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Damned if You do, Damned if You Don’t.

by Dr Jerome, TF Metals Report:

Back in the heady days of 2011, when I thought I knew everything about metals markets and the impending collapse and the silver moon-shot that would make me a very rich man, I decided to start “prepping” because a collapse would surely make life hard on all of us. I knew just what to do: 1) build a fence around my 5 acres, 2) begin some serious gardening and chicken ranching, 3) become buddies with all my neighbors, 4) store food and seeds, and 5)cautiously take profits from the moonshot and pay off all my debt.

I am still waiting.

I have been “damned,” metaphorically, financially, by investing in metal and other prepping needs while the economy has kept limping into a new bubble. My God! What if I had stayed in mutual funds until last fall, then, cashed out and bought metals with sub 1100 gold? I could have made a lot of fiat had I not been convinced that each month was the last one. But I might have been “damned” without metals or preparing for hard times.

I should have listened to Darth Vader, “You don’t know the power of the dark side!”

The past five years feels like the opening scene in Indiana Jones where he is running out of the cave, and the large round boulder is following him, getting closer and closer, and when you thought he was about to get crushed, it just gets even closer, but doesn’t quite get him because it seems to be a bit farther away now, then it gets closer but still doesn’t quite get him, then he leaps to safety, so he thinks, holding the golden idol, only to face spears, arrows and a gun.

We are here:

Now, I am kind of hopin’ that when I dive out of that cave entrance and roll to my feet that there is not a sociopath with a gun, and a dozen armed savages waiting to take my gold. I have to have hope, or else I’ll sink into the mire of depression about all this.

To resolve my cognitive dissonance over the entire maddening situation, I have advocated that we all keep prepping AND make fiat in this economy as long as it lasts. And I hope that is what my family has been doing. I ended up selling my 5 acres, moving out west (USA) and purchasing a two acre property. But the end didn’t come yet, so we rented it out to make some fiat. We currently live in a condo near the university where I work..

Lately, we have decided , while still waiting for the end, that the land up around Cortez, Colorado, near home, where I have many relatives, has better farmland, dependable wells and a large reservoir—not to mention more distance from large cities, nuclear power plants, military bases and, well, everything—we decided that this land would be a better place to put down some long term roots.

And here we are facing a critical election that probably does not matter, with Jim Willie quoting his mysterious sources, citing seven bank failures and overnight bailouts–sources who are surprised we made it this far and don’t expect us to make it until January.

It is driving me crazy!

I cannot actually go live anywhere else yet, as long as I hold a teaching position. If I do invest in some nice land in Colorado, I may be tying up valuable resources while we wait another few years for a collapse.

But If I do not, and a collapse arrives in the meantime, we could find our family less prepared than we wanted on that fateful day.

Meanwhile (especially when I read Zerohedge), I look over my shoulder and see that boulder still approaching. My perspective is limited. I cannot tell how close it is, how large how fast it is moving, or even how fast I am running. All I can do is keep running. All I can do is keep doing everything—stacking, preparing, working at my job, planning for a future where life is stable, but also where life becomes a Mad Max world.

That boulder seems to be getting really close.

But then again, collapse seemed immanent nearly every month since 2011… Is it just an illusion?

It has driven me mad. I can’t take it anymore… but I have to.

So we are still trying to earn some fiat, hold down a career, stack more, pay off all debt, sell our last three rental properties, and find a property where we really would like to live the rest of our lives—whether in a peaceful recovered economy retirement (Ha!) or as a subsistence farmer, enjoying life in southwest Colorado the way my great grandparents did (Aaah!).

So, to earn fiat in the meantime, I am digging in at my employer, and we are buying RV travel trailers, one at a time, and renovating them. We sell and make some fiat and buy another. If things collapse we are stuck with a house on wheels that somebody could live in. Seems like a good middle ground to me.

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5 comments to Damned if You do, Damned if You Don’t.

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    That summed it up verrrry nicely.

    I think it’s a good idea for preppers who live in the cities or burbs, to buy a few acres in some survivable, farmable area where you can escape to if the SHTF too soon in your schedule.

    Get yourself a “livable” camping trailer or motorhome (either keep it with you) or “pre-park” it at your retreat.

    Pre-parking has some risk of theft, squatters or damage, but eliminates the risks of towing or driving it during the panic.

    Vacant land has the lowest tax rates, and when the crisis comes, you won’t have to try to ‘panic buy’ your retreat.

    Nobody is going to treat squatters very well. Don’t make yourself the squatter.

    I like the idea of pre-placement. It helps you to establish connections & acceptance by your neighbors. But I’d still suggest towing even a small trailer with supplies, tent etc, just in case your pre-placed home is damaged or gone. Your little trailer can carry a lot of preps and building, gardening supplies.

    One of the cheapest & most useful items, is a steel shipping freight container that can also be used as housing, garage, or secure, fireproof storage. I bought, and they delivered a 40ft High cube (9ft high) container to my selected location for less than $3000.

    You might get lucky and have one delivered for much less.

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    PS. I strongly suggest that your ‘retreat’ be located within the range of half a tank and buy & carry another 10 gallons with you.

    Why?

    Because if the grid is down, and/or the panic rush has congested or blocked many roads, you are only going to be getting less than half of your normal fuel economy sitting in traffic or driving on side-streets and over lawns and sidewalks.

    Put a couple of well repaired bikes on your tiny trailer (or on the roof) just in case you must abandon the car and go on foot the last 100 miles to your ‘pre-placed’ trailer or freight container.

  • cj

    At least you have the ability to make these moves most cannot. We are landlocked. Colorado is a good site. I would stay away from the Denver area as I have read stories of cities below the airport or perhaps something else. A good spot for its elevation if the nibiru comes true bt I digress.
    I don’t look at stacking as a get rich scheme. I see it as wealth preservation. I hope I never have to use it. I tell my kids it will be for them and theirs one day. If u really want to gamble u can buy mining stocks. I would like too I just don’t know which is best. I suppose the most stable ones is where to start. There are no guarentees as we could end up all digital with a ban on precious metals People would panic and sell their metal for pennies on the dollar. They want to do this to go into negative rates so u don’t move monet out of the banks as others are doing now. I already have a safe and keep most money home. The RV is and excellent idea. The land as well. I plan to go he RV route and learn to live with much less once my teen graduates this yr so as to be ready for what is coming. Only god knows the dates. Consider yourself blessed for your eyes being open for heavy internet censorship is coming.

    • Craig Escaped Detroit

      RV or whatever…you can buy solar panels so cheaply and put them on top of the RV. They used to cost oner $5/watt, and now you can buy them for $0.70 watt. Put them on the RV roof, etc. never need a jump.

      I even put a really cheap 5w panel on my riding mower, and have been using the same batter for 3 or 4 years now! I got really tired of always having to buy new batteries, or put the charger on it every time I needed to cut the grass.

      Having some power, is always nice, for lights, fridge, keep the battery topped up, run a fan on those hot nights, charge the laptop & cellphone, etc.

      Golf cart type batteries hold up BETTER than the same size 12v R/V batteries. Cost the same too.

      On a common 25ft trailer, if you are clever, you’ll be able to fit about 1000 watts of panels (if you put them over the a/c and roof vents, you’d squeeze perhaps, about 1500 watts up there?)

      For people who are familiar with their R/V batteries, and how much energy they consume during a 2 or 3 day camp out, (how many Amp-Hours you use) also known as “Kw-hrs”… you can expect to get about 6kw-hrs each (summer) day from your 1000 watts of panels. And yes, there are some “conversion losses and Battery losses”, but that’s just the reality of electricity, no matter WHERE it comes from.

      Generally, that 1kw array of panels, will allow you to run an efficient 18cu-ft house fridge every day (I’ve got a 17cu-ft GE that uses 1kw-hr per day), and many other things. Side-by-sides are the LEAST efficient ones (also known as ENERGY HOGS).

      For long term survival, a CHEST freezer is the most efficient. I have both.

      I turned it on when empty, and FELT the insides and outside surfaces, to see WHERE I could safely put some FOAM board insulation to maintain temperatures longer, even during a power outage. (my chest freezer, has the heat-exhaust coils UNDER the skin, so I could NOT cover the outside with foam board.

      I felt the bare, inside walls, and located where the COOLING coils are at, and could NOT cover those either.

      But I was able to put a layer of FOAM board in the BOTTOM of the freezer (this is great because COLD air sinks DOWN). I was able to put foam board inside all the areas that did not have “chilling coils” hidden under the skin. Lastly, I put a layer of foam board on top of the top lid, (helps to prevent warm house air from sending heat down into the TOP of my chest freezer.)

      I did similar foam board placement in my fridge. It looks REALLY ugly, and works quite good.
      Perhaps if somebody ever breaks in while I’m away, maybe they won’t be so tempted to take the big money appliances? I used plastic tape to attach the outer foam boards, sealing it all the way around, to keep out humidity from collecting under the foam and causing rust or mold.

      Be careful about panel shopping, some places quote a low price, but hit you with terrible shipping costs.

      I’ve bought from Ebay, and also from http://www.sunelec.com
      Do all your homework about charge controllers, breakers, DC-GFCI, grounding, inverters (true sine wave vs. “modified sine wave-these are mislabeled, because they are really a type of square wave with an extra step or two).

      Learn why 40vdc is better than 24v and is better than 12v. BIG differences in efficiencies and the cost of the wire sizes. LOWER vots means FATTER copper and HIGHER price.

      Try putting 300 amps of 12vdc thru a wire, and it might have to be as thick as a golf ball.
      But you can do it with thick welding cable OK.

      That’s why the power company uses 200kv transmission lines (low losses) and 5kv for neighborhood distribution (and one final transformer to the houses), etc. If they tried to run a town on 12 volts? They’d have to have wires as thick as a pickup truck.

      12vdc setups are electrically REALLY stupid for any wires that go too far, or needs more amps than a car.

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    ERROR= I meant to say you can put 300 amps thru a thick welding cable IF YOU ARE USING 48VDC instead of 12vdc.

    And another typo, where I hit “40vdc” should have typed “48vdc”.

    ————-
    With golf cart batteries, you’d need 8 of them “in series” to add up to 48v. (I’m talking about the 6vdc batteries, not the 8v).

    Info= the 6v golf cart batteries rated at 225Amp-hrs. X 8 batteries, will add up to about 10kw-hrs of energy, BUT you should NEVER try to consume all of that, because batteries lose lifespan to take all they’ve got.

    You limit yourself to no more than 50% DOD (depth of discharge). So you’ll be able to CONSUME up to about 5kw-hrs from that battery bank before you need to stop and recharge.

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