recently and put a link back up for it. Not sure how I missed it's return. If you are not familiar with that blog I recommend checking it out.

The next several days are going to be really busy ones as I have a couple of out of town trips to take up until Wednesday and then another on Thursday. One of which is to go pick up the "new" tractor. One way or another I will be attempting to post daily as usual but they may be quite brief.

I have also started tinkering with the fiction again. Just catching up right now but the fiction section has been sorely ignored this Winter due to other unforeseen projects. I have received a couple of emails and a comment or two about why I have been so lax there and I hope to remedy that situation.

It seems like we have been getting our annual false Spring a month or so early this year. Usually it happens in February but this year it came in January. The nice weather has really pressed me for time as I try and put it to good use not to mention the extra duties of suddenly finding myself the primary care giver for the entire sheep flock and useless nags.

Anyway just some random info. Saturdays seem to be the best days to do these announcements as  views and comments always seem to be down on Saturdays.

More to come later.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Signs of Decline

I kinda make it a point to note what others are talking about each day and by a rule if I read or hear three (or more) comments about the same subject in a  short period dealing with our decline I try and write about it.

I think it was just yesterday that Rob posted something more about the price of hamburger and beef, then this morning I saw Carolyn posting about it as well. Then after getting called in to work my partner I was assigned to drive with today was complaining about the high price of beef as well.

Just another sign of the decline my friends.

Many of us preppers figured out a few years after 08 that this wasn't going to be the fast slide so many doomers thought it was going to be. Nope we are in a slow grinding collapse that has been going on for damned near eight years now and hasn't shown signs of slowing down at all from my observations. The only real bright spot I have seen has been this latest drop in oil prices which has temporarily given some of us a little bit of a breather. The truth is it has been happening just as many (including myself)  once called it....

A slow inevitable decrease in our living standards while the government continues to grow and gouge us with more taxes, fees and fines.

The beef prices are just another step down in our gradual decline of life quality. We will slowly, by gentle degrees, be deprived  of things we used to consume or use daily. They won't suddenly stop but will ever so slowly be priced out of our range never to return.

Many will think that once oil prices decline so should the prices on beef or whatever but this long slow collapse doesn't work that way. It isn't a supply and demand economic issue as much as it is a long chain of "Just in Time" inventory issues that never reset at the same levels. Once markets reached beyond local production we left simple supply and demand behind.

Globalization is just as much a cause for high prices as oil or drought.

Increased beef prices due to drought and high oil costs caused ranchers to decrease their herds or go out of business. Trucking companies in turn declined by not replacing trucks, employees or went out of business themselves. No matter what the demand is or was it would take literally years for these middle-men to regain capital to re-invest in these endeavors. We have lost our supply chain and I doubt we will ever get it back.

That's the magic of the slow grinding collapse. Things happen at the speed of tectonic plates rubbing together but once the territory is lost it rarely comes back.

Volatility and an ever changing reality on a slow scale is the way of life we face until the final straw lands on the proverbial camel's back.  Ever so slowly things will disappear from our lives due to costs or whatever reason never to return again. Today it's beef tomorrow it maybe chocolate or Bananas or Zantec or new cell phones.

We are being ground like corn under the heal of the welfare state, central bankers and their political partners,  all of it sold to us under the multi-cult banner, White guilt and feminism.

The point here is to remember what you have lost as we go along. Don't forget what you have been forced to give up because the powers that be are counting on the forgetfulness of the common man to keep this train wreck going. Recognize the decline in your quality of life and call it what it is. Prepare for what may come next and begin producing on your own. A simple stash of a year's worth of food and some ammo isn't going to be enough to get you through the grinder years and into the reset. This decline is set to take decades and will easily consume regular hoard type preps.

This is an entirely different animal than most survivalist types even considered in their worst nightmares. Plan accordingly.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Who is John Galt?

I remember a few years back after the company I worked for had come up with yet another scheme to remove some benefits and increase hours but present it in a way that was so confusing the average employee got lost trying to figure it out, I spent some time explaining what they were doing in layman's terms to several of my coworkers. More than a few didn't believe me because they couldn't wrap their minds around the numbers. I admit I didn't work with a bunch of brain surgeons so I expected that but after a couple of weeks when they finally saw what was happening one Woman in particular came up and questioned why if I could figure out management's obscure and vague explanation and see what would happen was I wasting my time driving a forklift around.

I simply said "Who is John Galt?"

It wasn't until the first part of the movies came out that she even understood what I meant by that but before I walked away from that job I did have the satisfaction of her stopping by to say she finally got it.

It's not that I am a big Ayn Rand fan. Personally I don't agree with some of her moral messages and I always found it humorous that she would condemn communism and accurately predict it's eventual ruination of our civilization while championing one of it's chief vehicles. She took a problem that she could see quite plainly developing decades before others could and over simplified it. Honestly though I think she simply under-estimated the number of Dagny-like hold outs, those who were capable but also couldn't walk away either. To many of them the trade off was still worth it. She also totally under estimated American ideology and bastions such as the Constitution that decreased the decline enough that many producers were caught like the proverbial frog in the boiling pot. Most importantly however she under estimated how powerful and all knowing the State would become and the alluring holding power of White guilt.

There is no Galt's Gulch because there is nowhere the government cannot find you these days so there is nowhere for potential Galt's to go.

However her prophesies are still coming true. Government is literally making their own Galt's every day using programs such as Affirmative Action, Hiring quotas, etc. which by pass ability for the perceived need of another. Government is also allowing our infra-structure to crumble while they complain about funds and take on initiatives they have no business getting into. 

I will use the Highway department of my Own state here as an example. Ever since they failed to convince the citizens to vote them a special tax it has been nothing but whining about money. Yet they still place 100K plus solar powered signs on the roads telling people to buckle up or hang up their phones while driving. There have been no cuts to bloated positions, no removal of high maintenance items with little payout nor attempts to fix the problem in anyway except to threaten the public with reduced road maintenance and snow removal.

Ayn Rand's prophecy was pretty much on track from the government and liberal socialist side of things. Why I can just hear every word the Golfer in Chief speaks like it's coming from Head of State Thompson or Miegs right out of her decades old novel. What Ayn got wrong was just who John Galt would be and how that persona would manifest itself. I submit that there are literally millions of Galts out there and growing.

The only real problem is there is no gulch for us to hide away in we have to settle for small bolt holes that stay under the radar so to speak.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!