Ok so I have taken Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine   Leave a comment

What are the side effects of the Moderna vaccine?

 

On Tuesday July 13, I recieved my first dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. I had it done at Tufts Medical Center, which is the hospital that I regularly go to. For those of you who may not have known, I was sick with COVID-19 last April (2020). That was the only reason I needed to decide to get vaccinated as soon as I was able to. I will go back for my second shot on August 10.

So far, I haven’t experienced anything beyond my expectations in regards to the known side effects. For those who may be curious, I have experienced a low-grade fever, slight dizziness (though I’m sure that’s from Vertigo which I’ve been dealing with since last month) and some fatigue (though I can mitigate that by increasing my heart rate). I have also experienced some muscle pain in my right shoulder where I had the injection (I’m left handed FYI) which I have been using Tylonol Extra Strength and hot pads to deal with.

All the side effects are supposed to subside after a few days max and so far, I have seen that is indeed the case. The only thing that’s persisted so far as musle pain which I’m not very concerned about personally. I am really looking forward to seeing how my body responds after the second shot since the side effects are supposed to be much stronger than after the first. I’ll take the shot in the same arm since as I noted earlier, I am left handed and so I won’t be severely limited in the immediate days afterward. I’ll also try to get some Icy Hot and some more hot pads before then in advance.

I actually just signed up to do delivery with Uber Eats–turns out you don’t need a car for that–on July 15 and though I don’t plan to start doing deliveries until after I’m fully vaccinated (August 24 is when I’ll officially have full protection), it’s good to go through the vetting process with Uber from now. I did have a Postmates account but then they went and merged with Uber while I wasn’t paying attention. That’s ok with me since I’ve been using Uber Eats for deliveries on a monthly basis since March personally already so I already know what to expect from that end.

If you read any of my recent COVID-19 related posts on my News and Politics blog this week, you probably now understand even more why I was speaking in such high regard about the vaccines all this time. I did my own research on the vaccines before making my decision on which one I was going to get. I decided to go with Moderna mostly because the spacing between shots is a bit longer than Pfizer’s and like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been dealing with Vertigo since last month. That complicates things for me but I’m cool with it personally. I don’t plan to go out much between now and when I get my second shot unless it’s to get groceries and stuff I can’t have delivered or mailed.

I figure once I’m fully vaccinated and some family members see that I’m fine despite my various health conditions, that will be what convinces them to get vaccinated. I hope. Most have taken a “I’ll wait and see” position as far as I know. I do know one of my uncles and one of my aunts did get vaccinated earlier this year though I haven’t had the chance to talk to them about it. I do know it’s not an easy decision when most of your family is against the idea of getting a COVID-19 vaccine because of the misinformation and disinformation from trusted sources they’ve chosen to listen to. I’m pretty sure that was also the case for most of the unvaccinated who died from COVID-19 in recent months. They decided to gamble with their health and paid the ultimate price.

On that note. A few moments before I got my first shot, I noticed a wall with pictures of about two dozen healthcare workers on a wall behind the check in counter. I didn’t ask but my guess is those pictures were the hospital’s healthcare workers who’ve so far died to COVID-19. The healthcare workers who staffed the vaccination site looked legit relieved every time someone walked in to recieve their first or single shot of a vaccine. They were on the front lines from the very beginning of the pandemic. As I sat in the waiting area for 15 minutes after getting my shot, I was almost overcome with emotion when I thought of the millions nationwide who have made the decision to not to get vaccinated.

I think of the story of Noah’s Ark personally. If you read later books in the Bible that provide background information on that story, you find out Noah spent 100 years warning people about the flood to come (by the way he lived to be 400 years old). When he and his family boarded the ark and the door was sealed shut, the fates of everyone outside the ark was sealed. Everyone outside the ark was dead but no one knew it yet. The sun rose and fell for 7 more days before the rain that heralded the arrival of a global flood actually began. The people outside the ark likely believed that as long as there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, they had no reason to believe they were in any danger. Most of them probably thought “Maybe when it starts raining, I’ll believe it.” All of them were lost. Think about that. Those who thought they had time and could take their chances were ultimately proven wrong. When the rains began, some may have begged and pleaded with Noah to let them in but by then, it was too late.

It’s the same with the vaccine hesitency and vaccine holdouts. Many of those who’ve taken the “wait and see” or “I’ll wait until it’s mandated” approaches have been among the ones getting infected and dying. Last month, 99.2% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 nationwide were all unvaccinated. The 0.8% who were fully vaccinated but that was what kept them out of danger. Either way, most of them were infected with the Delta Variant that originated from India. Some of the lucky ones who waited until they were hospitalized to finally get vaccinated themelves and then recovered have gone on to say they wished they got vaccinated sooner. I said this on another blog but at this point, it’s obvious President Biden is done trying to plead with people to make a life-saving decision for themselves and the people they care about and get vaccinated.

I am well aware that even when fully vaccinated, I will still need to be careful for as long as COVID-19 is still a public health emergency in general. While most of Boston and Massachusetts are fully vaccinated, the unvaccinated who are are driving the surge in new cases are why healthcare workers are concerned a new strain that can Escape the protection of currently available vaccines could soon emerge. That’s still no reason to not get vaccinated. Some protection is always better than none.

On that note. If you have already received your first Moderna or Pfizer shot, make sure to get your second shot for the full protection when it’s your turn. Even if you lost your reminder card, you can still go or call wherever you had your first shot and they will be able to tell you when you need to come in for your second shot. When I was getting my first shot, there was talk among the staff of the possible need for a third shot at some point in the future. This would specifically be to boost protection against the Delta Variant as well as the variant first discovered in South Africa since the currently available vaccines only provide modest protection against them right now. That’s no cause for concern and should instead be cause for relief in knowing efforts are being made in advance to prepare for that likely scenario.

Once again, some protection is always better than none.

 

 

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I finally watched the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” Reunion Special on HBO Max!   Leave a comment

Will Smith Ends Feud with Janet Hubert on "Fresh Prince" Reunion – B98.5

…That’s the full song, which plays with the Pilot episode.

 

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the show’s launch, Will Smith assembled the show’s cast for an almost 2-hour trip down memory lane. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is one of the few 90s sitcoms that is still around today because of how massively popular it is. It is such an iconic show, good luck finding kids who haven’t at least heard of it.

Despite the fact the show ran from1990 to 1995 spanning 150 episodes, it has lived on in reruns in the 25 years since the final episode aired in 1995. A few cable networks carry the show and you can find all 6 seasons in their entirety on HBO Max (without Ads!).

Speaking of. I plan to binge all six seasons while my HBO Max subscription is still active. I finished Season 1 and I now know for sure the set changed after the first season. I was never sure but now I have it confirmed. The interior of the Banks home changes to the iconic look we all know and love after the first season:

 

Pin by Sidney Gray on living room | Living room 90s, Living room background, Living room

Fresh Prince of Bel Air 30th Anniversary Reunion /...

 

…The second picture is from the Reunion Special and is a faithful recreation of the original set. It is also fueling speculation Will Smith plan to make a new show idea a reality. While he was promoting the Reunion Special last year, Smith said he was very open to creating a new series with himself as the dad. The idea would be for it to be a tribute to the late James Avery (1945-2013), who played Uncle Phil on the show. We will have to wait and see if it happens.

The Reunion special was done in 2020 during the pandemic if that wasn’t already obvious. Since that was before Vaccines became available, great care was taken to ensure the cast–almost all of whom are now over 50–could safely interact and be physically close to each other. I am hopeful they will do another reunion special, this time in front of a audience.

The show’s had quite a number of not just celebrity appearances but guest appearances by actors who would go on to star in their own sitcoms, dramas or movies. Queen Latifah made several appearances early in the show’s run as several characters. Like Will Smith, she was looking to transition into acting after making a name for herself as an artist. She would go on to co-star on Livin’ SIngle and the movie Set It Off, which established her acting career. Malcom Jamal Warner plugged the Cosby Show during his guest appearance, having made a prior cameo in a daydream sequence on the show as himself. Nia Long famously played Smith’s girlfriend on the show as several characters during its run.

The show is more known and beloved for tackling issues and and topics common from within Black America, all of which are still relevant today. In fact, you can have a group discussion after almost every episode. The cast revealed during the Reunion Special they didn’t just want entertain people but also wanted to enlighten, inform and uplift.

 

Here’s one now iconic moment from Season 2 that got renewed attention in recent years:

 

“No way! Dude’s got a gun. Next thing I know, I got six warning shots in my back.” This clip has been immortalized on YouTube. It was clearly done as dark humor but 30 years later, this line has taken renewed interest due to recent events that have made the news involving unarmed black men being shot by police. It’s not that it wasn’t happening back then. The difference its in recent years, it’s been getting recorded a lot more.

 

 

Uncle Phil’s question at the end “When are we gonna stop doing this to each other?” at the end was clearly directed at Black America. It was a shot at what had to that point become toxic stereotypes about what “being Black” is or is supposed to be perpetuated by Blacks. Not just the vernaculars but the “Street Smarts Culture” Black Americans perpetuated throughought the 70s, 80s, most of the 90s and most of the 2000s.

All that said, this moment and others from the show are clearly was a clear shot at “Black Hood Culture”. As much as many folks in my generation like to tout the 90s as “The last good decade”, it wasn’t all Nintendo and Michael Jordan. Especially for Black America. Let’s just be real: rap music, certain talk shows, certain comedians and gangsta movies all went a long way in distorting and devaluing Black Americans for a whole generation by glamorizing self-destructive habits, ideas and behaviors.

That’s a whole other topic that would need a series of posts to cover though. Before I move on, I will say the way this show tackled real life issues didn’t feel feel forced. Sitcoms–short for “Situation Comedy” or those who never knew–of the 90s, 80s and 70s are often criticized these days for having projected the false narrative any problem can be resolved within 30 minutes (or two episodes) during their eras. That IS true but the Fresh Prince of Bel Air was one of the few shows that covered real issues purposely and with great attention to detail.

 

 

Now here’s a scene many in America regardless of race or ethnicity felt the first time they saw it:

 

WIll Smith commented on the story behind this scene both in the Reunion Special and in past interviews after James Avery died. First off, this was 100% scripted. The backdrop to what is easily the most iconic scene in the entire series is James Avery pushed Will Smith to bring it as an actor and refused to allow filming to end until we got the finished product. Smith revealed during the embrace, Avery whispers to him ‘Now THAT’S acting!”

Earlier in the episode, Will and Uncle Phil have a huge fight and at the end of it, Will smell exclaims to him “You are NOT my father!” It’s not hard to understand how much it hurt Uncle Phil to have him say that to him and more so since he moved to Bel Air. For all intents and purposes, Uncle Phil was the father Will never had and needed.

 

That aside, the line “How come he don’t want me?” cut deep and hard for millions of Americans regardless of age who either grew up without a father or were the mothers of kids who grew up without one. No more needs to be said.

Oh and Will Smith–the person, not the character–did grow up with his father in his life. Some folks might also remember the song he did a few years after the song he did called “Just The Two Of Us”, which is actually a rehash of an old song with the same name. He did the song as a tribute to his firstborn son after he broke up with the mother of his son and got full custody. This was before he married Jada Pinkett (they have two kids together). No, not his other son Jaden. That’s his son with his wife.

 

 

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air': How Daphne Maxwell Reid Really Feels About The Aunt Viv Comparisons - SHADOW & ACT

When Season 4 began, there was a new actress playing the role of Vivian Banks. While Aunt Viv was spared the same fate as Family Matters’ Judy Winslow–who went upstairs one day and never came back down–there was no ignoring the fact she was played by a different actress for the second half of the show’s run. As Jazz put it, Aunt Viv “drastically changed” five months after giving birth.

Mind you, Nicky Banks (played by Ross Bagley) was “aged up” a few years between Seasons 4 and 5 (which again, Jazz points out) but given there is an implied time skip while Will is in Philadelphia (complete with 4th Wall breaking of course), you can kinda hand-wave this. More so since by then, viewers clearly noticed the new Aunt Viv and the one they’d grown to love had their own approaches to their protrayals of the character.

 

The interesting thing Daphne Reid, who played Aunt Viv in Seasons 4 through 6 revealed during the Reunion Special is she was initially considered to play Aunt Viv. She passed on the role and it wasn’t until the show began she realized she missed out on being a part of something special. Then, the role of Aunt Viv suddenly opened at the end of season 3.

 

Speaking of:

 

Five highlights from The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air reunion - NOW Magazine

Will Smith and Janet Hubert-Whitten had their first face to face sit-down meeting in 27 years during the Reunion Special. After playing footage of that sit-down meeting between them, Smith told the rest of the cast it wouldn’t have felt right to do the Reunion Special without her and more so since she had been a big part of the show’s popularity both during her time on it and in the 30 years after the show ended.

Make no mistake the two said a lot more to each other than what we saw but the point is after 27 years, Will and Janet reconciled. Their feud was one of the longest in Hollywood history. Before I continue, Janet clarified the narrative everyone including Smith himelf assumed that she had been fired. In reality, her contract had expired. Janet actually was pregnant during the taping of Season 3 and her pregnancy was written into the show.

Her contract was up for renewal when she had her falling out with WIll. Negotiations fell through and her beef with WIll Smith, who was a rising star in Hollywood prettymuch meant her acting career was over. In the context of when their beef began, Janet told Will she knew that at the time they had their falling out he was basically untouchable. While clearly more was said between them than has been publicly shared, Will admitted he knew she was stressed from the pregnancy and needlessly added to it with his badgering. Janet told him aside from the pregnancy and the contract negotiations that fell through, she was also dealing with an abusive and failed marriage.

Will knew things came to a head when NBC first got wind of the rumors about them. He and the rest of the cast likely had been simply told she had been fired and her role was recast. Daphne Reid, who was originally considered for the role was chosen to replace Janet Hubert-Whitten for the rest of the show’s run. Aunt Viv is noticably absent from three of the final four episodes of Season 3 (she gives birth in Episode 20). She was paid for her final appearance in the Wedding Anniversary episode, which is a flashback episode.

 

Alphonso Ribiero already showed he has some SERIOUS dancing skills prior to the introuction of what is The Carlton Dance. For those who didn’t pick up on the obvious references, Ribiero took dancing lessons to be a backup dancer for Michael Jackson. Those plans were put on the shelf when he was cast as Carlton…or so he likely thought.

The song “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones saw a surge in record, cassette and CD sales after its first appearance on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. When he learned why his old song was suddenly so popular, Tom Jones begged to make his one cameo appearance on an episode of the show during a dream sequence with Carlton.

Will Smith recognized Alphonso’s talent outside acting and pushed for him to have opportunities to show off his range. This would continue 20 years after the show ended as well.

Alfonso won Dancing with the Stars in 2014 thanks to the Carlton Dance. He knew he would only be allowed to use it once and he knew people wanted to see him do it so he saved it for last, winning the competition with it.

 

A Look Back at the House from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" - Hooked on  Houses

Here's What The FRESH PRINCE BEL AIR Mansion . . . Looks Like NOW!!! - MTO  News

 

I almost forgot to mention this but the iconic Fresh Prince of Bel Air mansion is actually located in Brentwood, which is next to Bel Air. The show is loosely inspired by the life of Benny Medina–known as the REAL Fresh Prince of Bel Air–who was the show’s Executive Producer. That’s not his actual mansion but Medina did own a mansion in Bel Air. He sold his mansion in 2015 for about $13 Million when he moved to New York.

As for the Fresh Prince of Bel Air Mansion, it’s still there. I think it’s owned by Will Smith but I can’t remember. Last October, Smith partnered with Air BnB to host five sleepovers. One night for $35 but in exchange, you could basically do whatever you wanted while there. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they could only source people from the LA County area who lived together. There will probably be another promotion once the Pandemic is under control though.

 

 

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Ok so Facebook has disabled my account, likely permanent   Leave a comment

Oh and no it wasn’t from violating any of that platform’s rules or community standards. I did not post something that triggered someone on Facebook. Nothing I posted was flagged. I would have been notified if that was the case. Based on what I’ve been reading on Twitter for the last few hours, this is actually  widespread problem and has been for over a year now. The problems coincidentally began with the rollout of the new desktop interface last year.

The thing about the Facebook platform that annoys all users who have ever experienced a problem is the fact that it is impossible to speak to a live person. Their Help & Support section is useless as there is no way for users to actually resolve a problem like this that a human tech person should be handling.

I am not expecting my Facebook account to be unlocked just like the other two that were disabled for no explained reason in January. As for what I was doing, I was simply managing the Facebook Groups I made myself. On that note. My account was restricted every week since late January just while doing that. No, really. I spoke to one person who lost an account just for uploading pictures in bulk to their personal account. I believed him because that’s exactly what caused one of my other accounts to be disabled in January.

As a platform, Facebook is even more broken than it was in recent years. More so given user data is compromised from major hacks every few years. The platform has already been dealing with bad publicity from its invasive info-gathering practices for almost 10 years that have only been stepped up in recent years.

 

A few examples:

  • Authentic Name Policy: This was what led to one of my accounts that I had for 5 years to that point being disabled in January. Apparently, Facebook only wants people to use their real, legal names on Facebook from now on. This seems to be a new policy that is only selectively enforced since I know a lot of people who do not use their real name on Facebook. This is also a problem for those who do not want to use their real name on Facebook for legitimate privacy reasons. This was why I made an account with a made up name 5 years ago. Not everyone who wants to be anonymous on Social Media has malicious intentions.
  • Wanting an active phone number: This has been their policy for about 10 years WhatsApp, which they bought a few years ago is one thing. On the one hand, it’s much harder to change a phone number than an email address (espcially if said email is Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo). On the other hand, anyone who knows your phone number knows half of what they need to access your account.
  • Wanting to see a Government-issue ID or document to verify your identity: This is easily the one that is a giant red flag for a lot of people. Facebook insists they destroy the photocopy of the provided document after receiving it but that’s still a blatant invasion of privacy. More so for those who do not have an ID. I know a lot of people in The Philippines as well as on the African continent who do not have a Government ID simply because they don’t have the money for example.
  • Personalized Ads: Facebook knows more about you, how you think as well as your likes and dislikes than you think. In fact, the European Union and a few other places passed strict measures several years back to block Facebook (and other Social Media platforms) from gathering certain personal data and protect the public’s right to a reasonable level of anonminity online. The U.S., which is where Facebook (and Twitter) is headquartered never did because Facebook the lobbied to keep it from happening.
  • Inconsistent Policy Enforcement: A few Facebook groups I know of come to mind. In all of them, people basically post whatever they want with no fear of backlash from Facebook. I mean links to porn, graphic images (gore, body fluid, dead bodies, etc.) and spam. The group Admins looking the other way aside, there isn’t even a guarantee Facebook will remove the offending item when reported.

 

Facebook has been making it as easy as possible for people to find you online. You also need to keep in mind as far as Facebook is concerned, you are money for advertisers who want to be able to do targeted adverisements. As of this year, Facebook is believed to have 2.7 Billion unique registered users. That’s almost a third of the world population.

Facebook’s data collection practices are basically the envy of every world government that wishes they could do what Facebook does. It’s also why all governments are and should be VERY concerned with the fact Facebook has comprehensive information about every single accoun holder. They sell some of that information to the highest bidder for the purposes of targeted advertising. It’s why hackers keep targeting them so…yeah.

There has been chatter for the last 6 to 8 months now that Congress may order Facebook to break up as well as make WhatsApp and Beehive, which Facebook recently purchased back into independent companies. There is already a lot of public support and bipartisan support for this from those who have rightfully become very concerned by how much power Facebook has internationally and well as domestically over its users.

 

For those who don’t know, WhatsApp is an instant messaging platform used globally that features End to End Encrpytion. It does require a mobile phone to work–my biggest issue with it and more so with my cellphone problems in recent years–but does allow people who live in different countries to freely talk without a third party being able to monitor the conversation. As long as you know the other person’s phone number–and assuming both of you have data or Wi-Fi–you can text, voice call or video call with them for free. Facebook had been hoping to begin integrating WhatsApp like they’ve already done with Instagram (which they also own) but the latest WhatsApp update confirmed it will not be integrated, likely ahead of plans to sell the platform before they’re forced to.

Mark Zuckerberg is no longer trying to hide the fact he wants to sell Facebook. The problem may be finding a willing buyer. Why? Because the platform is regularly targeted by hackers who want to steal and then sell user information to the highest bidder on the Dark Web. Whoever is willing to buy the platform would need to make protecting user information their #1 priority because clearly it isn’t Mark Zuckerberg’s.

On a related note, he has candidly admitted publicly many times he does not use Facebook himself “because there are better ways to spend your time”. He has also said he will never let his daughter basically know it exists. The other co-Founders of Facebook have all said they have never used the platform and never will because of how “psychologically damaging” it is. More food for thought.

 

Anywho, WordPress is and has been my primary online platform since 2012. I only wish I found it a few years sooner. I could have saved a few hundred dollars worth of paying to keep a domain name active at least. If Facebook does reinstate my disabled account, I will make a push for folks to keep in touch with me via other means. I’m so done with Facebook playing games with me.

 

 

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Godzilla vs. Kong blows open the potential for more stories to tell   Leave a comment

Clash of the Titans: A 'Godzilla vs. Kong' MonsterVerse Primer - Bloody  Disgusting

 

Before I begin, let’s get the obvious bit of info you want to know first out of the way: Neither Kong or Godzilla die though both come close. I got HBO Max specifically for THIS movie as well as the two previous movies Kong: Skull Island (2016) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2018) which I hadn’t seen yet. I saw the first movie Godzilla (2014) in theaters twice and then bought it on Blu Ray. It goes without saying I liked it enough to see the movies that followed that one.

Now let’s backtrack a bit and provide some background info for those who may not be familiar with what fans call the “Monsterverse”. Fair warning, there be some spoilers for these last three movies (including Godzilla vs. Kong) so if you do not want to be spoiled, scroll down to the next picture.

The second movie. Kong: Skull Island actually lays the foundation for what we see in the other three movies: The Hollow Earth Theory. Before I continue, this is an actual theory that is now widely dismissed due to how much we now know about the planet. In the Monsterverse, the Hollow Earth Theory is the belief that there are tunnels within the planet that the Titans used in the past to quickly travel from one part of the world to another.

As is revealed in Godzilla vs. Kong, there is another world deep within the world–referred to at the end of the movie as Hollow Earth–that is the homeland of all the Titans. In Godzilla: King of the Monsters we find out that there are Titans on other worlds: Gidorah, who was trapped in ice in Antarctica was one of them. He was referred to as a False King because although Gidorah is an Alpha, he is not originally from Earth. When that movie ended, Godzilla killed Gidorah and was then acknowledged by the other Titans as Earth’s Alpha Titan. Gidorah was another Alpha who wanted to claim dominance as the Alpha Titan. Godzilla challenged him, won and was acknowledged by the other Titans.

…All but one: Kong.

The events of Kong: Skull Island takes place in the early 1970s. A then “teenage” Kong is introduced as the last of his kind. We find out near the end of that movie that Kong’s parents were likely killed by Skull Crawlers, which are menacing pseudo-Titans that attack Kong and other creatures on the island on a daily basis. The movie ends with Kong killing the largest one that likely killed his parents in the past. One of the human characters in the movie notes near the end that Kong is still growing so…yeah.

Skull Island is referenced throughout Godzilla: King of the Monsters and the final scene before the credits confirmed the next movie will feature both of them. At the beginning of Godzilla vs. Kong we find out Kong was moved into a special environment on Skull Island was for two reasons. The first was obviously to keep Godzilla from finding him. The second reason was the storm that has enveloped the island by that point in time.

It’s revealed the native population that we see in Kong: Skull Island is wiped out by the storm that enveloped the island. At the beginning of the movie, the survey team that travels to the island actually flies through a hurricane that surrounds the island. Skull Island was in the eye of the storm at that time but no longer by the time Godzilla vs. Kong takes place 50 years later. Jia, a deaf girl who can communicate with Kong using sign language is the only human he will listen to (by the way yes, they used an actual deaf actress) so she’s along for the ride.

By the time of the beginning of Godzilla vs. Kong, Kong has grown and is not only much bigger than he was 50 years earlier but older. You can clearly see the beard on his face with some signs of greying in it. Apex Cybernetics is the true big bad in this movie. They’ve created Mecha Godzilla but it has a major problem: It needs a new power source capable of letting it operate at full power. We first see it being tested at 40% power but it shuts down barely after rending a captive Skull Crawler in two.

Apex Cybernetics needs a new power source and they decide Kong, whose presence has been hidden from the world for 50 years may be the key. They propose the answer to their problem lies in Hollow Earth, the Titan’s homeworld. As a Titan himself, they believe Kong would be able to lead them to the Titans’ homeworld.

At the beginning of the movie Godzilla attacked their facility in Palmacosta, Florida. The company and the media framed it as Godzilla turning on humans though admittedly, Godzilla only attacked Apex Cybernetics and no other place. Later when Kong is being moved across the ocean, Godzilla intercepts the fleet and attacks Kong. Prior to Godzilla’s arrival, Kong was restrained with massive chains on the lead barge. This is when the survey team learns Kong can communicate with Jia using sign language.

When Godzilla attacks and Kong’s restraints are eventually released, their first fight is on. Godzilla has the clear advantage since they’re in the middle of the ocean. The fight ends after Godzilla drags Kong deep underwater. The fleet fires depth charges that force Godzilla to release Kong, who resurfaces alone and collapses in a heap on the barge after coughing up water. Godzilla resurfaces shortly afterward and after watching Kong for a few moments, leaves the area.

 

The survey team airlifts Kong the rest of the way to Antarctica. Jia convinces Kong to enter the entrance to Hollow Earth discovered there. and then we see the Titans’ homeworld. To Kong, his new home is an upgrade to Skull Island. He finds a chamber that is a bit of a throwback to the lore involving Kong and Godzilla’s species. Apparently, his ancestors were very good at killing Godzilla’s kind as he finds an axe made with a bone and the dorsal fin of Godzilla’s kind in the skull of the same species.

Kong takes the axe in his hands and holds it triumphantly as a powerful weapon to use the next time he and his genetic rival fight each other. That time comes much sooner than expected. By that point in the movie, Godzilla has just arrived in Hong Kong with his sights set on the Apex Cybernetics facility there. He notices Kong’s presence and uses his atomic breath to bore a massive hole all the way to the chamber where Kong is, challenging him to come up and fight. It goes without saying he doesn’t need to ask twice.

Now with his axe, Kong and Godzilla fight until morning. After a brutal battle that devastates the city, Kong outlasts Godzilla to win their second battle. Godzilla rises to challenge Kong for a third, decisive battle as morning breaks. This time, Godzilla overpowers Kong and dislocates Kong’s left shoulder before pinning hm to the ground. Having literally beaten Kong within an inch of his life, Godzilla stands triumphantly over Kong. He then turns his attention to Mecha Godzilla, which has just emerged and is razing the city. The artificial Titan has gone rogue and its first target is the Apex Predator it was created to replace.

Having just fought Kong in two brutal battles back to back, Godzilla is obviously not 100% and is quickly overpowered by Mecha Godzilla. Kong is revived and then directed by Jia to help Godzilla fight theartificial Titan. After popping his shoulder back into place, Kong joins the battle just as Godzilla is about to be finished off. Despite the numbers disadvantage, Mecha Gozilla is having little trouble keeping both Kong and Godzilla in check. When the mainframe computer controlling it is sabotaged, the artificial Titan is weakened enough for Kong to hack it to pieces with his axe with a nice assist from Godzilla.

With the mutual threat destroyed, Godzilla and Kong stand off in the above scene for a few moments before Kong drops his axe to show he doesn’t want to fight again. Godzilla appears to grin, accepting the gesture and then leaves. Even though Kong was the one who beat the foe he wasn’t able to beat himself, Godzilla already beat Kong twice by that point and probably saw no reason for a fourth fight. He already proved he could beat Kong twice and left out of respect. That’s probably also why he didn’t kill Kong when he clearly could have both times he won their fights. He just fought until Kong until he couldn’t fight back both times he won, assuming he was fatally wounded after the second victory.

In the final scene, Kong has returned to Hollow Earth where Monarch is sure to be spending quite a bit of time in the near future.

 

New to Streaming This Week (3/29/21), Including 'Godzilla vs. Kong' and  'The Serpent' – The Streamable

 

The fact that both Kong and Godzilla lived through the movie should be enough for you to know they will be back in subsequent movies and/or TV shows. Some people believe the next Godzilla movie might feature Destroyah, who is another Alien Titan from the Monsterverse.

We may also see the return of Mothra, Queen of the Monsters. Though she was killed in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, she did lay an egg before she died. That is something that will need to be revisited for sure.

Overall, I give Godzilla vs. Kong an 8/10. Like the first Godzilla movie (2014), the human characters were just there but Team Godzilla–Maddie, Josh and Conspiracy Guy–didn’t feel necessary. They were literally just there for gags and comedy relief. I was turned off by Conspiracy Guy off the bat and had to fast forward past his scenes during my second watch of the movie. He bothered me that much personally.

Monarch was prettymuch absent from this movie which makes no sense after the first three Monsterverse movies. No doubt they’ll have their focus split between the surface and Hollow Earth moving forward.

 

 

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There is an untapped potential for low-cost Portable MP3 Players globally   Leave a comment

Flashback 1998: Birth of the MP3 Player | Sound & Vision

We’ve come quite a long way since the first MP3 Players hit the market in the late 1990s. Most people stream their music online these days, usually through their smartphone or computer. You’re hard pressed finding people under 50 who still have or use CDs and Cassette tapes though Vinyl Records have been making a bit of a comeback in recent years.

The turn of the century saw people beginning to digitize their CD collections and put their music on their computers so that they can play them while doing something else. In the aftermath of Napster being flipped from the most imfamous Piracy Software ever to a legit digital music store, Online Streaming like YouTube and Spotify and Online Stores like iTunes and Amazon Music arose. No longer did consumers have to leave home to but music if they didn’t want to.

 

…The problem only partially solved with the advent of bigger hard drive storage was having enough space to fit your digital music collection on the go AND keep it organized. This week marks one year since my desktop computer broke. It had a 750GB Hard drive of which almost 300GB was just Music, Movies, TV Episodes and Podcasts. Mind you, this was amassed over the last 20 years. Fortunately for me, I didn’t suffer any data loss for various reasons.

 

The two biggest reasons I didn’t suffer data loss was because the hard drives didn’t fail and most of the media I bought from iTunes. When you buy from iTunes, you permanently own it and can redownload anything you bought even if they no longer have it listed. Today, Apple is the only electronics company that still makes MP3 Players (iPod Touch, iPod Mini and iPod Classic) though the iPhone and iPad are their biggest sellers followed by their computers and watches.

All that said, iPods are expensive. Despite most people having migrated to iPhones, iPads or a combination of both, the overall price range for the latest model iPod Touch (6th Generation) is still $200 to $400. Even worse is they no longer sell or carry the older iPod Touch models and neither do stores. There are online stores that sell preowned or refurbished models but too many sellers want you to pay more than the price of the current model so…yeah.

 

Microsoft Finally Puts the Zune Out of Its Misery | SPIN

Many people including myself who had a Zune Player were devastated when Microsoft announced they were discontinuing it 8 years ago. Microsoft basically made the same mistake Sony did with the Vita: They didn’t give it a chance. Microsoft may have felt having the Zune Brand on the market at the same time as the then new Windows Phone was too redundant and folded it into other brands. The service permanently shut down in 2015. The sad thing is Zune offered a viable alternative to Apple. I had both the original and HD models at different times so I can speak to this. Sandisk had an MP3 Player too but nothing as sophisticated as the iPod or Zune.

The fact of the matter is not everyone wants to use their smartphone, tablet or computer for music. Like I said in a post two years ago, Cloud-Based Storage requires an internet connection to be used and that makes it unreliable for that kind of use. The fact that people are reinvesting in discontinued storage media such as Vinyl Records shows people still want to own the music they listen to.

…The same concept can an should be applied to MP3 Players. We just need to make some MP3 Players with large storage capacity, long battery life and some modern conveniences such as Bluetooth and Touch Screens. All storage options most not exceed $200 either. Quite the challenge, I know.

Here’s some things I would personally like to see included with an Affordable MP3 Player:

 

  • Compatability with iTunes and Windows Media Player: Apple and Microsoft would likely need to give their permssion for this kind of thing. Basically, you can use either computer software to manage the device. Apple would likely have to make an iTunes App for the MP3 Player so people can use their Apple Library on the go.
  • App Store: This is a fair “want”. Each Device will have some stuff preloaded but the option of adding more apps would help make it a viable option.
  • Bluetooth: Not just speakers and headsets but keyboards and controllers.
  • Ion Lithium Battery: Preferably can run for 8 to 12 hours on a single charge.
  • Internal Speaker: Allows Media to be played or listened to without headphones.
  • AM/FM Radio: Hey, we still have AM/FM Clock Radios!
  • Document Reader: For viewing documents in PDF, TXT, DOC, and other formats.
  • Photo Album: For viewing pictures.
  • Offline Translator App: Would come with a library of 24 languages: American English, British English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Arabic, Portuguese, Mandarin (Chinese), Japanese, Korean, Tamil, Swahili, Zulu, Tagalog (Filipino) and Russian. More languages can be downloaded.
  • Video Player: Separate from the media player. Recorded video.
  • Voice Recorder + Microphone: Could come in handy for students or just note-taking in general.
  • Several Storage Options: 32GB ($40), 64GB ($70), 128GB ($100), 256GB ($150) and 1TB ($180). All storage sizes would also have SD Memory Card and MicroSD Memory Card comparability as well as Cloud Storage options.
  • Wi-Fi Only: This would help keep costs down though it can be paired with a Mobile Hotspot or Home Wif-Fi Network for uninterruped internet access.
  • Cameras: One camera on each side for taking photos, video recording and video chat.
  • Local Wireless Communication: If someone else with the device is within range, you can communicate with each other. No internet connection required.

 

…We already know from the Nintendo DSi and Nintendo 3DS Family consoles that it’s more than possible to sell popular low-cost handheld devices for $200 and less. The 3DS Family consoles allow local wireless communication without an internet connection. Those who ever owned one should already be familiar with the Streetpass feature so…yeah.

Even with the above wish list, I think it’s possiible to make an MP3 Player available for less than $200. In the meantime, I’ll search online for a used iPod Touch 3rd and 4th Gen selling for less than $100 each. Why am I looking to buy a few iPods, you may be wondering? Aside from some I’m obviously going to keep for myself, I am buying iPods to preload and ship to people I know in The Philippines, Tanzania and South Africa. They live in areas with no Wi-Fi access or a poor wireless signal so I would need to preload the iPods with media they can use without an internet connection. That also means they would not be able to add anything to it unless they shipped it back to me and that wouldn’t be easy because international shipping from certain countries isn’t cheap.

That aside, this is one of the biggest reasons why there is a lot of untapped potential in the development of some low-cost Portable MP3 Players. You could have someone in a developed country (U.S., China, Japan, etc.) buy some in bulk, preload them with media and then ship them overseas.

Let’s say you’re interested in missionary work. You can download seminars available on Apple Podcasts or Spotify for free directly onto the device. This way, they can be watched or listened to without an internet connection. Now let’s say you have family in another country and have home video or photos you want to share. You can put them on the device, ship it overseas and still have those memories backed up on your end.

What about people in developed countries? Not paying a lot of money for a reliable MP3 Player would be great. It also wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) have all the complex features Smartphones have either. Just keep it simple, scaled down, reliable and affordable.

 

 

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It feels like my desire to leave the U.S. need to be moved up now   Leave a comment

Divided America - The Fractured States of America

 

I can say right now, one of my short term goals is to have a passport by the 2022 Midterms.

Anyone who’s been following my blog on Politics and News since last year should already have a good idea of how I feel about the political situation in the U.S. right now. To pull a quote from the 1998 video game Metal Gear Solid, “They always put politics first”. It’s ironic. Being positive and hopeful will only work for so long in reality.

I’ve seen enough to know at this point the U.S. is going to tear itself apart sooner than later. This is much bigger than Trump or Biden and that should be obvious by now. As some of the pundits across Corporate Media put it, the political divide is so deeply entrenched, no one wants to try to listen to anyone anymore. First I’m going to get my own apartment. Then I’m going to get a passport. Then I’m going to start visiting countries on my short list of places to move to.

I’m considering taking The Philippines off my list of countries to move to because of the volcanic activity, earthquakes, floods and typhoons which are a very frequent occurance over there all year round. This is aside from the obvious fact most of the country is in extreme poverty. The quartet of natural disasters is why despite the massive number of islands that make up the country, most of them are uninhabited. I look at the Taal Volcano, which is 45 miles south of the country’s capital Manila. When it eventually erupts–and everyone knows it will–we’re potentially looking at millions of people dying. The middle part of the country has Typhoons and Flooding while Mindanao to the south has earthquakes.

 

Even if I picked an area of the country that wouldn’t be directly affected by the quartet of natural disasters directly, I would still be at risk of being cut off because of natural disaster elsewhere. The Philippines has laws that don’t allow non-citizens to own land. So, I would have to become a Filipino citizen to own land. Two common workarounds to this is having a citizen be the land owner or more commonly, marrying a Filipino. I plan to visit the country regardless just to look at a few areas of interest. The low cost of living over there is why it is still a very strong contender to move to.

 

Canada’s on my list simply because it’s close by. I’m pretty sure once COVID-19 is under control by this Summer or Fall, it will be easier to move around again. From what I’ve been hearing from friends of mine who live in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa, the country is bracing for an influx of Americans looking to move there before the 2024 election and more so if Trump runs for President again as many believe he will. Our neighbors to the north know most of us are not crazy. I have been hearing rumors Canada is considering a provision that will allow Americans to apply for assylum and be granted entry into the country before the 2024 election. We will see.

 

Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa are three countries of interest I can disappear in without too much difficulty and I do mean in a good way. It helps I know people who live in all three countries too. My plan would be to get land on which I could grow food on. Knowledge is power in all three countries and it would also help there are many in all of them who are hungry for knowledge.

Having said all that–and I’ve said this on my blog on Politics several times last year–I do think we will see a mass migration of people looking to leave the U.S. for other countries. I won’t pretend to know where people will go but I’m feeling confident in saying most who leave the U.S. will probably head to what most Western countries consider to be developing countries. I’m talking Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America, The Philippines and Eastern Europe.

As for why, the cost of living is much lower than North America, Western Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. I believe that will be one of the driving forces anyway. Economic opportunities and fleeing persecution or discrimination of some kind round out the other big reasons for mass migration in the near future. Like I said earlier, I am looking to get a passport as soon as possible myself. I’m obviously not in a rush to leave the country but I am doing what I can to plan and research from now.

My plans are independent from my immediate and extended family. Without going into detail, I’ve never actually like I belong to or am even a part of the family I was born into if that makes sense. So, I’ll focus on doing what I feel is best for me and nevermind what other people think of my choices or decisions. There comes a time when you need to stand on your own and a time when you need to cut your ties with people who have made it clear to you over and over again they want to be in your way and undermine you at every opportunity.

These are just some of the more personal reasons I am planning to leave the U.S. Before that, my focus is getting my own apartment. I’ve had a number of setbacks last year obviously but I’m staying the course. I’m patient when I know I need to be and this is one of those times that I need to be very patient.

 

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After three days, I’m forced to resign because my body can’t keep up   Leave a comment

I sent my direct supervisor and the store manager an email last night to let them know I need to resign effective immediately. After three days, I feel pretty uncomfortable and honest in saying physically, I can’t do this job long term with my current shift schedule.
The work itself isn’t the problem–I took a lot of pride in what I was able to do yesterday and today actually–the problem is physically, my body is not able to keep up through the day. It’s one thing to be tired or fatigued. It’s another when your body constantly tells you it’s past its limit for a sustained amount of time. I hoped Wednesday would be a reset from the day before with some changes I made but at this point I feel I’ll be a liability if I stay on with my current schedule. In short, my spirit is willing but my body is saying no to this.
I can say the work was fun for me and I took what I did today and yesterday very seriously. I mean personal serious. I know how important it is and that’s why I applied for the job in the first place. As I found out over these past three days, I’m struggling too much physically just to make it through one shift a day.
This is not a decision I’m making lightly. I had long term plans to work with this company but in my current role, physically I’m not able to sustain myself through one shift a day to do what is expected of me. I say that knowing some people work two or more shifts a day or two jobs a week. Knowing I can’t physically do this bothers me personally. That said, I can’t and won’t allow myself to be a liability at work and I feel I am at this point. I read the job description when I applied for this position but clearly underestimated how physically demanding it would be. I know if I get hurt, at the end of the day I’ll have myself to blame for ignoring the warning signs my body is giving me.
I wanted to avoid being in this situation for the second time in four years but this time I clearly need to stop now before I hurt myself. I’m factoring my commute too and from work as well. I was in a lot of pain after my shift Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m still in a lot of pain right now. It’s too much for me to safely handle.

…By the way everything above is the actual email I sent to my supervisor and the store manager though I removed certain details specific for them here. I did note at the end of the email I sent I will come in tomorrow morning to finalize my resignation and return my work apron. I’m not expecting the emails I sent out to be read until Friday morning and that’s fine.

 

As for what kind of work I was doing. I was a member of Nordstrom Rack’s Fulfillment Team. You know when you order something online from a store like H&M, Walmart and Old Navy? The Fulfillment team’s job is to literally search the store for it on the buyer’s behalf. What sucks is it doesn’t factor a customer who comes to the physical store and buys the exact same item–even two of the same item–have its own unique UPC Code. It has to match what’s in the system for it to be marked as Fulfilled.

 

If that specific item was bought or the store simply doesn’t have it in stock, you have no way of knowing in advance. All the Fulfillment system knows is a customer ordered a certain item with a a certain UPC Code. It doesn’t update if the item is bought or not in stock. Oh and the list of Fulfillments updates in real time as purchases are made. I got confirmation yesterday no two Fulfillment team members can que the same item which is good. When an item is found and processed, it does say on the tag for example “Fufilled by John S.”. Oh and no, the store doesn’t have all this stuff set aside in the back. You literally have to search the store for them. Oh and yes, the search process alone is VERY time consuming. Nothing sucks more than finding out after 20 to 40 minutes of looking for a specific item that it’s just not there.

 

If there are multiple items in an order, ALL of the items need to be found for the order to be considered “completed” so if someone has a large order, it can take time to find everything. Multiple people can try to fulfill orders from the one customer if they want on that note. I completed an order for someone else yesterday. I found one item while the other person found the other during their shift overnight. Later in the day, I completed a 4-item order by myself. It was easy since it was four packs of Boxer Briefs. Another person made the same order and though I picked up three of them, I was not able to complete the order since the store ran out. Hopefully it can be completed tomorrow, we’ll see.

Like I said above, the work itself isn’t the problem. I took what was doing very seriously and took a lot of pride in it because I got it right away. Every order fulfilled is something someone bought. It’s the Fulfillment Team’s responsability to do what we can to find their items so they can be delievered to them. With the ongoing Pandemic in progress, people are shopping online more and more so…yeah.

 

 

All that said. It goes without saying this is a huge setback for me. At the very least, I learned I can’t work in retail. Once my resignation is finalized, I will probably need at least a week to to recover physically. Honestly, I feel physically beat up right now. Not tired or fatigue but just physical pain. I definitely wouldn’t last very long feeling like that only a few hours into my shift every day. I literally learned a very painful lesson to say the least.

 

I will restart the job search next month. I bought a Transit Pass for December so in the event I get hired before the end of the month, that would be very good to say the least.

 

 

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FINALLY!   Leave a comment

Nordstrom Rack | Clothing Store - Shoes, Jewelry, Apparel

1,528 days after I left working in Boston Public Schools, I have been hired by Nordstrom Rack. I will be working at the Boylston St. location starting November 23.

That’s 4 years, 2 months and 6 days I have been Unemployed.

…Not anymore!

For those who may be wondering, I do plan to continue my work as an Independent Consultant. Naturally, there will be an adjustment in my availability once I have an idea of what my work schedule will be like. I haven’t done much work in regards to that mostly because of the Pandemic this year and I don’t expect that to change until at least next Spring.

My top priority with my new job is obviously saving up money to get an apartment. I expect that to take at least a year personally, maybe two. I still plan to get a passport along the way as well. I’ll decide down the road once I have my own apartment if I will move out of state first or just move out of the country from there. I’m working on a separate post regarding that and will post it once it’s done.

 

Second on my list of priorities is having my own cellphone line again hopefully starting in January. The third thing on my list is getting a new iPod Touch and that will likely be out of my first paycheck. The one I’ve had for about 6 years now has become pretty unstable with the battery life and now that I will have income for the first time in four years, that’s something I need and want to replace ASAP for various wellness-related reasons.

I am also looking to get a new iPod Touch ASAP because of current events in the U.S. I don’t know if I will have the opportunity to get one in a few months and that’s why it will be a first paycheck purchase. I’ll get one with 256GB storage–twice the storage my iPad Mini has–which would allow me to put basically all the music, TV Shows, Movies and Podcasts I have right now on it. I can’t even give my current one away after I’ve upgraded because it’s very unstable so I will probably just use it for backup Podcast storage.

Those who know what I’ve gone through since leaving Boston Public Schools four years ago can probably understand why getting a new job is so important for me. I want to get my own apartment and naturally, I will need income to make that happen. I also need to get a passport since I don’t currently have one. Not just so I can travel but also so I can use it as a form of ID.

First things first, I need to get my own apartment. I’ve never lived on my own and ironically, it wasn’t until after I left BPS that I thought about it seriously for the first time in my life. Without getting into all the details. let’s just say I have a lot riding on moving out of my current living situation as soon as I can. You can’t put a price on peace of mind. That’s what I learned over the last four years.

 

 

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Communal Living, Going “Off The Grid” and Living through Hard Times: Part 2   Leave a comment

…Whew. Part 1 went on for so long, I had to split it into two posts. I plan to make a Page for this on all three blogs I post these on but on a single page. The reason it took SO LONG to post this–I drafted it back in May of this year–is because I got so busy with other things for 5 months. Fortunately, I wrote almost all of this back in May so it was just a matter of making time to finish things up.

 

…Picking up Where Part 1 left off.

Yes, I know this feels like something out of fiction. The thing is, more and more people in both North America and Europe are changing their lifestyes in preparation for a time when the world will lose access to most if not all modern conveniences enjoyed now. The signs are everywhere that this time is fast approaching. I’m talking about the collapse of Modern, or Western Society.

It’s funny that for years, people laughed at the idea of Doomsday Prepping. Then the ongoing Pandemic swept across the world like a wave on a beach. No one’s laughing at the idea now and many are scrambling to find out or learn what they can do to survive both now and in the future.

In Part 1, I discussed what U.S. States and countries people should either look to relocate to or avoid. The further from a major city you can be, the better. I also outlined Rural and Urban Community Living including core functions they should have. They should also be self-reliant and be able to supply all of your needs including Food, Water and Shelter. You can’t expect to be able to go to a supermarket anytime you need to anymore is why. In other words, you need to learn how to source your own food supply.

In Part 2, I will go a bit more in-depth. I skipped a lot of details on purpose because I plan to cover it here.

Next up:

 

Living off The Grid

Off Grid Homes For Sale | Jake's Old West Properties

While you can certainly buy or build a home for just one household–and this is actually the norm–it’s reccommended you team up with another family or two. There is safety in numbers. This section mostly assumes it will be a single household under one roof in a rural or suburban area. I will also add a few things to account for if there are two or three families living together however. It also assumes you will not have a lot of land to work with either way unlike a Communal Living situation. Less manpower but still managable.

I’ll pause for a moment and just say this: You will want to be as far from population centers–cities–as possible. This is why there is such a huge emphasis on moving to a rural area. If you can’t go that far, at least move to a suburban area outside of a major city. I live in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston for example. It’s the furthest from the center of the city and even now is almost considered a separate town. The only Boston Neighborhood more sparsely populated poplated is West Roxbury just northwest of Hyde Park but I won’t digress further.

Like I mentioned in Part 1, you should try to source water and electricity yourself. For Power, solar panels or Wind Turbines will likely be your best options. As is noted in the picture, Satellite TV would probably be a more viable option than Cable TV. As someone who has experience with both Cable and Satellite TV, the obvious drawback with Satellite TV is you can lose service during bad weather. As for internet service, try to get it if you can so you can stay informed with what’s going on in the world.

As for food, obviously you need to try to source your own. Unlike Coliving, most of the food you grow you keep though you should try to set aside some for trading. Build a garden with the available land. If you can afford it, buy and plant a few fruit trees as well. If you have enough space to build a barn and a chicken coop you have access to milk, eggs and obviously meat. I forgot to mention this in Part 1 but if you get Sheep, you have Wool for making clothes, bandages and various other things. Alternatively, you could grow cotton too.

These shouldn’t be too hard to find from now but you want to get books on a variety of topics ASAP:

  • Herbology: Information on plants with nutritional and medicinal value. Good to know so you can gather what you need.
  • Natural Medicine: Information on how to make medicine from herbs. No, this knowledge hasn’t been lost over time. It’s just been dutifully recorded in books most of the world isn’t reading anymore.
  • Carpentry: How to build certain things and make repairs as needed. This assumes you will not be able to make a trip to your local Home Depot or Lowes.
  • Engineering: Advanced building knowledge. This could certainly come in handy.
  • Blacksmithing and Metalurgy: It definitely couldn’t hurt. You’ll be able to make or repair your own tools.
  • Auto Repair: You probably won’t be able to take your vehicle to a repair stop so it would be good to learn how to fix it yourself.
  • Human Anatomy: Mostly for First Aid-related purposes. Can also be a good reference for anyone who has health issues such as asthma, diapetes or high blood pressure.
  • Preserving Food: While you will hopefully have a working refrigerator, it would be good to know how to preserve perishable food without one in general. And there are a variety of ways.
  • Growing Food: Not everyone has a green thumb. When it comes to your survival, don’t be prideful. Get some books that will tell you not just how to grow food but what grows best where you are and what doesn’t.
  • Languages: It would help for the sake of translation purposes to learn two or three other languages just in case it’s needed.
  • Tailoring: Naturally, you will need and want to learn how to make your own clothes. Did you know the first Ready to Wear clothes–what we can buy in stores now–only became widely available in the U.S. in the 1870s? Did you also know there are still fabric stores where you can buy the materials to make your own clothes?

I reccommend getting books of these ten topics for your Off The Grid Living or Coliving. Anything else including a Bible, Kids’ Books or Novels is fine but you absolutely need and want books on these topics. It goes without saying you also want to try to get the necessary equipment if any.

If anyone is on medication, try to get as much of it in advance as possible. Most Over the Counter Medications (OTC) have a slightly longer shelf life than prescriptions. Even after the expiration date passes, some medications will still work but will not be as strong past expiration. It’s not reccommended you take medication after expiration so it’s important to pay attention to dates. Restock or refill medications if you can but otherwise, try to look into Natural Medicine as a last resort. I say “last resort” because you need to know what you’re doing to make your own medicines.

In terms of letting people know where your Off The Grid Home is, keep it need to know. More so if your religous or political beliefs could make you a target for persecution. If you have friends or family who live elsewhere who need to know “just in case”, tell them the general area. Don’t bring anyone you can’t trust to keep your location a secret to your home either. This goes double for anyone you bring to live with you. Everyone who lives in the home needs to be trustworthy since you will be relying on each other to survive.

Keeping tabs on what’s happening in the outside world is important no matter how isolated you need to live purely for safety reasons. If you can get internet set up, that would be huge. Otherwise, having access to TV or Radio to follow the news woulld be sufficient. Being able to keep up with what’s going on in the world helps for planning ahead as well.

In terms of protecting yourself and your property. You want to have physical barriers if the terrain allows it that surrounds your dwelling. I mean solid walls or fences. If you can’t make it at least six feet high, try to make sure the perimeter of where you live has some kind of barrier or defensive coverage. If you can get or make barbed wire, even better. For those who can get barbed wire, wrap it around the top of the fencing as well a along the bottom of the fence from the outside. That will make it very difficult for a group of people to charge the fencing.

That aside. Naturally, you will need to buy or make weapons for protection. Handguns and Rifles are an easy assumption but ammo will eventually run out. This is in addition to firearms needing to be maintained and cleaned from time to time. Even if you learn how to do it yourself or have someone who can do it, you’ll still want to have some projectiles. Rocks that can be thrown or launched with a slingshot or by hand is a pretty cheap, inexpensive option to consider.

For melee combat, blunt weapons are much easier to make in any environment if need be. If you’re going to use or make bladed weapons, I reccommend knives or spears. You should also learn unarmed combat if things reach that point. If armed, decapitation, strong blow to the head (such as a bullet or projectile) or piercing the heart will instantly kill someone. You can also maim or cripple someone by targeting the legs or arms.

If unarmed but unskilled in fighting, either putting your opponent in a chokehold (asphyxiation) or just getting them off their feet before they do the sake to you are your best options. If you already know how to fight or throw hands then naturally, you should know how to take someone down. Remember: When fighting for your life, anything goes.

With all three of these, it’s assumed you’re facing a human opponent. If it’s an animal then naturally you do what you need to do depending on the threat.

 

Now we get to the final section:

 

Living Through Hard Times

Beans, Rice and Dry Storage: The Fundamentals of a Well-Stocked Pantry

…Whew. This final section assumes you either live in a city and you’re unable to leave or you live in a suburban area and you’re relatively ok. This will go for the majority of folks. It doesn’t matter if you own or rent for this entire section either though you have a bit more freedom if you own obviously. In short, this section is for those who are unable to relocate and will need to shelter in place indefinitely. In this kind of situation, adjust everything I covered above and in Part 1 based on where you live, what the area you live in is like and what’s available to you.

For the purposes of this scenario, we’ll assume we’re talking about a 4-bedroom apartment in the Dorchester Neighborhood of Boston. Let’s also assume it’s a second floor apartment with a front porch and a back porch since Dorchester has a lot of those. They’re locally known as Double or Triple Deckers though you may know them as Duplexes.

First things first, stock up on 2 to 4 months worth of food. Dried Goods are priority. Here’s some specific foods you want to get:

  • Rice: Parboiled, Jasime or Brown. If you get at least 3 large bags, you should be covered for at least 4 months.
  • Beans: Any kind but Kidney Beans are usually the easiest to buy for cheap in large amounts. It doesn’t matter if it’s canned or bagged Get enough to last for 4 months.
  • Bottled Drinking Water: You might think it’s economical to get a filter for your sink to drink tap water but what if that’s lost? Buy a few cases of bottled drinking water. At least 6 to 8 cases. Get more depending on the size of your household or if someone is pregnant.
  • Baby Formula/Baby Food: Even if a child is being breastfed, it helps to have some stocked in case something happens to a breastfeeding mother. Get enough to last 8 months.
  • Potatoes, Onions, Carrots and Garlic: Keep them in a dry, cool place and they will last for a while without requiring refrigeration.
  • Oranges: An absolute must for Vitamin C. Their lifespan can be extended via refrigeration.
  • Applesauce: A good source of both Potassium and Fiber. Lasts longer than actual apples and easier to quickly eat.
  • Powdered/Condensed Milk: You obviously won’t be able to keep liquid milk for too long. Even the boxed Milk that can be kept at room temperature until you open it for the first time can only be kept for a few times before it needs to be used or thrown out. Powdered or Condensed milk can be kept or much longer until you decide to use it though.

…Those are the biggest ones in regards to food to buy in large amounts.

You can live off Beans and Rice indefinitely by the way. Everything else is just to give your diet a bit of variety. Everything listed also assumes you lose electricity or won’t have it to begin with for refrigeration.

If power to the apartment can either be maintained, you have a portable generator or you have some other backup power source, these are some appliances you either want or want to keep powered:

  • Refrigerator: Goes without saying. If power is lost and you have no backup power source, everything inside needs to be used before they spoil. Most fruit juices can be kept without being refrigerated on that note as long as they are not allowed to be warm for too long due to the risk of fermentation.
  • Portable Generator: Amazon has quite a few you can get a good deal on if you can’t get to a Best Buy, Micro Center or Home Depot due to the Pandemic in progress. Try to get at least 3 but get more if your budget allows it. You want one for the fridge (obviously), one for the Wi-Fi Router if you have one (Internet, Cable and Landline) and one for charging devices. If you don’t have a router, use that one for your TV. If your budget allows you to buy more than three, try to get at least one for each room.
  • Portable Solar Panel: This is for generating power for key appliances. If you lose power, set it up on the porch so it can charge during the day. If you have Portable Generators, you can swap them as needed to charge for use in the house during the day. You would use it at night and charge it during the day.
  • Broadcast TV/Cable: You need to keep yourself informed of what’s going on both locally and elsewhere. If your area becomes really unsafe, it would be good to know in advance so you can evacuate if need be.
  • Internet: Same as above though if you use Comcast, you’ll automatically need to get a backup power source just to keep your router going. Why? Because no internet collection also means no phone service. Pretty crazy, I know.
  • Convection Oven: Let’s say gas service is stopped. With a convection oven, you can still Warm up, Cook, Bake or Toast foods that would require the use of an oven.
  • Electric Stovetop: Same as above. Some foods will need to be cooked so they can be safely eaten after all. It would also be helpful if you do not have an electric kettle for boiling water.
  • Electic Tea Kettle: Speaking of. These are starting to become common in households, apartments, offices and dorm rooms across the world. You can safely boil water quickly and this is very handy for both consumption and sterilization.
  • Hand Blowdryer: This can be used to dry clothes that would be hand-washed. This is gonna sound strange to most of those in Europe and North America but most of the world still hand-washes their clothes or at the least knows how to do it.

…I’d say that’s  good point to stop. If your power supply is not interrupted, most of these would not be needed but it would be goo to invest in them all anyway.

Just like being in a rural or suburban area, you will need to either learn or relearn certain skills you my not have had to think about before. Here’s a few things you absolutely want to learn or know how to do, some depending on your general area:

  • First Aid: Goes without saying. Everyone 14 and older should at least learn the techniques if they are not already certified. Getting some books can be helpful in regards to this.
  • Gardening/Farming: If you have a little land on the property, raised beds or potted soil you can use to grow food in, this would be very helpful. Anything you can do to both boost your food supply and source your own food is always a plus!
  • Composting: Repurposing food waste for composting that could then be used in Gardening. It’s an old agricultural technique that’s been making a comeback over the last 20 years.
  • Camping/Hiking: Learning some outdoor survival skills would be helpful if you are forced to leave your dwelling for safety reasons. On that note. It’s STRONGLY reccommended you buy a tent or two and keep it ready to leave with if you need to flee for your life.
  • Preserving Food: If you lose power, knowing how to make your food stores last would be invaluable for your survival. Keep dry foods in a cool, dry area. Put everything in storage bins to eliminate the chances of rodents or bugs contaminating your food supply.
  • Sewing/Tailoring: You probably won’t be able to go out and buy new clothes. What you’ve got will need to last for as long as possible. Learning how to use a thread and needle means you can repair or alter your clothes though eventually, you will be able to make your own clothes. There are still fabric store all over the place just for this purpose.
  • Basic Cooking Skills: This is specifically for those who either mostly eat out or mostly eat pre-packaged foods in particular. Learning how to prepare and cook meals means you can take care of yourself first and save some money in advance second.

 

Those are the big things that come to mind for me right now. You need to start looking at what you need to know to keep you and your household safe and healthy for as long as possible. The western world has collectively started realize the fact the materialist lifestyle mass media pushed on them for decades is not good in recent years.

Even more so during Trump’s presidency, more people than before are thinking about the future and preparing for hard times to come. Joe Biden may have just been elected the 46th President of the United States but the threat of Civil War still looms. Now is the time for people to start preparing. While most of those who voted for Trump will move past the election outcome eventually, there will be those who will refuse to accept the outcome and may act on their feelings.

It’s more important than ever for people to learn survival skills. Hope you never have to use them but learn them anyway in case it becomes necessary. Most of what I covered in this post and the previous one are what can be called Lost Knowledge in the western world. Much of this info you would have to go out of your way to find. It’s a consequence of a world that has become a bit too dependant on modern conveniences, the internet, technology and mass media.

The time is now to start learning how to survive without all of these things. Because the time we will be without these things is coming sooner than later. I will just put it like that.

 

 

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Communal Living, Going “Off The Grid” and Living through Hard Times: Part 1   Leave a comment

What is Coliving and what advantages does it have? - Iberdrola

It goes without saying the Global Pandemic was a wakeup call for the entire world but no places more than those who live in densely populated areas–cities. The last 100 or so years saw a concetrated and purposeful effort by most people in developed countries to move into cities mostly for economic reasons. Living in a major city does have obvious advantages, yes and it also has obvious disadvantages.

The ongoing Pandemic in progress revealed just one of the many big disandvantages to living in a major city: Disease can quickly spread. I live in Boston but I live in a suburban area area of the city right on the edge of the city’s boarder with Dedham, Massachusetts. Literally go three blocks from my house and you’re no longer in Boston.

I’m gonna split this into four parts across two posts: Communal Living in Rural and Urban Areas (2 separate sections), Living Off the Grid and Living Through Hard Times. The first two parts assume you are willing and able to relocate from where you currently live. Both have aspects of each other mixed in though the first one requires 2 or more families or households coming together while second one is really meant for one household or family. The third part is for those who live in urban areas and are just not able to relocate at all.

This post is written with the U.S. in mind but if you’re outside the U.S., you can still use it as a point of reference since it will contain mostly general info. None of these are to be confused with Congregate, or Assisted Living. That is specifically for Elderly or Handicapped/Disabled who are either unable to live on their own or need support that prevents them from living on their own.

 

Figuring Out Where To Go

National Geographic Maps Kids Physical USA Wall Map (Graded 4-12 ...

Ok first things first you need to start doing research on rural areas starting in your state. If you live in Connecticuit, New Jersey, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Delaware or Maryland you should be looking at neighboring states (Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, etc.) or further away. Those first six states are the smallest in the U.S. so if you live in them, it’s just best to just look at other states. The more rural, the better. For those curently living in Hawaii, either go to the Continental U.S., Southeast Asia or the South Pacific. I’ll get to this in a bit as well. For those in Alaska, you’re basically fine to stay there.

Factoring a few things I’ll get into in just a bit, these 12 states are the ones I highly reccommend you look at if you currently live in or very close to a major city:

  • Maine
  • Vermont
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • Nebraska
  • Minnesota
  • Kansas
  • Wyoming
  • Montana
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Alaska

I factored a variety of things in this list, the biggest among them the costs of buying land, ready access to natural resources and the viability of going “Off The Grid”. These states are just collectively the best ones depending on where you might currently be in the U.S. If you’re open to going to Alaska, you can basically disappear without a trace. To a lesser extent this is also true of Maine, Minnesota and Montana as well.

Most of these states are in the middle of the country. Of them, I am partial to Wisconsin and Minnesota simply because they are on The Great Lakes. That’s the largest body of freshwater in the world. Most of the other states are almost giving land away in comparison.

You’ll want to do your research in short since these days, you never know who owns what in regards to buying land or property. More so if we’re talking about land owned by a company. It’s much more complicated than dealing with a landowner who is a private citizen to say the least.

 

If you live in or near a major city in these 16 states, you should look at rural areas within the state first before looking at the above list:

  • Washington
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • California
  • New Hampshire
  • Pennsylvania
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Arkansas
  • Oregon
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • North Carolina
  • West Virginia
  • Colorado

…I live in Massachusetts and I also live in Boston. I am looking at the Southeasten part of the state as well as the middle of the state to move to. I don’t want to be too close to Springfield in the western part of the state since it’s basically “West Boston” (and I’m sure folks who live in that part of the state would LOVE for the state capital to be moved out there).

Boston is third in the U.S. behind New York (#2) and San Francisco (#1) in terms of the cost of living. Things start to become more affordable the further from Boston you go but in exchange, you need to either own a car or know someone trustworthy who can help you get around. You can get away with not owning a car in the Boston area because of the MBTA but not as much outside Boston and the surrounding cities and towns (Cambridge, Quincy, Braintree, Brockton, Newton, Revere, Chelsea, Somerville, etc.). I had my Learner’s Permit two years ago but it recently expired. I plan to apply for it again in the near future.

Moving on, most of the states listed have at least one major city in it. If you live in the New York City area, you want to look at upstate New York before you look outside the state. Same if you live in LA, San Francisco, Philly, Chi-Town, Seattle or Indianapolis among others. You want to be looking at rural areas in the states those cities are in first before you look elsewhere.

With most of these states, you can fly under the radar. You also have the added benefit of having a major city in most of these states you can travel to if need be. Like the first list, all of these states have land you can use to grow your own food and that is an absolute must for everything in the next three section.

 

These 14 states you absolutely want to either avoid or leave if you are a certain race, hold certain political views or would have to deal with severe weather disasters each year:

  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky
  • Virginia
  • South Carolina
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • North Dakota
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada

I have no problem saying local politics and history were the biggest factors for most of these states being on this list despite the low costs of living and loose regulations on Living Off The Grid in them. The first 10 states listed you absolutely want to avoid moving to if you are not White, Evangelical/Conservative or Republican. The same is also true if you are White but Liberal/Athiest/Nonreligous or Democrat. I’m just gonna put it like that. This doesn’t go for everywhere in these states but because you’d basically be stuck in a major city, you’re better off avoiding the states entirely.

No disrespect intended to people of color who live in those first 10 states but they are still controlled by sins of the past. Both of the Dakotas have Native American Reservations in them but out of fairness to the Native Americans who live there, it’s hard for me to justify reccommending them from a moral standpoint. They’ve had much taken from them to say the least and the last thing they need is the mostly inhospitable land they were given to exist on being taken from them. I didn’t include South Dakota because Native American Reservations are not as concentrated as North Dakota first and open land not privately owned if it’s not part of a Reservation is easier to find in South Dakota second.

Arizona and New Mexico have the two big problems of being on the southern boarder and being mostly desert or wasteland. Yes you can practically disappear in both states but they along with Nevada require quite a bit of investment and development done to live in the middle of nowhere longterm. Nevada has Las Vegas and Reno, where most of the state’s populations are concentrated working against it. Outside those two cities, most of the state is desert or wasteland and to live in the middle of nowhere, you’ll need to be making huge financial commitments.

The only two things the first 10 states have going for them are plentiful land for agriculture and low costs of living. If not for the politics, I would have reccommended them in the first two lists but I can’t.

 

If you are in the U.S. and you’re open to leaving the country, these 16 countries are worth looking into:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Japan
  • The Philippines
  • South Korea
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Ghana
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Holland
  • Finland

 

…For all the closet racists who like to talk trash about people coming in the U.S. from the Southern Boarder, I do believe at some point in the future we WILL see a mass migration of Americans flooding across the Southern boarder into Mexico, Central America and South America. I also do believe that time will come sooner than later personally. It will then be a question of weather or not Mexico will allow it or give the U.S. a taste of its own medicine which they would have every right to do.

Canada is the only overland route to the U.S. state of Alaska so unless you fly, you will have to pass through Canada to get there. Outside that, Canada closed its boarder with the U.S. due to COVID-19 though anyone needing to travel for work or will be going to Alaska can still cross the boarder. The Canadian government is closely watching what’s going on in the U.S. in regards to COVID-19, the election, civil unrest and other things. There is no telling if Canada might decide to seal the boarder after the U.S. Presidental Election so we’ll see.

The Philippines would require quite a bit of financial investment because it is an impoverished country. Many Filipinos travel abroad to find work so…yeah. You would need to secure stable income as well as agriculture. It would be reccommended you pair with a Filipino family or two to make things work. Same With Liberia, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya and Argentina.

The European countries rank among the best in the world to live. Brazil, like The Philippines would require doing a bit of research in advance depending on what you may be looking to do. South Korea and Japan have tough immigration requirements but if you can secure citizenship in one of them, you will be access to help getting started up. South Korea might feel like an odd choice since it’s boardered by North Korea but China and the U.S. are both acting as buffers to keep that country safe.

 

These 16 countries or Regions you absolutely want to avoid moving to if you’re open to leaving the U.S.:

  • Anywhere in the Middle East
  • Eastern Europe
  • The West Indies/Carribbean
  • India
  • China
  • Russia
  • Egypt
  • Libya
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Sudan
  • Ethiopia
  • U.K.
  • France
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • North Korea

 

It goes without saying with most of these countries, simply being from America makes you a target. As for why most of Europe is listed, it’s too densely populated first and you never know when war will break out second. It’s just not worth taking the chance. Same with the West Indies and The Middle East. It’s just a simple matter of personal safetly and most of these countries are very hostile to foreigners from the west in general.

 

…All that said.

 

Communal Living

Communes are making a comeback for older residents | Considerable

Communal Living, or Coliving involves a group of people with common beliefs coming together and living together, usually in a Rural area. That’s the original definition. The Urban version, which is more recent involves separate bedrooms but shared common areas. This assumes you go the Rural route though I will talk about the Urban version a little as well.

It’s highly reccommended you team up with 2 to 3 families who will live on the land and take care of each other. It will basically be a village. Make sure whoever they are can be trusted first and foremost. More so if you hold certain political, cultural or religious beliefs that could make you a target for persecution. You will need to make sure everyone is vetted since you will literally be relying on each other to survive. Disagreements are one thing but you don’t want a traitor or informant living with you to be direct. More on this in the last section.

Once you have secured land, you will need to build a house to live in if there isn’t one present already. Either one big enough for you and those who will live with you or each family has their own dwelling–house, cabin, whatever you want to call it. Federal Laws require running water in a dwelling of any kind for sanitation purposes. On top of this, each state has their own regulations that can make it easier or harder to “Unplug” from government or company owned water and electric utilities.

On that note: Contrary to popular belief by some folks, it is NOT illegal to live off the grid in the U.S.. It just requires doing your research since like I just said, some states make it harder than others to do so. Indoor plumbing is an absolute must for sanitation purposes in all 50 states. That includes a working toilet and running faucets. You will need to do your research on the regulations for the state you’re in or the state you plan to move to.

As for electricity, you have three options: Solar Panels, Wind Turbines or Hydroelectricity. It’s highly reccommended you have a combination of at least two depending on where you are. If pressure from a waterfall, stream or river is strong enough you can set up a Hydroelectric generator. Having batteries to store the power would great especially if there is either a mechanical problem or you temporarily lose the ability to generate power.

The funny thing is if you stay connected to the electrical grid while generating electricity on your property, you can be paid for some of the excess electricity. This is already the case with many who currently have Solar Panels or Wind Turbines on their property as their primary home power source. You’ll be paid or given a credit for a portion of the excess electricity. So, you’ll actually profit from your own power source. Pretty cool, yes?

Electronic communication…that depends on weather or not the internet is still accessible or not. For the sake of this article we will assume it’s not available anymore. At the very least, you should try to get a localized phone network set up that will cover at least your propety. This requires specialized knowledge that includes installing the necessary hardware, structures and equipment. Ideally, this would be done before internet access is lost.

If internet access is still available, you should still set up a personal secure network that can’t be accessed from anyone outside your network without the right credentials. Having your own servers to store data in advance also means you can download or back up helpful information from across the internet that will be lost when it goes offline. There actually is a handy website called The Internet Archive. You name it, they got it. They are dedicated to literally backing up the ENTIRE internet and everything on it. I can confirm they even have the old Serene Adventure website AND the old forums on that note.

Anyways, communication will be more important. If you have someone with the skills, you might be able to make it so cellphones can be used while on the property by connecting to the local network that was set up so you can talk to each other when regular service is lost. That way, at least you can still talk to people you know while you’re in range of the network. A local network means you can still access information and data on your servers instead of the internet too. This requires a lot of knowledge in that area so it’s best to have someone with a background in IT handle all the specifics.

Next, let’s talk about creating and maintaining your own renewable Food Sources. It’s cliche but you will be growing most if not all of what you eat. You don’t need acres and acres of land but the more ariable land, the more food you can grow on it. You definitely want to be able to grow enough food to not only live off of but put some in storage, sell or trade as well.

With Fruit Trees, you need to do your research as they all take at least a few years to start bearing fruit. You can buy saplings or mature trees to save some time but it won’t be cheap if you want to buy a lot. We’re talking minimum $50 each for Apple trees to give you an idea. Buying fruit trees is probably the best method for those who are starting out and more so if you either don’t have a lot of skilled hands or don’t have a lot of land for growing. Fruit trees last a few decades so it’s reccommended you start planting replacements about halfway through

Building a Greenhouse means you can grow food out of season and all year round regardless of the weather conditions. In exchange, there is an increased power and water cost for just the Greenhouse that needs to be planned for. You’ll want to set up standalone solar panels for just the Green House if possible. Once you have a Green House up and running, you can grow prettymuch anything and is worth the added costs if you plan to source everything you eat.

As for meat, eggs and dairy. Buy chicken and cows to source eggs and milk from. You can research how to turn milk into butter, cream, cheese and yogurt among other things. If you or a member of your Community either doesn’t have the skills, doesn’t have the equipment or just doesn’t feel comfortable doing that you’re better off buying animal byproducts if possible. Of course, you will also want to learn to make your own clothes too.

As for meat. If it’s domesticated animals, you need to learn how to both humanely slaughter an animal and learn how to safely butcher an animal. You’ll need to learn how to properly drain the blood from the slaughtered meat is why. With birds, you will need to learn how to defeather them. These steps are done for you by the time you buy it in a store so…yeah. If the idea of killing an animal let alone then having to butcher it for food makes you feel uncomfortable or squeamish, maybe it’s time to consider becoming a vegetarian. It’s not for the faint of heart and certainly isn’t pretty.

As for defending your Community. It goes without saying your biggest threat will be other humans followed by any known wildlife in the area. A combination of fencing and walls are a must. If you have the money and the means, install closed-circuit cameras as well. Every able-bodied person in the community is part of the defense force. If you have cameras installed, that helps cut down on the need for 24/7 patrols. Have lethal force as part of your arsenal if need be but use only when necessary.

As for Medical and Health Needs. You will need a few people who either have medical training or can learn detailed medical info if possible. If you can stock up on hospital-grade medical supplies, medical equipment and medications that’s even better. You want to make sure your on-site medical capabilities can handle prettymuch everything imaginable including major surgeries and quarantines if need be. A room or one-story building should be designated as the infirmary. If you have access to a medical facility in the area, that’s great but only when absolutely necessary.

Speaking of quarantine. If an infectious disease breaks out in the Community, Patient Zero should be immediately quarantined along with everyone who was in close contact with them. The rest of the Community will need to adjust to make up for the reduced manpower or other roles they would lose due to those under quarantine. If someone dies of an infectious disease, the body should be cremated or buried as quickly as possible. In addition, everyone who handled the body should be quaratined as a precaution. Just like the current Pandemic, Quarantine is to protect those who are healthy from getting sick.

If your food sources get contaminated or diseased, they should be destroyed to prevent healthy people and animals from getting sick. Infected or diseased livestock should be killed and the bodies burned. Infected fruit-bearing plants, vegetables and other plant-based food sources should be destroyed by burning as well.

Infectious Diseases aside, when someone dies the body should be buried or cremated for obvious sanitary reasons as soon as possible. Corpses are swimming with bacteria after all. A Medical professional and a leader of the community should fill out a Death Certificate for the deceased even if there is no functioning government. You want to make sure you have a written record of the death for the purposes of record keeping.

About trash and waste. Human and Animal waste should be either used as fertilizer or buried. Food waste should be composted as much as possible. The rest of the food trash can either be fed to animals, burned or buried. Anything non-food that is biodegradeable should be recycled, salvaged or repurposed as much as possible. Get as much unreusable waste as close to zero as possible.

We’re assuming there won’t be a trash pickup and it’s unlikely you’ll want to drive your waste to the nearest dump or designated dumping area every week. If you want to designate a spot on the property for that purpose, make sure it’s far from both living areas and food sources. Trash in an open area will attract wildlife, vermin and possibly other humans so you want to keep it on the edge of your property if possible. If there is trash pickup available, feel free to disregard this paragraph!

Before I forget, let me talk about Education and learning. It goes without saying kids will need to learn along with adults about survival skills. As for formal education, textbooks will need to be acquired in advance. it won’t be as formalized and structured as it is in most of the world now but kids should be able to learn at their own pace. There should be a greater emphasis on survival skills however.

 

Urban Communal Living

Co-Living Spaces Claim a Bigger Place | City of New York

I almost forgot to talk about the Urban version didn’t I? Let’s get to that now. The obvious big difference between the Rural and Urban versions is the area. You have less room in an urban area to work with and certain things will need to be done differently depending on how much space you have.

For the sake of this discussion, we’ll assume your community has bought or taken over a building the size of this one. At a glance, it’s a 6-story building and likely has a below-ground floor or two. A building of this size can probably safely hold 200 to 400 people without crowding rooms. You would still need to set up facilities to be as self-sufficient as possible though.

  • We will assume water is taken care of from when it was first built and will be a non-issue. We will also assumes shower and bathing facilities will be installed on each floor.
  • Solar Panels will be installed on the roof as the main power source though it will still be hooked up to the city or town’s grid. Small wind turbines will also be installed on the roof for additional power.
  • The same principles for a local network apply. Most offices these days already have an internal network on that note. Someone with the skills can reprogram an existing one to work for your needs.
  • As for Food Sources. You have no choice but to convert rooms into greenhouses as well as build raised beds of soil on the roof. If you can get your hands on livestock, you can house them in a few rooms. Just make sure you are able to get them some time outside and some exercise too.
  • Defending a building like this means barricading all entrances and exits as well as all ground floor windows. It goes without saying Closed-Circuit Cameras are a must as well.
  • At least half a floor is set aside for medical facilities. This also assumes a room or two is used for surgeries and there will be a separate maternity ward. If disease breaks out, the infected should be quarantined and the rooms should be disinfected afterward.
  • When someone dies, we will assume the building has two basements. Sections of the second basement will be set aside for burials. If the ground is reinforced, you will need build coffins with available materials and seal it shut. Otherwise, bury it. The alternernative is using the furnace to creamate the body.
  • Trash and waste is treated the same as in a Rural area: Keep it as low as possible. This building appears to have a chimney which means it has a furnace you can use to burn things.
  • Education is treated the same as a rural area prettymuch. Focus on survival skills though kids should be able to learn at their own pace.

 

..Whew. That covers most of the major stuff involved with Community Living. There are some more details which will be covered in the next two sections. These first two sections ended being much longer than I expected so I am going to put the other sections in a separate post. I actually revised this post before posting it. Part 2 will be the next one you see after this one. It’s so important, I will post both parts on three of my blogs.

 

 

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