Notes from JWR:

A curious thing happened yesterday (Thursday, February 4th). Both the stock markets and precious metals markets declined. Traditionally, they have moved in opposite directions, but we are living in curious times. I took advantage of the dip in metals and bought some more silver. (I hope that you do likewise, on dip days. I’ve mentioned that countless times in SurvivalBlog. Has it sunk in yet?) — Today we present another entry for Round 27 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. First Prize: A.) A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day …

Lessons Learned From an Ice Storm, by G. in the Zarks

While watching the local weather over the last few days, it has become apparent that a winter storm is heading for our part of the world, bringing with it the distinct possibility of not just snow, but significant amounts of ice. As I pondered this, it brought to mind our recent experiences with ice storms over the last few years, most notably in January 2007. I thought some of our “lessons learned” were worth sharing with others. We had been blessed with several years of reasonably mild winters leading up to the 2007 storm. Unfortunately, the good times often seem …

Letter Re: I Thought that I Was Ready!

I have just returned to my house after 6 days without power. I Thought I was ready. I had plenty of beans, Band-Aids, bullion and bullets. What I didn’t have was the stuff I needed to get through the first week of a massive power outage. We still had water, even though I had an additional 50 gallons of fresh, treated water for myself, The Beautiful Wife (TBW) and the pets. We had enough short term food that we were able to provide a chili meal for some of our friends and coworkers that were doing without. We had more …

Letter Re: Tool Maintenance and Spares

Sir: Hand tools are nearly useless if not properly maintained. This concept seems under emphasized in preparedness literature. One should have a stash of assorted files and sharpening stones, as they can be broken or worn out. Items like hacksaw blades that are nearly impossible to make at home should be acquired in quantity. People should also buy a quantity of tool steel and drill rod suitable for fashioning cutting tools. Thanks for your advice on your blog site and for your novel “Patriots” . Regards, – Jim J.

Economics and Investing:

From GG: Revelations of hidden Greek debt “last straw”. And here is a related news story: EU toughens demands on Greece Flavio sent this linkio: It’s Official: California Housing Production Reached New Low in 2009. Down 83% from the 2004 peak! Pioneering blogger Hugh Hewitt says: We Are Headed For A Fiscal Stroke. (A tip of the hat to Damon for the link.) Chad S. flagged this: U.S. May Lose 824,000 Jobs as Employment Data Revised Items from The Economatrix: Note from JWR: Cheryl (aka The Economatrix) wrote me to mention that there is up to two feet of fresh …

Odds ‘n Sods:

Ham radio: A fading hobby … until emergencies hit. (A hat tip to John M. for the link.)    o o o Mark A. was the first of several readers to mention this: Digital doomsday: the end of knowledge    o o o Joel S. sent us this: Bogota’s Bulletproof Tailor

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go." – Martha Washington, from The Life of Washington by Anna C. Reed, niece of a signer of the Declaration of Independence; first published in 1842 by the American Sunday-School Union, now called the American Missionary Fellowship (AMF).