Rhodium: The Overlooked Precious Metal

The recent re-emergence of precious metals in the public eye has been underscored by an unprecedented divergence in the spot prices of gold and platinum. Traditionally, platinum has sold at a premium above the price of gold. But in today’s topsy-turvy financial world, platinum now sells at a deep discount below gold. (This is in part because platinum is considered more of a industrial metal, whereas gold is both an industrial metal and a monetary metal.)  As I’m drafting this, I see that gold is selling for around $1,200 per ounce, while platinum is just $915 per ounce. This disparity has led some to shout: “Forget gold, buy platinum!”  This approach has merit, but I’d take it a step further, and say: “Forget gold and platinum, buy rhodium!”  (Rhodium is more rare than platinum, yet is currently priced lower.)

As recently as seven years ago, rhodium was selling for … Continue reading




Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Benchmade Steep

I think I’ve been getting knife samples from Benchmade for articles about 23 years now, and I’ve toured their factory several times, though I haven’t been up there for a while. So, I’m over due for a visit to see how much they have expanded since my last visit. Les d’Asis, the owner at Benchmade, always seems to find the time to sit down and visit with me, and it has never, ever been a visit that was cut short. Les is “good people”; with no dress shirt and tie, and I’ve mentioned this before about him, he’s a real down to earth type of guy!

Over the years, I’ve seen quite a few PR and marketing people at Benchmade come and go. Some were real good; others were just so-so. There was even a PR/marketing firm or two that handled writers’ requests for samples. The … Continue reading




Sarah Latimer: Unrealized Expectations – Part 1

A simple reach to touch and squeeze my hand, followed by a slight smile in the corners of what are usually distant eyes that at that moment were deeply focused on mine, brought me to tears. Last week, after my husband had prepared a sandwich lunch for his mother and me and I had fed her, done her hair, and given her a manicure, I prayed with her. I just gently touched her arm with one hand and went to our Heavenly Father with praises, intercession, and petitions in our Savior’s name. “Mom” is on hospice care and in the final stages of one of those horrific, neurodegenerative diseases. (You know, it’s one of those– dementia, Alzheimer’s, and such that takes the mind and the body slowly.) We haven’t heard any real words from her in almost a year, nor had even a laugh or smile or indication that she … Continue reading




February in Precious Metals, by Steven Cochran of Gainesville Coins

Welcome to SurvivalBlog’s Precious Metals Month in Review, by Steven Cochran of Gainesville Coins where we take a look at “the month that was” in precious metals. Each month, we cover the price action of gold and examine the “what” and “why” behind those numbers.

What Did Gold Do in February?

Gold had a very good February. Starting at $1,126 an ounce, it jumped as high as $1,261 an ounce. By February 11th, spot gold had closed over the $1,200 mark, and never looked back. Toward the end of the month, spot gold was parked above the $1,230 level

Factors Affecting Gold This Month

Much like last month, blood was running in the street on Wall Street, and pain continues in the Oil Patch.

OIL GLUT (Continuing)

Oil futures saw a stomach-churning ride in February. Desperate traders eagerly snapped up any rumor … Continue reading




Recipe of the Week: Spicy Wine Pot Roast, by J.M.

Here is a pot roast recipe from long-time SurvivalBlog reader J.M.  To tone the spiciness down, simply reduce the amount of Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder.

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 lb beef pot roast
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (¾oz) package brown gravy mix
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup catsup
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch garlic powder

Directions:

  • Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper and place in a slow cooking
    pot.
  • Combine remaining ingredients and pour over meat.
  • Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours.
  • Remove meat and slice.
  • If desired, thicken the sauce with flour dissolved in a small
    amount of water and serve over meat.
  • Makes 6 to 7 servings

    o o o

    Useful Recipe and Cooking Links:

    We really enjoy a hot porridge breakfast topped with a little butter … Continue reading




    Letter: ShepherdFarmerGeek on Relocation to Belize

    Dear Editor:
    SurvivalBlog’s spin-off site SurvivalRealty.com has just listed a unique retreat opportunity called Providence Belize. The Shepherdess and I a-l-m-o-s-t moved there ourselves last year, but God is clearly calling us to stay and stand where we are with the people He has led us to help.

    That said, we visited Belize once, for one day on a cruise excursion. It’s just beautiful (a subtropical paradise if you’re a gardener like me and tired of the drought conditions around Spokane!). Belize is a former British Colony. (It was called British Honduras, before 1973), and English is their primary language. I’ve never met Jim Duncan personally, but have corresponded with him for almost a year about this and I believe that he’s a man of integrity and he has commitment to Jesus.

    I have zero financial connection with Providence Belize, whatsoever. My only concern is to see … Continue reading




    Letter Re: Shielding Electronics From EMP

    HJL,
    Another point on electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and Faraday cages is even something simple can be protective. There are 30 Gallon galvanized steel trash cans with lids (made in the USA!) available at my local farm and ranch store for $22. This makes for affordable and easy storage, and you can wrap things in common aluminum foil. Or even something like a steel cabinet or vault, but generally try to avoid gaps or spaces. It doesn’t have to be zero signal, but reduce the field strength enough to prevent damage.

    Vehicles have some protection for many years. In the early days of electronic ignition systems, truckers with CB linear amplifiers were causing police vehicles to stall. And driving near powerful radio towers also caused some glitches. The protection added since the early 1970s isn’t military grade, but realize if your vehicle doesn’t even hiccup when it is next … Continue reading




    Economics and Investing:

    UK’s exit from EU would be a “shock” to global economy: G20

    o o o

    Bob Shapiro: Oil and The Dollar

    o o o

    Items from Professor Preponomics:

    US News

    Fleeing Firms Put Pressure on Congress and Candidates (Washington Examiner)

    Bank of America is Preparing Big Layoffs in Investment Banking and Trading
    (Business Insider) 

    JP Morgan: We’re Bracing for Energy Losses (CNBC)

    Wells Fargo Girds for Oil & Gas Loan Losses (Morningstar)

    International News

    G20: Leaders Split on How to Kick-Start Global Growth (The Telegraph)

    4,000 HSBC Staff Face the Axe (Daily Mail)

    Royal Bank of Scotland Hits Eighth Straight Annual Loss (Yahoo News)

    Personal Economics and Household Finance

    IRS: Cyberattack Twice as Bad … Continue reading




    Odds ‘n Sods:

    Some important reading: The Hidden Persuaders – How The Internet Flips Election & Alters Our Thoughts. This article helps explain why bloggers in general and Matt Drudge in particular are so despised by the mainstream media.  Because Matt and his small staff have thousands of independent thinkers all over the world tipping them to news stories, they are outside of the control of the Google Thought Police Machine. Likewise, the column items that you recommend to us at SurvivalBlog–often from small town newspapers and from “boots on the ground” bloggers–have the same value in creating refreshingly independent journalism. – JWR

    o o o

    Patrice Lewis, Editrix of the often-cited Rural Revolution blog posted a fantastic essay titled Social Justice Whiners: The Group We Love To Hate. (I can only wonder what would these whiners would say if I told them that I create my own … Continue reading







    Notes for Sunday – February 28, 2016

    February 28th is the birthday of famed Swiss investor and economic pundit Marc Faber
    (born 1946).

    This is also the anniversary of the BATF’s ill-conceived, unconstitutional, and horribly botched raid on the Waco, Texas Branch Davidian church in 1993. The FBI’s siege that began soon after that fateful day did not end until April 19th. Then, on orders from newly-appointed Attorney General Janet Reno–despite repeated warnings about high winds–the end result was the fiery deaths of 76 people. This included about 20 innocent children. (The exact number is still not known, because in parts of the attached buildings the fire was reportedly so intense that it resulted in complete cremation.)

    o o o

    Today, we present another entry for Round 63 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

    First … Continue reading




    Plyometrics Training Equals Survivability, by Molon Labe

    This is a commonly accepted fact in the world of preparedness: The better you are able to traverse difficult terrain or navigate dangerous scenarios, the more options you’ll have and the better overall odds you’ll have of coming out on top. However, mobility means more than being in good shape and having a bug out bag. It is the ability to make a split-second decision and stick to it, to think on your feet. All the fitness in the world won’t help you if you don’t decide to escape before being surrounded and cut off. It means taking advantage of the possibilities before they disappear. It’s not going to do you a lick of good to be able to run 10 miles with your combat/survival load if you don’t have the ability to see a trap ahead and have the guts to act on it. Those who live in the cities … Continue reading




    Letter Re: Winter Survival

    HJL,
    One point to consider regarding use of water filters in cold weather: Both Sawyer and Lifestraw warn that once their filter have been used, they should not be exposed to freezing temperatures. Ceramic filters are not as susceptible.

    From the Lifestraw web site: “If your LifeStraw has been used, and is then exposed to freezing temperatures, water inside can freeze and crack the filter. You may not see these cracks, so we recommend never letting it freeze once it’s been used. When camping at high elevations or freezing temperatures, be extra careful not to let it freeze.”

    From Sawyer web site: “Before initial wetting Filter is safe from freezing temperatures if it has never been wetted. After initial wetting While there is no definitive way to tell if a filter has been damaged due to freezing, Sawyer recommends replacing your filter if you suspect that it has … Continue reading




    Two Letters Re: EMP Effect and Pacemakers

    James:
    While case-by-case circumstances can effect the practicality of many alternatives, there are external pacing and monitoring options. The Zoll Company for example has just released a type of vest, worn similar to a brassiere with a fanny pack (battery pack). This device consistently performs cardiac monitoring and when a shockable rhythm presents itself the device does just that. More archaic methods would involve adhesive defibrillation or subcutaneous pacing patches and a cardiac monitor, while the monitors can be significantly expensive, older models are available at online auction sites. Both the aforementioned devices can be recharged, and more importantly, stored in a Faraday cage to protect them from an EMP. Neither would be as convenient as implanted devices but in a pinch could be just the thing to keep that ticker going.  – John, EMT-P.

    Dear Editor:
    You aren’t safe even when it is not an … Continue reading