Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
I did some painting in my Tucson house this weekend, in preparation for a final push to either find a 'short sale' buyer or lose it to foreclosure.Comments
It has been difficult looking over this place, and the literally thousands of hours of weekend sweat equity I have put into it over the last fifteen years, to know that it has all evaporated in this catastrophic market, and I will lose it.
Everywhere I turn, there is a project I completed at some point over the last several years.
I'm not losing a house so much as I am losing a significant portion of my life's work.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:55 PM | permalink
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I've had a lot of thoughts on my way home this evening. I'll see if I can put a tenth of it down before my fingers and eyes give out.Comments
I have been expecting and preparing for what is now happening since about 2004. Still every time I see a new manifestation of it, it shakes me up. It is almost as if at one level of my mind I don't totally believe it myself, until I actually see it.
Today I was approached at the gas pump by a young guy in a shirt and tie, asking me if I had any spare change.
I had *just* been thinking moments before, how nice it is to pump gas up in the foothills, because the chances of panhandlers hassling you for change is so much less, compared to down in Hooverville where we used to live.
(Damn my spidey-sense!)
I was stunned speechless for a moment, as I looked at him, and then back at my fuel pump. I really wanted to say to him, "dude, you at least need to put on some shit-encrusted clothing and grow a three-day beard before that line will work." Instead I just said "no-o!"--unable to contain the annoyed frustration I felt, it came through in my voice. He stood there with a look like I'd just shot his puppy. He didn't move until I brushed past him and got back in my vehicle, then turned back toward his green New Beetle Volkswagen, wiping his eyes, where his girlfriend (or ?) appeared to be trying to get a credit card accepted in the machine.
Card maxed out, huh? Tough times, dude. The time to start worrying about what is coming was years ago now.
We've been talking about the MZB problem, and the difficult issues they raise for preppers. I came face to face with a junior MZB apprentice today.
Of course I felt guilty afterward, like I always do when I turn panhandlers away. "Give freely to all who ask", but I can't seem to bring myself to do it, at least not in that circumstance.
But of course that got me thinking along the lines of how very few people really truly "get it", even now, and why? Why? Denial? Brainwashing brought from mindless entertainment--movies, games, TV, etc.--in the midst of a credit-fueled binge from the time such as he were tots? The gravy train is done, dude, and your dreams are toast! Time to sell that VW and the rest of your toys, move back into Mom's basement, declare bankruptcy if you have to, and figure out what you are going to do to feed yourself (and your Mom) in a post-prosperity world.
When I was 14, I watched my last episode of "Three's Company". I turned the TV off and never watched it on purpose again, except for September 11, 2001. I am so totally out of touch with the mind-numbing effects of TV that the vast majority of Americans have succumbed to. That's one of only a handful of explanations I have for why I've seen this coming for years and so very few others have. (And I feel foolish that it took me until 2004 to wake up myself.)
Today some poor twerp maxed out his credit card and couldn't get home. Tomorrow it will be people like him who ran out of food and will be begging in front of the grocery store.
Somewhere between here and there I need to steel-up a bit more.
I thought later about lines I could have used, but what for?
"What, do I look like an ATM?'
"You want change? Obama's got your change. He's got your hope too. Go ask him."
"Hey do I look like the guy to ask? I'm wearing Salvation Army and WalMart, I'm driving a twenty-six year old vehicle, and I'm losing fifteen years of sweat equity to foreclosure!"
That last is true, btw, though I have not previously discussed it here. It's either we get a short sale buyer in the next couple of months or the mortgage company takes it back. In either case, the equity has long since evaporated in this catastrophic housing market.
Good luck dude. You're going to need it. Perhaps tonight was an eye-opener for you and you finally grow the balls you need to make some radical shifts in your life in preparation for worse to come.
Me, I'll just go home, drink some, and worry about how vastly inadequate are the preps I do have, for what is likely to come. There is always a worse, worst case scenario to consider. Which is funny. Since I used to think of myself as a sunny optimist. Perhaps I am still an optimist. That's why evidence of the collapse takes me by surprise.
I used to have a regular reader here, whom I also read at her blog. We had a rather nasty falling out around the election of Obama. She was a giddy, head-in-the-clouds optimist and chided me for my pessimistic thinking. I told her that my preps were dual-purpose. Anything I did for the end of the world would just help me live a comfortable low-cost retirement if my worst fears never came to pass. Reality has finally caught up to her too, though. She had to move out of her beloved New York and is now living with in-laws, baby and husband somewhere in Pennsylvania. I don't know to what degree reality has set in with her. I try not to read her stuff too much anymore.
I'd better quit now, as the martini has taken full effect...
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:12 PM | permalink
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
You've heard the yakkity yak from the market talking heads about how the real estate market has stabilized, and prices have started to recover in some areas, etc. What the paid prevaricators are not talking enough about is what I have mentioned several times over the last year or so: Phase II of the residential real estate bust is yet to get going in earnest.Comments
Option ARMs Pose Mortgage-Default Risk in Housing Market - TIME
Is the option adjustable-rate mortgage the next subprime disaster? For anyone who remembers that souring subprime loans kicked off the real estate meltdown, that's a scary thought. Recent analysis from Standard & Poor's (S&P) anticipates that a full 37.5% of such loans (dubbed option ARMs) that were written in 2007, at the height of lax lending, will eventually go bad. The kicker is that most option ARMs undergo payment spikes after five years, which means the brunt of the impact has yet to be felt. That will change in late 2010, delivering another blow to the fragile housing market just as it begins to regain strength.
Kablooey! Take two.
And that is not even considering how the commercial real estate bust will take its toll.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:54 AM | permalink
Citigroup Warns Customers It May Refuse To Allow WithdrawalsComments
'Effective April 1, 2010, we reserve the right to require (7) days advance notice before permitting a withdrawal from all checking accounts. While we do not currently exercise this right and have not exercised it in the past, we are required by law to notify you of this change,' Citigroup said on statements received by customers all over the country.
"Oh please banksta massa, please lemme spend mah moolah!"
Cash. Commodities, supplies and equipment. And precious metals.
Money in the bank is not "money in the bank".
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:22 AM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:10 AM | permalink
Monday, February 22, 2010
MZBs: Are you prepared?
It's one area where I feel woefully underprepared. The worst part is, post-SHTF (total collapse) they will comprise maybe 95% of the population.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:03 PM | permalink
Sunday, February 21, 2010
...for the first of two solar chimney cooling towers.Comments
To bring y'all up to speed, last year I installed an evaporative cooling cell in the wall of my living room. Last summer I just used a fan set in front of it to bring air through the cell into the house to cool it. My plans have always been to eliminate the need for the electric usage of a fan, in order to have solar/wind driven evaporative cooling in this house in the summer months.
This construction will be a solar heated chimney that will draw air from the house as the heated air rises in the chimney. To add a boost for hazy or cloudy days, the top of the chimney/tower will be fitted with a 24" wind turbine ventilator. Between the two I expect that over half the air movement required to operate the cooling cell will be available 90% of the time that it is required. The second tower/chimney will be installed at the other end of the house (after I get proof of concept with this one), to complete the air movement system. Then to pull the plug on the final electric usage, I will hook up the evaporative cooling cell water pump to my solar electric system. The final result will be grid-free evaporative cooling.
To make matters even better, I plan to embed a flat plate hot water collector inside each tower in order to provide free hot water as a side benefit.
After all this I must get back to working on a grid-free heating system for the house. I just paid $400 a second time this winter for more propane. That's too damn painful, and I need to make it stop.
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:48 PM | permalink
New Way of Making Solar Cells Promises Cheaper Power | Science and Technology | EnglishComments
A new way of making solar cells promises a cheaper way to generate electricity from the sun and new ways to integrate solar power into other products.
When "they"* put their mind to it, "they" can create amazing things. I will be surprised if mass-market grid parity solar energy is not realized within the decade.
*("They" being my tribe--the engineers, technologists and inventors of the world.)
Now if "they" could get battery technology to catch up to the recent advances in solar technology.
Actually there is an older battery technology that has inexplicably been set aside in favor of other technologies, that I intend to convert my solar electric system to. It is quite pricey however, but the upside is that unlike most other battery technologies it is virtually immortal. Nickel-iron alkaline batteries do not degrade over time as do lead-acid, AGM, gel-cell, NiCd, NiMH, lithium, etc. For those of us looking at a potential long-term SHTF scenario, this longevity makes them priceless. I have a lot of pennies to save before I can purchase my 200-300 AH x 24 volt bank. But when I have it, I don't have to worry as much about overdrawing the battery bank occasionally. My AGM bank should not be drawn down below 80% charge for the best longevity. A nickel-iron bank can be drawn down substantially below that without permanent damage. So in effect, I would have a bigger effective battery bank even when rated at the same capacity.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:38 AM | permalink
Saturday, February 20, 2010
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:02 PM | permalink
Concerned about food supplies in a grid-down SHTF scenario? Want to do something to increase your food security besides stockpiling canned beans or MRE's? Grow a bread patch!Comments
First find a patch of waste land somewhere on your property. (This patch is inside my cat enclosure but back in the corner and presently unused.) Mow down any weeds, cut down brush and remove any small trees that are in the way.
(For now I just cut out the small trees. Except for one that I dug out, I will root the rest out another season.)
Till it up with your handy-dandy Troy-Bilt Horse tiller.
Till it again the other direction. The weeds and brush roots will get tilled up. You'll have to hop over the bigger stumps for now.
Spread soil sulfur and fertilizer, then till it again to mix in the amendments.
Lay out beds, sprinkle wheat seed over the beds, then till lightly (shallowest setting on the tiller) to finish the planting.
Water the whole thing in.
Or...wait for the rain clouds to do the same.
Then come back in three to four months to harvest!
Gene Logsdon would be proud.
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:01 PM | permalink
Friday, February 19, 2010
...nothing like it.Comments
How sweet it is to wake up out here.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:47 AM | permalink
Plane Crash Suspect's Online Diatribe - February 18, 2010
My first reaction upon reading this was to ask, who is really mad here? This man? Or the society he finds himself in where such bullshit as he endured is the norm?
I think The Ilk are wise to smell a skunk and question the whole lot of "coincidences" here.
Still, fukkem! If I didn't have a hope beyond the grave like this guy (poor atheist schmuck) and had been repeatedly backed into a corner like he was, I might cheer him on. As a follower of Christ, I cannot. "Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord", and he's got a whole boatload stored up for this wicked generation. I cannot exact my own vengeance. It is not mine to mete. I trust in Him and His eternal divine justice to punish this wicked Babylon that consumes our very marrow.
They can consume no more than that, however. Dead men owe no debts. I am dead in Christ already, and my transgressions against God have been canceled. When this mortal body dies or is transformed, wicked Babylon will have no further claim on me. This schmuck didn't have that hope, and so went out in a blaze of unrighteousness. And the unfortunate result will be that TPTB will use this to cancel more of our natural rights and liberties.
When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
Update: a couple more thoughts...
So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor.
Play the devil's game, pay the devil's due.
To you, Christian brother or sister, He said this:
“Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues..."The Amish are looking wiser and wiser every day.
Do you feel trapped by the system? Do you feel there are no choices, you have to play the game to live? Oh yes, the devil's honey is sweet in your mouth, but it leaves a bitter, bitter gall in your stomach! Life played by the bankster's rules is pleasant enough, for a time...until the truth sinks in.
Caesar's image was stamped on the denarius. They belonged to him, every one. Federal Reserve Notes are debt obligations. They are not a store of value as so many imagine. They are, every one of them, owed to the central bankers. They are not constitutionally legal money, backed by precious metals and issued by the US Treasury, as so many still believe. You are owned by a worldwide, private money cartel when you play by their rules and accept their debt obligations.
“Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues..."
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:22 AM | permalink
Thursday, February 18, 2010
This is a little bit off my usual range of topics, but I found this piece to have some valuable insight.Comments
Cause-Effect vs. Intention-Manifestation
One of the key models for goal achievement is that of cause and effect. This model says that your goal is an effect to be achieved, and your task is to identify and then create the cause that will produce the desired effect, thereby achieving your goal.Keep reading...
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:07 PM | permalink
I came upon this resource via SurvivalBlog (my source for so very much information!). This is an information library of over 200 .pdf manuals pertaining to various aspects of preparedness: Drum-Runners.comComments
I am thinking about featuring one of these manuals on this blog every few days as I read through them.
Would that be of interest?
Once I've exhausted these, I am also in the process of downloading (via bittorrent) an even larger library of similar material from another site (79 GB)!
My thinking here, is that most people, when confronted with a mass of information, go into shutdown mode and do not benefit from more than a tidbit or two before they move on. It takes having the material spread out, examined, critiqued and commented on one bit at a time for it to become useful. I have been doing this for some time now with the economic news (and other items) that James Wesley, Rawles posts on his site.
The thing is, his material often comes in the form of headline links. If I've learned one thing while blogging it is that most people do *not* follow most links to good information. It has to be quoted, summarized and discussed before it is absorbed by one's readers. So, while the links are available via SurvivalBlog, I'll bet that even those of you who also read over there, rarely click on the items he posts, no? It becomes a value-added feature when I pluck out the gems and discuss them here.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:47 AM | permalink
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Just How Ugly Is The Sovereign Default Truth? How Self Delusions Prevent Recognition Of Reality | zero hedgeComments
When psychologists evaluate human behavior, one of the most prevalent observations regarding any activity is the all too often flawed basis of perceived versus realistic outcomes that dictates our every action. As imperfect creatures, we tend to construct theories that conform with our worldview, which are subsequently reinforced by our confidence (or lack thereof) in the future. This is true in any discipline: finance, politics, gambling, mating, etc. There is hardly a better example of this than the very basis of modern economic theory where assumptions about the validity of fiat currencies determine the actions of central banks, which in turn spill over into every aspect of modern society. Yet what if the very basis of core assumptions is wrong? What if every activity exhibited by humans in the post gold-standard world has a flawed assumption at its core? Austrian economists have, of course, claimed this for ages, usually seeing their efforts conclude with a dead-end as the attempt to change the status quo hits the brick wall of quadrillions of (arguably worthless) pieces of paper which dictate the status quo. However, with the recent turn for the worse, courtesy of sovereign bail outs (as confused as they may be) could the day of reckoning be fast approaching? With each passing the day an affirmative answer seems closer at hand. Today SocGen's Dylan Grice shares his perspectives on popular delusions, and why these may soon be coming to an abrupt end.Follow the link for the rest of the article--it's pretty good.
However my purpose in quoting the above is to point again at this passage in Revelation as a means of connecting the time and the season we find ourselves in, and the likely outcome of the above, if we are indeed at the cusp of the events described:
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me,“Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
This is the end of the matter described in the aricle above.
Tremble Babylon, for your hour of judgement draws near!
Weep America, for your District in that great city is vast, and you will not emerge unscathed--indeed your judgement is wrapped up in hers!
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:03 PM | permalink
Sunday, February 14, 2010
...this site has some great brainstorms for converting an exercise bicycle to power the mill: The Country Living Grain MillComments
I have an exercise bicycle kicking around underfoot here, waiting for it's turn in the Vast Project List to be converted to grain milling service.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:27 PM | permalink
At last! I am back on the farm doing my farm projects!Comments
With Daisycat out of the guest house and into her new apartment, the extra cabinets and countertop were empty and ready to move. I loaded these up Friday and brought them out here. Me likey much! A country kitchen needs lots of work space and lots of storage space. I finally have a place for all the stuff that was crowding the top of my refrigerator and jammed into various other nooks. And more counter space to spread out! Now that I have a place to clamp it, I will unpack my Country Living grain mill one of these weekends and try it out.
After slogging through taxes all day Saturday (I got them done in one day this time! Woo!), I turned my attention to the garden today. First I mowed the pathways, blowing the clippings onto the beds that needed tilling. Then I fired up my gnarly Troy-Bilt Horse tiller (which started readily after sitting outside all winter) and tilled the last three beds that needed tilling.
Here is the first bed I planted to cover crop last fall. It is getting thick and lush. By May sometime I will mow this down and turn it under to plant another summer cover crop.
These last three beds I didn't get to last fall will get a planting of wheat, vetch and fava beans. By June they will probably be ready to turn under also.
Just a note for those who don't recall, this is called "green manuring" and is meant to increase the soil fertility and tilth. I don't really have time to garden in earnest yet--I have too much else to do--but this allows me to improve my soil in preparation for future gardening.
The extra wide pathways serve another function. The grass that grows there provides a continuous source of clippings for the beds in between. I plan to mow them whenever the grass gets high enough and let the clippings blow into the growing beds to add additional organic material. Once I get my drip irrigation system installed, there will be much less water getting to the paths. For this reason I intend to overseed the paths with Nitro Persian Clover, which is supposed to keep growing on as little as 8" to 10" of rain per year. Between what falls from the sky and what seeps sideways from the beds, this should provide a suitable permanent source of additional organic matter. Plus being that it is clover, it will fix nitrogen from the air, adding this vital nutrient to the beds.
It won't be all green manuring. I do plan some experimental plots. I have a variety of wheat that is supposed to be well-adapted to this desert, and as I did last year, I have tepary beans and a variety of Indian corn I will plant. Last year I made the mistake of planting the beans and corn where they were promptly mowed down by rabbits as soon as they came up. This year they will go inside the cat enclosure somewhere. I might try peanuts and/or black-eyed peas in a couple beds to serve the dual purpose of food crop and green manure this summer.
I am eyeballing a brushy patch of land east of my house that is inside the fence, for more garden space. I think I will plant that to wheat the first year.
Update: After applying soil sulfur and ammonium sulfate, I planted the cover crops in the two southerly beds this afternoon. I put in the last of my lana vetch, some leftover fava bean seed that Momcat gave me, and a few handfuls of wheat each.
In the northerly bed I planted cover crop only in the middle third. The outer sections are earmarked for other plants later. The east third will have my experimental desert wheat, and the west third will probably get some of the tepary beans. I enriched the east third with some "forest mulch" product from the hardware store. I didn't want this wheat suffering for lack of fertility, so I did this shortcut.
I ran a pH test on a composite of this garden area, and also on the richer soil from the mesquite woods. Both samples registered off the scale to the high side--somewhere above 8.0 pH. Because of the high levels of calcium carbonate in this desert soil, it may end up being an uphill struggle to get the pH to budge, even with liberal applications of soil acidifiers. Calcium carbonate is a tremendous pH buffer, and is the mineral that forms the caliche (rock hard mineral layer below the surface) that plagues many areas around town. We are fortunate here that this farm is located on a geologically active alluvial plain and so there has not been time for caliche to form beneath the surface. But there is plenty of calcium carbonate nonetheless. Soil sulfur breaks down via microbial action, forming products that release two hydrogen ions per sulfur molecule. But I can only apply so much soil sulfur at a time, lest I damage the soil microflora and microfauna. It could take several years to get it down to the 7.0 range.
Fortunately there are a number of tasty and nutritious crops that do flourish in soil with pH this high--beans, peas, squash (and other cucurbits), sweet potatoes, many cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, collards, etc.), and more. We won't go hungry, even if everything we want won't necessarily do well.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:02 PM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:01 AM | permalink
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Normally I am silently amused by this comic, but today I had to stifle the urge to laugh out loud.
Labels: felicity and jocularity
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:42 AM | permalink
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I've had plans to build one of these for a while now, to be able to cook and heat water efficiently with the wood I have available on my property.Comments
Now a company has perfected the design and is manufacturing them affordably.
I still have plans to build a rocket stove based hot water heater, but for the price I couldn't go wrong buying one of these for SHTF cooking needs.
Check it out:
Official Home Page of the Best Rocket Stoves on the Planet - Welcome to StoveTec
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:25 PM | permalink
Small Earthquake Hits Near Chicago - NYTimes.comComments
For those of you watching for news regarding the New Madrid Fault, this is further north, but may be of interest.
Labels: watching the skies
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:21 AM | permalink
Updates on new snowstorm in region - baltimoresun.comComments
My coworkers were musing yesterday about snow days in the north and east, and how we here in Arizona ought to delcare sun days in July, where we tell the rest of the country "it's too hot today. We're shutting down the state to spend a couple of days in the pool to cool off."
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:10 AM | permalink
Monday, February 08, 2010
Ok this has been bouncing (ha!) around my head all weekend, and I fear that it will become completely irrelevant before I finish it.Comments
Vox has recently written a couple of posts about social position and "game" and in the process he created an entirely new category for himself that he calls the Sigma. I say "for himself" because, while he acknowledges the possibility that there are a very few other Sigmas out there, it is clear he would like to believe that the category applies almost exclusively to himself. Anyone else who believes they may also be a Sigma he discounts as being a deluded beta, gamma or omega.
In honor of His Uniqueness, I am composing lyrics to be sung to the tune of the Tigger Song:
Here is what I have so far:
The Vox Sigma Song
The wonderful thing about Sigmas
Is Sigmas are wonderful things.
Their tails are made of Omegas
Their noggins got Alpha schwing!
Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!!!
But the most wonderful thing about Sigmas
Is that I'm the only one!!
I need some help with the strikeout section--a list of words that are descriptive of sigmas as Vox describes them, that are two-syllable and reasonably rhyme.
Original Tigger Song:
The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful things.
Their tops are made of rubbers
The bottoms are made of springs.
Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!!!
The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is I'm the only one!
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:22 AM | permalink
Sunday, February 07, 2010
Nice to know I'm missed...Comments
I've been working my ass off moving Daisycat to her new apartment. This is the first I've been online since Friday morning.
It feels longer.
I just got her internet and email configured and running correctly.
Now I need a week vacation to recover.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:05 PM | permalink
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Secret Banking Cabal Emerges From AIG Shadows: David Reilly - Bloomberg.comComments
Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The idea of secret banking cabals that control the country and global economy are a given among conspiracy theorists who stockpile ammo, bottled water and peanut butter. After this week’s congressional hearing into the bailout of American International Group Inc., you have to wonder if those folks are crazy after all.keep reading...
Just because something is called a 'conspiracy' does not mean it is not true, or should be immediately dismissed.
The "secret" banking cartel is no real secret, and now Bloomberg is willing to say so.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:10 AM | permalink
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Girls 'n guns is always a hot topic, but this lady has an amazing shotgun reload technique that bears watching and practicing:Comments
Jasmine Jessie’s reloading technique | Down Range TV
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:13 PM | permalink
I bought a 1/10 oz Panda last week. It arrived yesterday. It's a tiny flake of a coin, small as a dime. It cost me $127.00Comments
Holding it made me realize how little our paper money is really worth. This tiny flake of precious metal is worth more than a Benjamin!
Ok, but that's gold. Gold has always seemed to have outsized value, right? Well except that the US Mint once upon a time produced a coin of similar size and weight that was worth $2.50. You'd pay at least $170 obtain one of those today, and that's not considering any numismatic value. Think on that! It takes 170 paper dollars to buy what a $2.50 gold coin bought less than a century ago!
So that's gold. What about silver? I bought a roll of 60 silver dimes last week. They arrived yesterday. It's a neat little roll of coins that fits the palm of my hand. When I wrap my fingers around it, it disappears. This little roll of dimes used to be worth $6.00 back in the early 1960s. It cost me $72.00. Think on that! It takes 72 paper dollars to buy what $6 in silver coin bought less than fifty years ago!
Do you know what that works out to as a annualized rate of return? Taking 1967 as the date for the initial worth of the silver (the year LBJ debased the silver currency), and the price I paid as the final value gives a nearly 6% annualized rate of return! Go stick *that* in your passbook savings account! And taking 1933 as the date for the initial worth of the gold (the year that Roosevelt outlawed the private ownership of gold) and today's price of gold as the final value gives a 5.4% annualized rate of return! You going to sneeze at that, for what is nearly a zero risk investment?
I'm not looking to invest in precious metals at present. Everything I've said about the greater wisdom of stocking up on usable commodities, tools, equipment and infrastructure as a hedge against future uncertainty still applies and I am still diligently pursuing these goals. However I have a need to do some medium-term savings in order to meet some obligations that I expect to incur at some point over the next year or so. (The tax man cometh, and I must be prepared to pay him off to make him go away.) In the mean time however I've got an itchy hemorrhoid telling me that holding cash in the face of incipient hyperinflation is probably not such a marvelous idea. So I'm buffering some of it with precious metals. Sure I'm taking the risk that gold and silver prices may drop before I need to cash them out, but then, that is why I'm holding the rest of what I'll owe in cash.
Tip time: If you are looking for small quantity purchases and wish to avoid much of the markup that dealers hit you with for small purchases (plus shipping fees, minimum orders, etc.), Ebay is a great place to look. Take a look at the prices at the big online PM dealers for the different coins they offer (be sure to include all charges for your small order), then take a look at the final bid prices on many of the auctions for junk silver and onesie twosie gold coins. You will be pleasantly surprised to find you may end up paying much closer to the "bid" price than the "ask" price on any given day for the specific coin product you're looking at, even after considering the shipping charges (if any) from the Ebayer. And when it comes time to redeem your coins for Federal Reserve Notes, it is just as easy to list them on Ebay for sale again.
If anyone is serious about looking into this, I have an Excel spreadsheet that I created to help me quickly (in the heat of a last minute auction) calculate what I should be paying for a particular coin on a particular day, based upon the daily spot prices and some assumptions about acceptable coin premiums.
Labels: financial ponderings
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:50 PM | permalink
Here is how the author introduces his vid clip:Comments
During the Summer of 2007, I had the opportunity to backpack around Europe for 2 weeks. I talked about it often before I left. My girlfriend however, although great in many respects, was not the world's greatest listener. I left on Friday June 1st. Despite even calling her to say goodbye the night before, she never realized I left. When I arrived home 2 weeks later, I had several emails from her, waiting in my inbox...
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:13 AM | permalink
First we discovered a few years ago that semen makes women happy. Now we learn that Sperm May Slow the Aging Process!Comments
This is wonderful news for the ladies.
Science! Ain't it amazing?
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:01 AM | permalink
Monday, February 01, 2010
Labels: life on the border
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:08 PM | permalink
Labels: life on the border
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:45 PM | permalink
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