Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Breaking the rules

Bronze <> copper
The lovely and gracious Rogue pointed me to a rerun of a Nightline segment called Extreme Penny Hoarders* that illustrates the kinds of things Preppers should never do.

Obviously, I have no problem with setting aside copper cents. I have long done that very thing, though I would argue that it's quite possible to have too much of a good thing. Getting a 50% return on your money is worthwhile**; saving 30 gallons of pennies in your barn is probably overkill. You're likely not going to ever need that much bronze***.

But wasting your time sorting pennies is the not the major mistake these preppers are making (as many economists would argue). Most of us waste far more time doing even less of value.

No, the mistakes are these six:

1) Don't go on TV telling the government you intend to melt down 'their' currency.
2) Don't go on TV telling the government you have lots of cash lying about.
3) Don't go on TV telling people who live near you that you have lots of money stored in your barn.
4) Don't go on TV at all.
5) Don't go on TV.
6) Just don't.

I'm always amazed at the people who live within 10 miles of literally a million soon-to-be-hungry people who are willing to show off their preps to all of them. Have they never read Isaiah 39? Such a move is pretty much guaranteed to end in tears.

But El B, some might say, you show off your preps here all the time. Perhaps that's a fair cop. Not only do some of you know me, a couple of you live within 5 miles of me****. You might say in your hungry hearts, El B has food: maybe I'll go get some from him.

As I have said before, if you have the knowledge, foresight, and ability to reach this particular place during a real SHTF event, you probably don't need to; there will be far closer and easier places to get what I have.  If you come here anyway, I have lots of work that slaves long-term employees might do.  I'll not turn you away. Because I am a Christian I will feed you as best I am able, even to my own hurt.

Still, my social safely net is not a hammock. You might not be hungry in the morning but I guarantee you'll be really freaking sore and probably covered in chigger bites as well. I'm a benign dictator, but only the benign part is negotiable.  I planned ahead, which is why you're the one scything hay in the 110 degree heat and not me.

Nor am I unique. Plenty of rural folk who are willing to help strangers also have the means to ensure those strangers earn their bread. I really doubt a suburban guy on Nightline showing off the 30 gallons of pennies stored in his tin shed can say the same.

* Unfortunately, as embedding is disabled by Youtube, you'll have to watch it there.
** Some would argue that since it's illegal to melt pennies, that 50% can never be realized.  these people also have no idea to where manhole covers disappear.
*** Nightline talks about copper, but the pennies are bronze. That's an important distinction.
**** And I know who you are.


  1. 1 - 6, check. Oh, and don't just not go on it, don't watch it. Talk to old CIA agents, and they will tell you the same.

    Some things I share, some things I don't. Even as I rig to sprint out of the burning barn, I am not just losing my head. Oddly, as things spin out of control, I am regaining self-control. Surprising what a rap on the nose can do to regain focus and intent. I don't believe this is the end of time, just a dark question mark in history, that either way is going to get bloody... and tribal. Keep your heads down out there.

    Y'all have been heavy in my prayers. I... think you will be okay. Good head (mostly), and bearing of the fruits. A bit whacky, but how can I begrudge THAT!?! Still... I worry some for y'all. I just don't get to die, but I can suffer. Rather not. :p

  2. I don't believe this is the end of time

    Nor I. I'm certain that nothing we are experiencing is comparable to what the Romans experienced, so the 'signs' are at most recurring phenomena. Would I like Jesus to return? Hell yeah, get me out of here; level 2* is bound to exceed level 1 as much as Christianity exceeds Judaism. Both are real. But one is better.

    And I appreciate the prayers. And I will be OK. I've lived 50 years. Half a century. While I'd prefer my parents not bury me, I'm thankful for every year I've had thus far and going forward. TBH, I've selfishly hoped to die before the lovely and gracious Rogue, because to bury her would kill me. Just saying.

    * to pick a Voxian hyperbole.

  3. Buried a woman and child, trust me, it would be best to go first. They are better built for some things, that being one of them. But it's not a race. Enjoy. And... you'll survive what you have to. Good to hear.

  4. If I walk that far over, it will be with goods to barter--not to labor. I can labor enough over here, thank you.

  5. Well of course I don't mind working, but this scythe isn't ergonomic, and with these temperatures I should get two 15 minute breaks in addition to lunch. And since we're Seventh-Day Adventists, you'll have to accommodate our Sabbath observance. Hmm...maybe I should take this up with HR. Can you direct me to your HR department? I can't seem to find a listing on the site...

  6. Doom: Oh, and don't just not go on it, don't watch it.

    I'm happy to report that I haven't spent 5 minutes in front of it since March or so.

    CJ: Since the lovely and gracious Rogue just completed her master's in Human Resource Development, she'll have a training program that will put to rest all those concerns about "comfort" and "workplace safety." I suspect she'll let you have Saturdays, though. She's understanding like that.