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02 December, 2015

Emergency Preparedness for Winter

Here's a look at the wood pile we've set aside here at our place in preparation for winter's cold. That's locust in the front and a like amount of oak you can see poking out from behind. We typically burn them together, since the locust puts out a higher level of heat BTUs but burns faster, while the oak burns milder but also slower. The two together make for a nice fire.

The stack isn't as big as it might have been, simply because wood isn't our primary source of heat here at the house in town. What you are seeing here is an emergency preparedness effort to ensure that we are able to remain warm in the event of a winter power outage.




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29 November, 2015

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 - Episode 8 *Mid-Season Finale* "Start to Finish"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
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Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
One major lesson that the events of this episode, the mid-season finale marking the show's hiatus, attempts to illustrate for us involves the need for prudent emergency planning. In the event of any sufficiently dire emergency or disaster that results in a societal collapse, having a protective barrier against the dangers outside a survival retreat might not necessarily be sufficient to ensure safety. As we see in the episode, walls can be breached, no matter their apparent strength or if they are literal physical walls or simply proverbial walls of defense. Therefore, my advice – taken with what we saw her in the episode in mind – would be to have an emergency escape/safety plan ready and rehearsed to avoid panic in the event of an unforeseen calamity bringing your defenses down.

I will also continue to point out that the people of Alexandria would have been more secure in their stronghold had they destroyed the buildings and trees that loomed sufficiently close to the wall to be able to cause a breach in the defenses. There's a reason why this was done with medieval fortifications, both to keep the wall intact as well as to be sure there was no cover under which someone could sneak close without being seen. In addition, it was common practice in the ancient world to dig a ditch around a fortification to provide extra security. Commonly, we think of these in the form of castle moats, but in reality they took many more simple forms at times. 

A proper defensive ditch need not necessarily involve water at all, but was often simply a ditch dug deep enough to equal about the height of a man and with the dirt and rocks removed to form the hole being piled next to it, creating an effect wherein an attacker would have to descend into the ditch and would then be faced with climbing up a berm that was literally twice the height of the average man. Something like that definitely would have been a nice added feature outside the walls of Alexandria, where it would have created essentially a hole for the Walkers to fall into and become trapped. They could then have been safely burned from atop the wall by sacrificing some siphoned gasoline. Then again, if the characters in the show were as ready to survive an apocalypse as the average person reading this article, then I suppose there wouldn't be much of a dramatic storyline. 


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:







22 November, 2015

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 - Episode 7 "Heads Up"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
----------

Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
As was portrayed on screen, I would consider it good advice that – in any societal collapse situation – any member of your community who is unaccustomed to firearms and other weapons have their education updated on the subject. This includes people who modern sensibilities might cause us to consider too young to fight, because the difficult truth is that even people who are kept away from danger can and do often fall victim to it. The only reason we don't think about that much anymore is because modern society has removed such necessities from many of our every day lives, but a survival situation will change that almost immediately. 

While teaching people who aren't used to being around guns, especially teenagers, it's also extremely important to teach (and enforce) proper discipline. This includes both discipline revolving around the use of weapons and their maintenance as well as noise discipline in potentially dangerous situations.  

It's also important to understand that, while it's paramount to maintain one's humanity and value of life, one must also be prepared to live in a world where violence often occurs. Any event that is sufficiently serious as to lead to a collapse of law and order (even temporarily) will likely result in violence becoming necessary to ensure survival. A central debate going on within the storyline of the program at this juncture revolves around questions such as this, but my opinion on the matter would be simply to advise everyone to be prepared to do violence when necessary, while also living by a code. Such a code might involve religious beliefs or even simply a code of honor and remaining non-aggressive to any party that doesn't threaten oneself or family and compatriots. It is the existence of the code that matters more than it's actual structure and origins. YMMV on this, but that's my two cents on the subject. 

Oh, and remember when I was talking previously about how the people in Alexandria should really make a point of clearing away all of the wreckage of houses, etc. close to their wall? Yeah, well, the last few moments of tonight's episode where a glaring example of the wisdom of what I was trying to get across.


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:







15 November, 2015

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 - Episode 6 "Always Accountable"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
----------

Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
A great point that this episode wastes no time whatsoever bringing home to any viewers with a mind toward emergency preparedness and the Prepper / Survivalist subculture revolves around unexpected dangers cropping up to quickly put an end to well laid plans. In any scenario involving a crippling disaster or event that results in societal collapse, there will be many tasks individuals need to complete in order to ensure survival, but we must also be sure to never allow ourselves to be caught completely unawares. Unexpected threats have the capacity to come out of nowhere and result in dangerous situations, such as a group being separated out on the road, etc., so this is yet another thing for which we must prepare. 

Another thing to keep in mind is the likelihood of new powers rising, trying to replace the society that has collapsed with a new one. In fact, I would argue that such is an inevitable reality. People are accustomed to living within an ordered system, and they won't feel comfortable in sheer anarchy. Even though any new order attempting to rise may look like chaos compared to the world before the crash, most people will cling to it to keep the anarchy away like it's a lifeboat in a raging sea. The vast majority of individuals will submit to this even if doing so means having to become someone else's soldier and live under their rule just to be fed and housed and live under their protection. In fact, if history tells us anything it's that this is exactly the kind of thing we must expect in a societal collapse. This is how warlords build kingdoms. 

In addition, it's also important to give thought toward situations involving serious medical conditions. The fact is that some people are only among the living today as the result of modern medical interventions that could conceivably become unavailable in a much more difficult future setting. Tonight's episode spotlights a specific instance of this, involving an insulin-dependent diabetic, but there are realistically any number of different conditions that might directly impact your survival or that of a friend or loved one. With such knowledge in hand, now is the time to be preparing and identifying possible future sources for necessary items in the event that it should become necessary to forage for them. 


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:







08 November, 2015

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 - Episode 5 "Now"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
----------

Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
I don't know why it has never come to me before now, but one thing I noticed in the opening moments of this episode was the foolishness of the people in Alexandria allowing those abandoned houses right outside their gates to remain standing. During medieval times, it was common military knowledge not to allow trees or anything else that could be used for cover to grow too close to a wall, and that wisdom has been carried into our modern times as well. That's why military installations that are surrounded by only a tall chain-link fence keep the area outside the fence clear of foliage. When a siege became likely, anything outside the wall that was too close would be preemptively burned, which is exactly what the people of Alexandria should be doing. 

Another important point for us to think about is the trouble many are no doubt going to have adjusting to what will be the new normal after any substantial disaster or emergency that fractures society. Some simply won't be able to take it; they'll fold in on themselves, and many will resort to suicide. The trick to surviving is going to be about accepting the fact that the world has changed and acclimating oneself to doing what is necessary, while also maintaining some sort of personal code to keep from losing our humanity in the process. 

Also of interest to those of us in the Prepper \ Survivalist subculture, this episode brings to mind issues like light and noise discipline as well as the rationing of supplies. It's true that this program involves characters keeping lights out or shades drawn after dark as well as keeping noise to a minimum because of the threat of a herd of zombies, but the logic and reasoning is the same. The usefulness of Doomer Fiction manifests itself, in my opinion, in the fact that the things a person should be doing to survive are the same, regardless of whether the threat is fantasy or something more realistic. 


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:







01 November, 2015

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 - Episode 4 "Here's Not Here"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
----------

Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
The themes being explored through the content of this episode begin initially with the fragility of the human mind and spirit. All of us in our little subculture are making a concerted effort to prepare ourselves for the possibility (or inevitability?) of harsher times, up to and including events that could result in an all-out societal collapse. The truth, however, is that some folks simply aren't going to be able to handle it. 

Put aside for a moment the fact that a worryingly high percentage of the population can't even handle things now. The number of people who can only make it through everyday life, even in the current comparatively easier times, without the support of psychotropic pharmaceuticals and other interventions from the modern mental health system is truly mind-boggling. Remove that support and make life even more difficult, up to and including the need to actually work for survival every day, and all bets really are off. 

The remaining part of the message this episode works toward getting across, however, is that sometimes even such broken people can come back. I won't necessarily speak to whether or not I personally think that's possible, other than to say I think it would be rare and would depend on the individual case. It is something to consider, though.  


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below: