OK, here’s the update and post of all posts you have been waiting for. About five years ago my wife and I started settlement proceeding against a branch of the Ontario Government for money owed .. The details as to why are known among our friends, but the bottom line is that is that this is the money we were going to use to move back to Ontario, or else where and buy a farm. To make a long story short we are finished with the settlement and have the amount owed us, but the government in it’s wisdom changed the rules in the middle of our five year fight, and screwed us for the interest owed to us. So what we have ended up doing is making some decisions about our future. First, because we have pension here in BC, and because we have some other sources of income, such as painting, we are staying. We have begun a very careful search for some kind of place to call home till we can get something better, we’ve had leads for places within the edge of the Fraser Valley for a couple of places but real estate here is still at a high. One property, which is only one acre is within our budget and we are looking into the options of a mortgage to buy it this week, out in Langley. Most of the painting I do is close to that area anyway, but we might also go for more land and less house, as in buy a few acres and got one of those prefab houses. The other big issue recently is the buying of a truck… There are two ideal trucks to buy as far as being a prepper/survivalist go if you also want a reliable work truck, and something you can use for harvest season. (I work harvest in the fall). The first choice is a 1984 Ford diesel one tonne (in my case I would need a six passenger, and prefer the crew cab model) with a C6 transmission. The reasons for this start with the fuel. Diesel is always a better a option between propane, gas, and diesel. First, without treatment it just lasts longer stored, second it will be in less demand in a SHTF scenario, it safer to store as well. Third there are other options for fuel as well… besides the obvious used cooking oil or PVO choice that is common for survivalists or preppers to talk about, the 1984 international engine that was in those Fords was tough as nails, and likely one of the last engines ever really built right. When an air plane mechanic works on a private jet, there is a by-product called “Jet B” which is basically kerosene and jet fuel, mostly used for winter use, but unsafe to refill the tanks with after the engine has been worked on. It’s a waste fuel, and can be got for nothing or next to nothing, a fifty-fifty mix of diesel and Jet B can run those ’84 Fords. They can also run on old furnace oil, have no computer parts which can get knocked out by an EMP, and the rebuilt engines have been known to last longer then 900,000 km. Other specs include a 6.9 litre engine, C6 transmission, and fuel tank is inside the the trucks frame completely making it just a little more secure. The Ford company also came out with a similar truck in 1992, being the second choice, the primary difference is that you would need to rebuild the engine every 350,000 km, and the transmission isn’t as durable. Anything that comes close to the above without being the above is the default third choice, and that is where I am right now. Currently I am looking at a 1995 with a GMC engine turbo diesel, for $3,700 but I’m still looking. Other options on my mind is some sort of Jeep or mini SUV, maybe an old land rover. So those are the two big expenses, which we haven’t done yet, but there are some other things we have already done. When we first found out we were nearing the end of our long battle with the courts we started eating through our preps. The idea behind it was rather simple, we didn’t want the added expense of moving all those cans of food, dry goods, and frozen meat. That resulted in a couple of lessons for us, first off, it is important to always rotate your preps and eat through them all the time, it stops waste, and helps you better decide what you want to eat if this ever go south. Second, we realized how important it is to stock up on things that you can grow yourself, and to have extra of the things that you can’t. So the first thing we did was spend seven hours shopping to refill the cupboards. Ouch, my back is still sore from that. After that there were a few things we realized later, even thou we did pretty good in the planning of it, that we forgot. Which resulted in a new lesson, keep your preps up! Now the adventure of running around buying in bulk left us with a few eye openers. First, since we had changed our menu options to follow a simple rule to prefer any items we could grow or get ourselves, or to buy extra of things we couldn’t, we realized we didn’t have the best methods to preserve this store of goods. So one of the things we did was to buy a NESCO / American Harvester dehydrator. Second, our canning jars were mixed in type, so we got rid of the narrow lid ones, they were to hard to hand wash, and bought some more wide mouth lid type, and a new pressure cooker since the old one had disappeared, and all we had was for water bath canning. There were some other minor expenses such as a few new clothes, (my wife only bought one dress! I love being married to a prepper!), and paying off some debts. Which leaves us with a few dollars for the future…. Let me state that although we need some things for the bug out bags, we didn’t spend one dime on them, the reason is because of a cheat that people do at stores during the middle of summer. (Your going to hate this in a way) Every year stores across North America sell lots of camping equipment from about June till the beginning of August, then when school starts up, a lot of those goods get returned to store with a money back guarantee. Plus our bug out bags are in pretty good order to begin with. Work related issues come next. When it comes to craftsmanship I am only official train in ceramic textiles, and as an electrician. I never finished either, but do have a talent for the fine arts as far as drawing goes, and ceramic glazes come natural to me. I’ve been doing house painting for a year now, working for the same group of guys that I did before a few years ago when we had the mobile home, after getting off the road as Caravaners. I am slowly getting together trade kits, the first is related to house painting, the extension poles, mixer, and related tools go in there. The second kit has to do with cross stitching for my wife, and related textiles, mainly consisting of a new sewing machine for the work she gets. I do not plan on doing any tree planting in the future other then for myself, but harvest is always easy cash, so a little kit, and storing away buckets for berry picking in on the list of To Do’s. But we have been toying around the idea of starting a business of some sort for the last couple of years now. We looked at franchises, or mimicking some of the seemingly successful ones, even looked at a few collage courses for trade tickets, which I feel I am to old for now for the most part. The were conditions on everything we looked at, and out of those conditions the number one important thing that kept coming up was a production based business of some sort. Real wealth has nothing to do with money, it has to do with stuff. Basically, the more toys you have, the more stuff you have to trade for what you want, the more wealth you have. This can be expressed in the form of having a small apple orchard compared to working a dead end job. Both might bring you in the same income as far as money, but only one can be used to trade and barter with. The apple is a product, the dead end job is a service. Being an information broker for many years it took awhile for that to sink in, no one wants to change careers after twenty years, successful or not. When switching to a production based industry, the first concern anyone should have is the supply of raw material, in British Columbia there is Terra Cotta clay everywhere, and white quartz, the two most important items to notice to have the supplies you need in ceramic textiles. It is this fact that had me running five kilns at the old place, but the profits were much to be desired, and I reverted to doing papers for students and professors. Therefore the second most important factor in starting a new business is the market of your customers, and in Western Civilization three dimension art is not appreciated, trust me. However, functional craftsmanship is another story. The major thing I sold in ceramics were coffee cups, but even with that I could not make a living out of it. It did however make me realize what kind of things sold, which boiled down to two things. Junk or Unique, as long as it was functional. Unique refers to that which can only be bought once, one of a kind stuff. The other thing I learned by comparing my products to what else was selling at flea markets, and galleries, was anything you would see in a yuppy’s condo, otherwise known as Ikea Junk. So we were brain storming what we can do in the winter months. Spring and summer are likely to be spent painting houses, doing odd jobs, and being a jack of all trades. Winter is a time that employment dies for us, except in the area of selling arts and crafts before Christmas. We don’t want to depend on the whims of art collectors for our livelihood, but we could make practical products with an artistic flare. We wanted to buy some new dressers for the kids, and if the price was right, we wanted a new one ourselves. We priced them, and decided that the cheap IKEA crap was likely our only option, until it occurred to me that a table saw and some wood would be cheaper. When we were Caravaning, there was one set of things we had that I loved as far as our possessions were concerned. Steamer Trunks. And that is our winter job, making products like streamer trunks. So add a Carpenter kit to the list. – WolfeClick here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 Dan Wolfe