Denise Sawicki | October 16, 2004
Look maybe I'm just crazy, maybe I've just got too much time on my hands, maybe it's a mental disease. Maybe I'm just fearing the worst because things seem to be working out for me and I figure it can't go on for too much longer. But I've been wondering for quite a while if I ought to put all my money towards buying a big wind turbine (if that's not illegal) and spend my time studying up on subsistence farming techniques and generally learning how to live without gas or electricity or consumer goods of any kind. At least I know how to get by without driving a car which is better than most people can say. The government ain't gonna do anything to help so I have to do what I can to try to snag myself and my loved ones the merest possibility of a future...

Wondering what the hell I'm talking about? Well here's a bit of an example...

Yeah, nobody really knows me here and I'm sure that posting this isn't likely to increase my likelihood of being considered a sane human being...

I admit I'm really pretty dumb about anything remotely political in nature but it's a fear that's been growing in me for some time...

Scott Hardie | October 16, 2004
Maybe you just need to get out of North Dakota for a while. ;-)

If you want to play Walden because you honestly prefer to live that way or because you have some philosophical inclination towards self-sufficiency, then by all means, go for it. But if you intend to make that adjustment out of fear that civilization is about to collapse... I personally think that view is unrealistic. People always seem to believe the world is on the brink of disaster; certainly the Star makes a fortune in the checkout lane with the same end-times-are-here prediction week in and week out. Remember when computers were going to crash on January 1, 2000, and we were going to be reduced to gangs roving the streets in search of gasoline? Remember when the planets were going to align on May 5, 2000, and the tidal waves and earthquakes and volcanic activity were going to tear the world apart? I can only imagine how surprised the Branch Davidians and Heaven's Gate followers would be if they could see society still thriving today.

I'm not trying to suggest you're a crackpot by association; rather I'm trying to point out how often it is thought the world is going to end and yet it hasn't happened. Which is more likely, that civilization will collapse in ten years or that things will be pretty much the same as they are now? Besides, by going to extremes to protect yourself, you could actually do yourself harm; that money and effort could be put to better means.

Jackie Mason | October 16, 2004
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Denise Sawicki | October 16, 2004
I don't much like showing my crazy, radical side but if you're interested in these things, Jackie, you could pick up the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. It's a famous book I guess but most people I meet don't seem to have heard of it. Anyway I don't think leaving North Dakota for a more heavily populated area would help maters. The only reason I can seriously entertain fantasies of living "off the grid" is that my bf lives on a farm... Naturally, it takes a lot of gas to run a farm in the "modern" way but at least his family has land...

Building a network for alternative energy is going to *take* a lot of energy and money and I don't think anyone is prepared to do that before it's too late. More likely our country will fight every other country to the death for the last of the oil (drafting a lot of people into the military to be able to do this) then use it all up...

Anna Gregoline | October 16, 2004
Has anyone seen Box of Moonlight? Beautiful movie, and there is a guy there that lives totally off the grid. It seems wonderful in many ways.

Lori Lancaster | October 17, 2004
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Amy Austin | October 18, 2004
Speaking of movies...

I'm a little startled to see this topic here, right after watching "The Day After Tomorrow" a couple of days ago! The whole time, I was saying to my husband, "this is going to give me nightmares..." I find this type of movie so much scarier than the traditional horror flicks -- because the "willing suspension of disbelief" is so much easier.

Since this is my first post, I suppose I should introduce myself -- you already have my name, and Scott has my photo -- I am an out-of-work Navy veteran (5 years), where I met my husband of 4 1/2 years, who is still in and will likely do his 20 (or 30?!)... so I am not entirely severed from a lifestyle that, like anything else, has its pros & cons. I am even *considering* re-entry, although the thought doesn't excite me terribly.

It's a rainy day here in San Diego (!! -- the second in a row, even), and the nature of my first peek into your message boards, combined with being in the midst of too much transition, has me feeling just a bit amplified in my fears. This isn't an insult or blame, just an observation from a slacker on the brink of mid-life crisis!

I remember very well when I first became concerned with environmental issues: it was my senior year in high school, and I had a real hippie of an Environmental Science teacher. It was also the year that Earth Day came on real strong with its message after about twenty years or so of low-key lip service (1990). The onslaught of "reduce, reuse, recycle" was enough to give me a permanent guilt complex about creating trash of any kind... only furthering complicating my already existent "pack-rattitude" -- I am a keeper of multitudes of "stuff" that I know has not lost its usefulness... a self-proclaimed "junkie". Sometimes, I even think that I should be running a reclamation junkyard somewhere "in the sticks/Styx" -- perhaps this is actually the answer to my current dilemma... and of course, self-subsistence would be preferred.

But what if everyone in the world opted for this lifestyle... would there be enough to go around??? I'm glad that there are plenty of folks out there who don't feel this way about "civilization" -- there'll be less of them around when it matters. But then... doesn't that bring to mind a certain "Mad Max" apocalyptic quality -- people killing and stealing from those who *do* have the resources? Maybe it's just better to perish right away. I guess that's enough of that line of rambling...

Anyway, I do find "a large-scale reinstitution of the military draft" to be a classic piece of irony... after all, how much oil do you think it takes to run a war anyway??? And if you've never stood at the stern of an aircraft carrier at trash-dumping time, then be thankful that you've been spared the visceral image of big brown bags of refuse floating like giant turds being pooped out behind the big American war machine!

Jackie Mason | October 18, 2004
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Denise Sawicki | October 19, 2004
Hi Amy, you're right about the "Mad Max" thing. If, by chance or by design, I managed to become one of the few with resources, I wouldn't really have the stomach to kill in order to defend those resources. Mainly I guess I'm just upset with the fact that my job (when I accomplish anything at it) has more to do with destroying the world to make room for more humans than it has to do with saving the world... Most jobs probably do though and I don't have training in any field that would help to save the world... Sorry to amplify your fears, just felt a need to vent my own and look for a reality check...

Scott Hardie | October 19, 2004
Glad you decided to give TC a try, Amy. I hope it will be more peaceful for you than it has been for the rest of us lately.

Denise, I hope it doesn't seem like I was putting down your ideas. I really do support you doing this, if it's what you really want to do.

Denise Sawicki | October 19, 2004
Nope, I can't actually do that stuff anyway...

John E Gunter | October 19, 2004
Well depending how an end comes about, it might be better to be one of those who perish and not a survivor. For instance, if you are far enough away from a nuclear detonation to not die from the effects, but close enough to get radiation poisoning, then you would have been better off being one of the few who were near/at ground zero. Rad poisoning is a very nasty way to die from what I've read, so I wouldn't be interested in going that way.

Course, as much as I am into the end of the world scenario, ask Scott about that, if I survive the initial collapse, I'm going to do what it takes to make sure my family and myself survive. My main interest would be to try and establish a new community. Sure you're going to have those who will be selfish and not want to help, even in said community, but I feel the best way to survive a disaster of that magnitude would be to get busy trying to restart civilization.

Who knows, maybe we'll be the ones who get it right, if it does come to that. I personally don't think we're going to get that far, but who knows what the future will bring.

How rude of me, Hi Amy! Welcome to the group!


Anna Gregoline | October 19, 2004
I think that if the human species declines or dies out, it won't be because of war - it will be from a naturally occuring virus.

Lori Lancaster | October 19, 2004
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Dave Stoppenhagen | October 19, 2004
Hi Amy. I just received my letter recently from the Navy telling me I'm done. I lived in SD for about 4 years and somedays even miss 32nd street Naval base.

Good luck to you and your husband

Amy Austin | October 19, 2004
Well, hello again...

You guys are so nice with your "welcome"s -- and you have smoe pretty interesting conversations here... I'll learn to typo faster yet... HA! Thanks!

They actually send you a letter when you're "done", huh -- like a release statement from the Reserves? I find that pretty amusing -- and I'd be highly surprised if they ever wanted to recall me! It's like, just go ahead and send me that letter now, thanks...

John's comment made me think of "Alas, Babylon" -- that was a scary story, too... they ought to make that one into a movie!

Thanks for the warm welcome, guys... ;>

Dave Stoppenhagen | October 19, 2004
Yup, basicly says thanks for serving and your eligable to re-up in the reserves we'd be glad to have you.

Scott Hardie | October 20, 2004
Here's a tangent: If global civilzation went kaput, and TC had to form a community in the wilderness to survive... How long could we last? It's as much a survival question as a social one.

Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA -- you are so funny, Scott!

Scott Hardie | October 20, 2004
Um... I wasn't joking. But now I get it. Damn, I am funny.

</Anthony impression>

Disclaimer: :-)

Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
He *is* funny. (Anthony, you are funny -- don't listen to him!)

I can tell that this would be funnier in person.

Lori Lancaster | October 20, 2004
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Kris Weberg | October 20, 2004
As I am quite skinny, I'm sure I'd be eaten last.

But more seriously, I imagine that Scott could keep all of us relatively civil to one another -- no more political parties to argue over would help this :). Mike E., Amy, Dave Stoppenhagen, and I'm sure one or two otehrs here have some survival trainign through military service; Lori has the practical experience of child care, which confers a lot of skills transferable in broad ways to this scenario; Anna, Lori (again), and others here are dextrous and have experience in the arts that could be applied to more general construction planning. Denise is, according to Lori, knowledgeable about agriculture.

I would lend my verbal skills to maintaining a chronicle, and would eat the strange berries we migth find to test them out, hoarding the psychedlic varieties for use in my hopeful role as group shaman.

Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
Yes, Lori -- that *is* a grievous generalization... (but I'm sure Dave & Mike are cool -- ;>) I can indeed shoot a gun... and a grenade launcher, but these things aren't really part of any general training... and neither is hand-to-hand combat (in the Navy, anyway) -- and besides, of what use is this, except maybe in service of the "Mad Max factor" here? (Haha -- "Mad Max Factor" sounds like something you contract from make-up...)

But here, I'd like to take this moment to sing the theme song to "Reading Rainbow" in response:

Just take a look, it's in a book...
the reading rainbow!"

Now -- let's just hope that we won't have to burn them like they did in "The Day After Tomorrow"!!!

Amy Austin | October 20, 2004

Can I be the "medicine woman" then, Kris? I am skilled in the ways of the verbal shaman, too!

Anna Gregoline | October 20, 2004
If we were all truly stranded, it would probably take me more than a few days to get over my crying -in-the-fetal-position position. After that, I'd do whatever jobs that needed to be done. Just call me Grunt Work.

Lori Lancaster | October 20, 2004
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Scott Hardie | October 20, 2004
I'm guessing that the sentiment is, if there are sporks, we'll be all right.

Kris Weberg | October 20, 2004
Only if they're Swiss Army Sporks.

Lori Lancaster | October 20, 2004
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Denise Sawicki | October 20, 2004
Um, I don't actually have a fiance and I don't have a green thumb in the least... my bf works on the family farm but he says he sucks at it :) Besides, he uses stuff like tractors which use gas so his experience doesn't necessarily confer any survival benefit towards learning to grow food after the collapse of civilization.

Lori Lancaster | October 20, 2004
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Denise Sawicki | October 20, 2004
No problem, I probably made it sound like *I* live on a farm or have some reasonable expectation of doing so in the future (which I don't). But the boyfriend and I do talk about some crazy shit at times and he says we could "live off the land" together in post-apocalyptic times. :P

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