Living the simple life

You know every so often I get the urge to throw out the rat race and move to a little farm and live the “simple” life. Of course I know enough about farming to know it isn’t simple. So I stay in the 9 to 5 grind.

But some people do it. They didn’t become farmers but rather moved to a tropical island. And they found a way to keep an Internet connection and seem to make a living without having to grow food.

Mark is a writer. Which you can do from anywhere depending on what you write about. I could do that. I could be a freelance writer, but I couldn’t live my current lifestyle and write.

Written while listening to “Tuck Your Shirt In”
album Footprints
by Holly Valance

Disater Preparedness article

Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit fame had an article about disaster preparedness and some interesting followup emails.

One of the followup emails said he had a 2 flashlights, food and water on the subway. I’d like to know what he carried it in. But I did buy one of those key chain LCD lights(looks a little different and cost a lot less than this link) on an impulse in San Fransico last May and have used it a couple of times. Wish it were white though and not blue.

Written while listening to “Twist And Shout”
album Anthology 1 (Disc 2 of 2)
by The Beatles
Written while listening to “Spaceship”
album The American
by Angie Aparo

BOB

Here’s the promised entry on our BOB.

First when creating a BOB you have to think what you are likely to use it for. Almost by definition a BOB is for the times you may have to leave your house because of some danger there. It is to get you through till you get somewhere else you can sustain yourself, or until you return.

We first created our BOB a little after 9/11 and truthfully I was most worried about Nuclear Terrorism in Houston. Having done some research on small nuclear bombs, I now think it is unlikely a terrorist will get their hands on one. It’s highly unlikely they could build one, even Saddam would have only been able to build well bomb size bombs. Small suitcase ones are very high tech, a great refinement of the art. Only the US, Russia and maybe China really have the tech to do it.

So now I have to think, what would make us need to bug out. Bugging out means no time to prepare. If we know a day in advance we can pack like we would for a trip to the folks.

A fire might be one. In this case we would have to leave the house in a hurry, but we wouldn’t be going far. Our BOB is in our detached garage, so it probably wouldn’t be affected by a fire.

Another reason to leave our house would be a hurricane. Today is the anniversary of hurricane Alicia hitting the Texas coast. It was the last hurricane whose eye crossed right over Houston. Windows were blown out of skyscrapers in downtown, electricity was off for days. Lots of trees down in Kingwood, many hitting homes and letting the water in. It was still a tropical depression when it College Station, which is 100 miles north of Houston.

So I built the BOB based on needing to leave and having somewhere to go. We’ve got 2 days worth of clothing and toiletries. There’s no food in the BOB, though both of our cars have basic food in them, and water.

Here’s what was in the BOB:

Fire sticks
Matches – 3 boxes water proof
Whistle/Compass/Mirror thingy
Sun-block
2 Kids hats

Toiletry bag( attached to the backpack was a toiletry bad, like you would put in a suitcase on a regular trip).
First Aid related
250 Tylenol tablets
Chewable benadryl
Children’s Tylenol cold
Ace bandage
Oval eye pad
4 mini tubes Differin ( a skin medicine my wife used to use)

Sewing kit
Huge bottle Head and shoulders
Insect repellent
2 Disposable razor
Big thing of toothpaste
pack of gum
lip balm
Small scissors
3 toothbrush
little shampoo
little mouthwash
1 bar soap
makeup brushes?

2 adult hats
4 rain ponchos (Universal studios)

1 woman white socks
1 black socks
1 Woman’s t-shirt
1 Woman’s dress shirt
1 woman’s shorts
2 woman’s long pants
2 bras
2 woman’s underwear
2 men’s shorts
1 men’s long pants
2 men’s underwear
4 men’s t-shirts – could be worn by any one
2 men socks
4 boy socks
4 boy’s underwear (2 boxer, 2 brief)
2 boy’s shorts
1 boy’s sweat pants
4 boy’s t-shirts

It was an eclectic mix. I didn’t really like the toiletry bag, it was outside the backpack, just hanging by a strap. There was a removable pocket in the top of the backpack so I wanted to move everything from the toiletry bag into it. I also didn’t like the big bottles of stuff. Plus there were some obvious things missing.

Pads – there is a woman in our family and she does have periods, plus they could be used for first aid in a pinch.
Knife, swiss army
Flash light
First aid kit – more bandages

I also came up with the idea we could pack stuff that was usable by any of us and have more if some needed it. For instance, everyone can wear an adult t-shirt. So I replaced everyone’s shirts with those. Also all of us could wear men’s tube socks.

So these are the new contents/changes:

2 Hotel shampoo bottles
Tylenol in smaller bottle ( 100 tablets )
Smaller sun-block
Check size on boys clothes – ended up changing the underwear and pants for them as those in there were too small.
3 hotel soaps for bar
Toilet paper? half roll in baggie
2 Trash bags
bandana/rag
candle (votive – requires no stand).
2 birthday candles
paper (postit note pad) and 2 pencils
Rubber bands – all clothes are rolled up and have a rubber band around them
Pepto bismol tablets
safety pens multiple sizes

Everything was repack in the back pack. It ended up weighting 20lbs, which isn’t too bad to have to carry for either me or my wife.

Written while listening to “Heavy Things”
album Farmhouse
by Phish
Written while listening to “Battle Theme”
album Final Fantasy XI
by Original Soundtrack
Written while listening to “Pretty Fly for a White Guy”
album ^a
by Offspring
Written while listening to “Champagne Supernova”
album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
by Oasis
Written while listening to “(Untitled)”
album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
by Oasis
Written while listening to “She’s Electric”
album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
by Oasis