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31 August, 2015

REVIEW: Fear The Walking Dead: Season 1 - Episode 2 "So Close, Yet So Far"

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.
Once the catastrophe presents itself, the natural inclination will be to bug out to a safer location. The problem is that will be everybody else's inclination as well, so it's important to keep your ear to the proverbial grindstone and not be caught having to quickly load whatever groceries are possible into the car and take off amidst all of the other refugees. Interestingly, the family in the show actually did a pretty good job of trying to be ahead of the curve in this respect, but it wouldn't be a television drama if such well-laid plans had actually worked out for them. 

Also, it's worth considering that bugging out itself could present a certain level of danger. Not only are there the hazards of the road in a potential emergency situation to deal with, there's also the potential – in the case of a disease pandemic – that people bugging out and migrating to look for safety might actually spread the contagion further. This is a point where one would have to decide between bugging out or sheltering in place, carefully weighing the strengths and consequences of both potential plans for survival. It's also important that if you do decide bugging out is the safest option for you and your family, but the situation necessitates you becoming separated, that you set a rendezvous point to ensure that you and yours are able to get back together later rather than one party unnecessarily having to wait for another to return from some errand. 

Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so.
When things begin to truly go downhill, don't count on being able to depend on emergency services personnel. Regardless of their personal work ethic and calling to perform public-service, normal human instinct will dictate that they concern themselves mostly with taking care of their own family first. This probably won't happen until things get truly bad, but it's almost a certainty that it definitely will eventually occur. Studies have been conducted that have proven many simply won't report to work past a certain point a truly serious emergency.

And, one must prepare themselves for the possibility that even people known to them as friends could represent a threat in an emergency situation. This is especially true in the context of a disease pandemic as pictured in the show. Never mind the threat of zombies; all communicable diseases  spread through contact person-to-person, so contact with anyone exponentially increases your chances of becoming infected. Couple that with the fact that some people could turn to violence in the wake of a disaster scenario, and one is left needing to prioritize in favor of taking care of family and those close friends for whom you have accepted responsibility to the exclusion of other people, whether you happen to know them or not. 


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 this series: Episode 1


My previous reviews for the parent series The Walking Dead can be accessed by clicking the links below:






30 August, 2015

Considering The Expat Life

Is Belize a good option for an Expat Prepper?
I was having a conversation with a friend recently, who has plans on moving to Belize upon his retirement from a federal law enforcement posting. The conversation drifted toward what he understood were the laws down there, because individual rights and liberty are typically very important to me. I was curious, because honestly I've considered making a similar move in the years to come, and these are the kinds of things I need to know before I do something like that.

With respect to gun rights, his impression was basically that owning them legally in Belize requires you pay a $500 per weapon licensing fee and a $75 per year personal firearm owner's licensing fee. Also, apparently there are different licenses based on why you want the weapon. That's disconcerting, but not a dealbreaker, I suppose. It was what he told me about the restrictions that *DOES* bother me, however. Apparently, you can't own a shotgun larger than a certain gauge or a semi-auto handgun chambered in any round larger than 9mm. He didn't know about rifle restrictions, but with the other limitations in place I can't imagine it would be legal there to own something like an AR-15 or a Mini-14. And, if you plan on moving there and bringing your guns with you, you have to deposit them at the airport and you can only pick them up after you have established residency and paid for the proper permits.

So, unfortunately, sunny Belize might not be in my future it seems. Being that they are treating gun ownership as a privilege, rather than a right, I would be worried about the possibility of some local official deciding that my reasons for wanting to own them wasn't good enough and denying me. Plus, even with a favorable exchange rate, it would not be fun to have to pay $500 U.S. for each weapon owned before being able to go pick them up when they are already your property. Plus, several sources online said that the $500 fee per weapon was also yearly, people are typically only approved a license for one sidearm for self-defense, and the permit process can take as long as seven months!

I want to live somewhere where the government just barely exists enough to keep things from going completely Mad Max, but is way too weak to actually enforce any kind of crazy Nanny State meddling nonsense regulations like we have here in the U.S.. There's a reason why it seems all of the crazy Mormon fundamentalists run to Mexico and build compounds whenever they want to have a whole bunch of wives... it's because Mexico is all but a failed state. They have a government, but the further you get away from Mexico City the less likely you are to have to worry about government busybodies being all up in your business. People make moonshine, grow marijuana, practice polygamy in compounds guarded by dudes with AR-15's, whatever, and there's nobody really around to say much about it. This is, of course, only true in some of the more rural and out-of-the-way places, but they do exist there much more so than here in the States. All you have to worry about is not running afoul of the drug cartels, but they pretty much leave you alone too if you don't cause any issues for them.

Of course, the flip side to that is that law-enforcement down there is horrendously corrupt and pretty much completely unreliable the further you get from places like Mexico City and Cancun and all of the other major touristy places. You're pretty much on your own to protect yourself. But, then again, it's really like that here also; people just don't want to admit it. 

The average person lies to themselves and lives in this bubble of cognitive dissonance believing all they have to do is pick up the phone and call 911 and they will be protected. The real truth is that an unbelievably small percentage of police work involves stopping crimes, especially violent crimes. It's not even their fault. It's just that stuff is almost always over before the cops can get there. Police work is 99% investigating what happened *AFTER* somebody gets murdered or raped or whatever. 

It's really up to the individual to protect themselves even now, so why not live somewhere where that is simply understood and also comes with the benefit of there basically being no government busybodies making it their business to meddle in all of your affairs on a daily basis?


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29 August, 2015

Best Five Books For Living Off The Grid Or With A Prepper Mindset

One thing that can definitely be accurately said about those of us in the Prepper / Survivalist subculture is that we are all voracious learners. Often this education is achieved through reading, probably because that's a very economical way of gaining new information, and we are also notoriously frugal when it comes to financial matters. To that end, I thought it would be pertinent to list what I consider to be the five best books for living off grid and/or with a Prepper mindset with a couple of additions as honorable mentions.

What do you think of the list below? Feel free to let me know in the comments as well as sharing any other titles I might have excluded. Also, please note that the descriptions below are quoted from the official pages at Amazon.com for each title.


The bestselling resource for modern homesteading, growing and preserving foods, and raising chickens
The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual of Living Off the Land & Doing It Yourself: "The bestselling resource for modern homesteading, growing and preserving foods, and raising chickens, The Encyclopedia of Country Living includes how to cultivate a garden, buy land, bake bread, raise farm animals, make sausage, can peaches, milk a goat, grow herbs, churn butter, build a chicken coop, catch a pig, cook on a wood stove, and much, much more. This comprehensive resource is the most authoritative guide available to a sustainable lifestyle and living off of the land..."

produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter 1/4 acre of land
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre: "Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre—and earn $10,000 in cash annually while spending less than half the time that an ordinary job would require. Even if you have never been a farmer or a gardener, this book covers everything you need to know to get started: buying and saving seeds, starting seedlings, establishing raised beds, soil fertility practices, composting, dealing with pest and disease problems, crop rotation, farm planning, and much more. Because self-suf´Čüciency is the objective, subjects such as raising backyard chickens and home canning are also covered along with numerous methods for keeping costs down and production high. Materials, tools, and techniques are detailed with photographs, tables, diagrams, and illustrations."

Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook, Revised Edition: "Hesperian's classic manual... is arguably the most widely-used health care manual in the world... Useful for health workers, clinicians, and others involved in primary health care delivery and health promotion programs, with millions of copies in print in more than 75 languages, the manual provides practical, easily understood information on how to diagnose, treat, and prevent common diseases. Special attention is focused on nutrition, infection and disease prevention, and diagnostic techniques as primary ways to prevent and treat health problems."

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times: "... In How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It, James Rawles, founder of SurvivalBlog.com, clearly explains everything you need to know to protect yourself and your family in the event of a disaster-from radical currency devaluation to a nuclear threat to a hurricane. Rawles shares essential tactics and techniques for surviving completely on your own, including how much food is enough, how to filter rainwater, how to protect your money, which seeds to buy for your garden, why goats are a smart choice for livestock, and how to secure your home. It's the ultimate guide to total preparedness and self-reliance in a time of need."

Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables: "Anyone can learn to store fruits and vegetables safely and naturally with a cool, dark space (even a closet!) and the step-by-step advice in this book... Root cellaring, as many people remember but only a few people still practice, is a way of using the earth's naturally cool, stable temperature to store perishable fruits and vegetables. Root cellaring, as Mike and Nancy Bubel explain here, is a no-cost, simple, low-technology, energy-saving way to keep the harvest fresh all year long. In Root Cellaring, the Bubels tell how to successfully use this natural storage approach..."

Honorable Mentions

Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series): "... Designed for readers with no experience and applicable to most areas in the English-speaking world except the tropics and hot deserts, this book shows that any family with access to 3-5,000 sq. ft. of garden land can halve their food costs using a growing system requiring just the odd bucketful of household waste water, perhaps two hundred dollars worth of hand tools, and about the same amount spent on supplies — working an average of two hours a day during the growing season..."

Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills: "Anyone who wants to learn basic living skills—the kind employed by our forefathers—and adapt them for a better life in the twenty-first century need look no further than this eminently useful, full-color guide. Countless readers have turned to Back to Basics for inspiration and instruction, escaping to an era before power saws and fast-food restaurants and rediscovering the pleasures and challenges of a healthier, greener, and more self-sufficient lifestyle..."



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28 August, 2015

100 Items to Disappear First in an Emergency

The 100 items that disappear first in an emergency. Be sure to stock up!
The following is a list that has been floating around the internet forever of the 100 items that disappear first in an emergency. I came across it as a text file I had saved to my computer a long time ago and thought you might find it useful as a guide on preparedness.

1. Generators (Good ones cost. Gas storage, risky. Noisy; target of thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 - 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice - Beans - Wheat
11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)
12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR OR WHITE PLASTIC ONLY - note - food grade if for drinking.
14. Mini Heater head (Propane) (Without this item, propane won't heat a room.)
15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric)
16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.
17. Survival Guide Book.
18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)
19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
22. Vitamins
23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item)24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.
25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)
26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)
29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).
30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels
31. Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)
32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)
33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
34. Coleman's Pump Repair Kit
35. Tuna Fish (in oil)
36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)
37. First aid kits
38. Batteries (all sizes...buy furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies
40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)
41. Flour, yeast & salt
42. Matches. {"Strike Anywhere" preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first
43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators
44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.)
45. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts
46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, "No. 76 Dietz" Lanterns
47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience; Historic Times)
48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting - if with wheels)
49. Men's Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc
50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
51. Fishing supplies/tools
52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
53. Duct Tape
54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
55. Candles
56. Laundry Detergent (liquid)
57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags
58. Garden tools & supplies
59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
64. Bicycles...Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc
65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats
66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
67. Board Games, Cards, Dice
68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)
71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
75. Soysauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soupbase
76. Reading glasses
77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
78. "Survival-in-a-Can"
79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
80. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog
81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
85. Lumber (all types)
86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
87. Cots & Inflatable mattress's
88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
89. Lantern Hangers
90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts
91. Teas
92. Coffee
93. Cigarettes
94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,)
95. Paraffin wax
96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
97. Chewing gum/candies
98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)
99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs
100. Goats/chickens


From a Sarajevo War Survivor:


Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war - death of parents andfriends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.

1. Stockpiling helps. but you never no how long trouble will last, so locate near renewable food sources.

2. Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.

3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold's.

4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity - it's the easiest to do without (unless you're in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)

5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy - it makes a lot of the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs enough heat to "warm", not to cook. It's cheap too, especially if you buy it in bulk.

6. Bring some books - escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more valuable as the war continues. Sure, it's great to have a lot of survival guides, but you'll figure most of that out on your own anyway - trust me, you'll have a lot of time on your hands.

7. The feeling that you're human can fade pretty fast. I can't tell you how many people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.

8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches.
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27 August, 2015

Date Codes on Canned Foods

Here is a handy USDA resource that explains how to properly handle canned foods
Here is a handy USDA resource that explains how to properly handle canned foods:

Please keep in mind that virtually all commercially-available canned foods are still "good" for a minimum of 2 years and possibly for as long as 5 years after the production date stamped in these codes. Call it a little less for high-acid content foods such as canned peaches and pineapples; 12-18 months for these in best practice. This is, of course, dependent on several factors:

1.) They should be kept at or around room temperature in a clean, dry, limited lighting area.

2.) Bulging or misshapen cans should be opened and inspected. If the contents are still good, they should no longer be stored - consume them immediately.

3.) When in doubt, throw it out. Don't take chances.

The date that is actually marked prominently on the can and is easy to read is not usually- contrary to popular belief- an expiration date. It is usually a "sell by" date. The exception to this is if you're buying in mid-2015 and the can says it expires sometime in late 2016 - in that case, it probably is right to use that date as the expiration. You have no way of knowing how long the product has been in a storeroom or on that shelf and it may have been produced and canned in the latter part of 2014. Hence, late 2016 would be 2 years from the production date.

Also, many products very clearly list a "use by" date for "better quality," so best to test foods past this date. Any drastic change in the consistency of a food may make it unpalatable, even if there isn't anything really wrong with it. YMMV.

Also, be advised that I personally consider the 2-year mark to be conservative. Many canned foods are good even past that, but 2 years marks the limit at which it is basically guaranteed to have lost none of its nutritional value.


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100 watt *PER DAY* Refrigerator (with PDF download)

Here are detailed plans for converting a standard chest freezer into a refrigerator that uses only 100 watts (0.1 kWh) of electricity to run for an entire day. This has been all over the net for awhile now, so you may have already seen them or others like them, but I thought something this phenomenal deserved to be repeated over and over.

Many self-sufficient survivalist homesteads use alternative means to generate their own electricity as an emergency preparedness measure. And, this refrigerator-conversion is a perfect setup for virtually any alternate power plan, whether it be based on solar, wind, hydro, or just a plain old gas/diesel generator.

http://mtbest.net/chest_fridge.pdf



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26 August, 2015

Food Shortages Causing Violence and Looting in Venezuela – Are You Ready for That to Happen Here?

Military patrolling supermarkets during food shortage to prevent violence
National guard patrols a supermarket in Caracas.
Things are still looking quite desparate down in Venezuela, giving us yet another example of why emergency preparedness and storing food, in particular, is very important and a wise way to live one's life. We take for granted the fact that we live in a wealthy westernized country, where this kind of scene is rare. It lulls us into a false sense of security, thinking that such could never happen here. But it has happened here in the past. 

Long soup and bread lines were common during the Great Depression as unemployment skyrocketed, following a debilitating stock market crash not likely to be unlike the one many are warning us could be heading our way again very soon. The difference between now and the 1930s was that back then we were a much more agrarian society. 

Most people knew how to grow their own food, and preserve the surplus for the winter. Many had moved to jobs in the city during industrial boomtimes, but they had grown up tending farms. The majority still had family living on farms to whom they could reach out. My family finds its roots in coal mining, but even as late as when my mother was growing up in the 1960s, they tell stories of all the kids in the family going to stay at an aunt's farm every summer. Our world simply isn't like that anymore. 

Looters running amok during food shortage, killing one person
People carry goods looted from a supermarket in San Felix in the state of Bolivar, Venezuela July 31, 2015.
We've moved so far beyond an agrarian life that the vast majority of people in our society are literally incapable of taking care of themselves. Very few people, especially people in their 20s-30s, garden or can their own produce, and the small percentage who does only know how to do it as a passing hobby. And, making things even worse will be the fact that an entitlement lifestyle has become so pervasive in our society that many believe it is the responsibility of others to take care of them

Just like is happening in Venezuela, some will be docile and stand in long lines waiting to be fed, while others turn to looting and even violence. The severity of the situation and how long it goes on will dictate the severity of how extremely the average person reacts. If things go on long enough, don't think for a moment that the thin and fragile veneer of polite society won't disintegrate into nothingness. 

Human beings are animals, albeit very advanced and intelligent ones, and history has shown us that those struggling to fill basic human needs for themselves and their families in harsh conditions have even turned to cannibalism in the past. Knowing that we have it in us to go to such extremes when necessary should remove all naivety about the likelihood of people becoming violent and looting, etc. for what they need. Nobody is going to peacefully watch their child starve. They will take what they need and, if things get bad enough, kill whomever stands in the way. 

Don't put yourself in the middle of that, having to rush out into such chaos to gather supplies for you and your family. Every family, even if they aren't serious about Prepping, should have a few weeks of non-perishable food and bottled water stored away against the possibility of temporary emergencies. Something like that makes sense even simply against the possibility of blizzards, hurricanes, and other natural disasters that happen all the time. Add to that some basic supplies: a propane camp stove, lanterns, some rudimentary first aid supplies, and the means by which to protect yourselves, and you will be miles ahead of the average person when it comes to increasing your chances of surviving harsher times. That will be sufficient to get you through most emergencies, even if you don't believe a long-term emergency is headed our way. Add to all those some knowledge about old world things, like gardening and canning produce, and you're exponentially increasing your ability to survive something much more serious and ongoing.


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24 August, 2015

REVIEW: Fear The Walking Dead: Season 1 Premiere - Episode 1 "Pilot"

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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As anyone who has been reading Backwoods Survival Blog for any length of time will – no doubt – already be aware, I have long taken episodes of The Walking Dead and done what were titled reviews of each episode from the perspective of the Prepper / Survivalist subculture. To be fair, these pieces have evolved over time and have come to be something closer to commentary more than reviews or recaps. So, I definitely wasn't going to miss the chance to do the same thing for the new prequel to that groundbreaking Doomer Fiction/Doomer television show.

Even though this is technically a different show, I'm going to simply move forward as though readers are familiar with what I intend to accomplish by writing these articles. My only nod to new initiates will be to explain my stance on apocalyptic or what I often call Doomer fiction: Put simply, I believe that – although it is meant to be entertainment – there are often lessons we can learn from watching and reading these kinds of stories, and The Walking Dead has become such a mainstream phenomenon in popular culture that I have actually witnessed it convert people into being more prepared in their real lives. I don't know about you, but I consider that a win in our collective column.

Also for the uninitiated, it should be understood that this new show is a prequel, not in the sense that it shows us what the characters of the other show were doing before the onset of the Zombie Apocalypse, but rather because it shows us different characters in a different location but takes place during that period when Rick Grimes was in his. As you will remember, Rick awoke to find the world much changed and he was thrown into that environment without really understanding what was going on. It was the same for the viewer and meant for you to feel the bewilderment with him. This new show, on the other hand, is going to allow us to watch what was going on during that time. And be witness to the way civilization unraveled into a complete societal collapse as seen in the main flagship show.

As to this particular episode, the only things it important to discuss from the standpoint of our subculture are to talk about how things typically could be expected to play out if such a situation were to occur in the real world. In this first episode, snippets of conversation are mentioned about a flu outbreak that has affected a lot of the kids who attend the school where two of the main characters are teachers, resulting in them being kept home. One young man, obviously a decent kid, is uncharacteristically found to have brought a kitchen knife to school. He is obviously afraid, so a friendly teacher reaches out thinking perhaps he might be being bullied or something along those lines. Instead, the young man is simply afraid, worried about being expelled from school because of the idea that there is safety in numbers. He mentions reports online of an outbreak with cases reported in five different states and people who are infected turning violent. Apparently the online rumor mill is saying that the authorities don't know if it's a virus or a microbe, and the implication is that the true severity of the outbreak is being covered up.

The teacher, of course, naively believes that if there was really a problem than the authorities would let us know. Needless to say, those of us reading this blog know better how things would actually go, which likely aren't too far from the secretiveness the young man believes is occurring. Seeing that he is not going to be able to convince her, however, he finally just humors her to get out of her office. He's quite obviously not comfortable with the idea of being at school without his knife, however, which the teacher has locked in her desk drawer.

Then there is another character in the show who has witnessed an attack within the city, but he is thought to be unreliable as a result of being a known drug addict. So no one believes him. This would likely mirror a real life situation if reports of something truly strange were beginning to manifest. Most people wouldn't be able to believe what others were telling them and, in fact, would look for any excuse not to believe it. Even when video footage of an attack leaks online, there are still many who believe it is fake.

Beyond that, this episode didn't actually hold much information with respect to survival. It was simply meant to set the tone for the series and introduces us to the characters. I am very interested, however, in seeing how things progress, and I'm very intrigued by the idea of being able to watch as the societal collapse we have all seen in The Walking Dead actually comes to have occurred.





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 Walking Dead can be accessed by clicking the links below:







17 August, 2015

More Container Garden Goodies

Pulled these two beautiful specimens this evening, though it's hard to think of the one on the right as beautiful. Beefmaster tomatoes are an abomination to the eyes, but I bet it's gonna taste awesome. Lol


15 August, 2015

Another Container Garden Harvest

Technically, this would be our third harvest. Failed to get a picture of the second as it was gifted to some visiting family members, a bunch of tomatoes and banana peppers mostly and one cucumber and squash each. I'm thinking we may not get any more squash - didn't do so well in buckets.


02 August, 2015

REVIEW: "Jericho" - Season 2, Episode 7

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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Could you and your family survive a nuclear attack?
Unfortunately, this episode is the final one of the series before finally being canceled for good. The only way the story has continued after this is in the form of a few comic book series that I'm actually hoping to check out soon. Comic books/graphic novels really aren't even my thing, but it would be worth it to continue on with this outstanding story.

With respect to the storyline of the series, this episode continues to drive home the point that any new government arising in the aftermath of a seriously debilitating disaster or long-term emergency may not necessarily be truly representative of the nation we have today; at least not without the sacrifice of patriots fighting to make things better. In the series, this is represented through dialog concerning the so-called Constitutional Convention being attended by the Mayor of Jericho that has turned out to be nothing more than a sham. The example viewers are given concerns the 2nd Amendment being omitted from the new Constitution as well as it being obvious provisions are being made to give the new government the legal standing necessary to do whatever it wants in the name of security. 

This final episode also supports the very real likelihood of certain principled military commanders eventually refusing to follow the orders being handed down by a corrupt and illegitimate government and instead siding with the Resistance in any extended conflict. This, of course, would begin with isolated insurrections against authority, but it would continue to grow into what would ultimately be a second American Civil War. Before ending, the episode also touches on the possibility of guerrilla warfare, which unfortunately would probably be a very realistic likelihood as the only means (though often exceedingly and distasteful brutal) for a smaller force to eventually succeed in wearing down the resolve of a much larger one. 


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01 August, 2015

REVIEW: "Jericho" - Season 2, Episode 6

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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Could you and your family survive a nuclear attack?
This episode shows us that, in a reconstruction period after a serious disaster or emergency, it would be reasonable to expect any military authorities controlling a given area to operate in a much more iron-fisted way than might be typical of the experience for the average American citizen. It's not so much a case of overstepping bounds as one of applying military procedures and justice with individuals who are unaccustomed to such rigidity. There's a reason why the nation's military is turned outward and not typically used to police its own citizens, yet that's exactly what would be happening during reconstruction.

This episode clearly shows us some of the tactics that it would be reasonable to expect might at least have the potential for being used in a domestic setting where military authorities are attempting to control a particularly raucous populace. Unfortunately, these are tactics that the average American has probably never witnessed or experienced. Some examples include the use of enhanced interrogation and sleep-deprivation, the declaration of martial law and stringently enforced curfews, and the embargo of public services like water and power. 

And, it can be expected that people who haven't ever been exposed to violence are likely to have a difficult time adjusting to the harsher world that arises in the wake of a serious disaster or long-term debilitating emergency. The truth of this would be even more evident in an all-out societal collapse, during which the rule of law and order is nearly guaranteed to be nonexistent. Unfortunately, a great many of these individuals may virtually shut-down and be unable to cope with the things they've seen and/or done. Unlike those who suffer from PTSD now, the lack of available mental healthcare and support in harsher times can be expected to greatly exacerbated this issue. 



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If you enjoyed this article, feel free to check out the rest of the site, and please consider subscribing to the blog via email by placing your email address in the sign-up box on the right-hand sidebar of the screen. You can also "Like" our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.