Book Review: The Zombie Survival Guide

Since we haven’t had a humor post recently (and boy do I need one), I decided to do a little review of one of my favorite books.zsg-cover The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks.  Now who among us hasn’t felt some joy in responding to the question, “What are you prepping for” with a glib reply of “For the oncoming Zombie Invasion”?  If you haven’t ever used that response, you should try it sometime, and feel the joy.

Since we haven’t had a humor post recently (and boy do I need one), I decided to do a little review of one of my favorite books.zsg-cover The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks.  Now who among us hasn’t felt some joy in responding to the question, “What are you prepping for” with a glib reply of “For the oncoming Zombie Invasion”?  If you haven’t ever used that response, you should try it sometime, and feel the joy. Continue reading “Book Review: The Zombie Survival Guide”

Self Reliance Class April 7th in Spanish Fork

Taught by Debbie Kent who is a preparedness/food storage specialist in her stake in California. Debbie has taught numerous classes on every aspect of preparedness and has consented to share the latest up to date methods and ideas on how we can each secure what we need for the future.

Self Reliance Class “On the Road to Preparedness”

Taught by Debbie Kent who is a preparedness/food storage specialist in her stake in California. Debbie has taught numerous classes on every aspect of preparedness and has consented to share the latest up to date methods and ideas on how we can each secure what we need for the future.

Tuesday April 7th at 7:00 p.m.

Spanish Fork South Stake House
1240 South 1158 East
Spanish Fork, UT

Here is the PDF handout for the class. [download id=”4″]

TV Worth Watching

I’m not a big TV fan myself, as I expect many of the readers of this blog.  But last year I did stumble on a show I really liked, called “The Alaska Experiment“.  The show took a couple small groups (2-4 people) of “regular people”, and dropped them in backcountry Alaska, to survive into the winter.  Now, not only was this TV, but it was reality-tv, which by nature I detest.  And yet it drew me in like no other.  Why?  Because it showed just how little people knew, and just how difficult it was to survive, even with the large amount of help these people received.  They had minimal food supplies given, they had shelter, and constant checkups to make sure they weren’t in real harm.  And yet it was still *very* difficult.  Sure, at many points I would scream at people for what I saw as dumb decisions, but I have a better camping background than they.  I was also sitting in my nice chair at home, instead of in the middle of Winter in Alaska.

I’m not a big TV fan myself, as I expect many of the readers of this blog.  But last year I did stumble on a show I really liked, called “The Alaska Experiment“.  The show took a couple small groups (2-4 people) of “regular people”, and dropped them in backcountry Alaska, to survive into the winter.  Now, not only was this TV, but it was reality-tv, which by nature I detest.  And yet it drew me in like no other.  Why?  Because it showed just how little people knew, and just how difficult it was to survive, even with the large amount of help these people received.  They had minimal food supplies given, they had shelter, and constant checkups to make sure they weren’t in real harm.  And yet it was still *very* difficult.  Sure, at many points I would scream at people for what I saw as dumb decisions, but I have a better camping background than they.  I was also sitting in my nice chair at home, instead of in the middle of Winter in Alaska.

Well, season 2 is coming, albeit with a slightly different name.  “Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment”.  Go check out the preview on the Discovery Channel page.  This season changes things a bit by dropping folks off in the wild, and letting themselves find their way out.  I’m sure we’ll all see the dangers in that.

Alpine Storage Overages

Our friends over at Alpine Food Storage recently sent out some emails about some overstocks they currently have.  If you are in Utah, this is a great chance to go browse and pick up some of those deals you might have missed from previous group buys.  If you have some tax refund money left, here’s a great way to use some of it.

Our friends over at Alpine Food Storage recently sent out some emails about some overstocks they currently have.  If you are in Utah, this is a great chance to go browse and pick up some of those deals you might have missed from previous group buys.  If you have some tax refund money left, here’s a great way to use some of it.

Continue reading “Alpine Storage Overages”

Rahms Gun Denial List

It’s no secret that the current administration does not approve of gun ownership by American citizens. So overall it came as no surprise when I found a video on a blog of the white house chief of staff, Rahm Emmanual, speaking to a conference for the Brady campaign about one of his ways of preventing firearm ownership.

It’s no secret that the current administration does not approve of gun ownership by American citizens. So overall it came as no surprise when I found a video on a blog of the white house chief of staff, Rahm Emmanual, speaking to a conference for the Brady campaign about one of his ways of preventing firearm ownership.

Continue reading “Rahms Gun Denial List”

Mike Rowe and Hard Work

I personally don’t watch all that much TV.  Even shows I actually enjoy, I still am just usually too busy to feel I can arrange the time to sit and watch something.  When I do watch though, one of my favorites is Mike Rowe.  Currently he is most well known for his Discovery Channel shows Dirty Jobs, and Deadliest Catch.  His dry humor, and matter-of-fact tone seem to keep me coming back for more.  One of the best things about his Dirty Jobs show is how it focuses on what really are the average jobs in life, the ones that most people seem to look down on for various reasons. Continue reading “Mike Rowe and Hard Work”

Gardening resources (local and mail-order)

Gardening in Utah can be a wonderfully enjoyable and productive experience. Knowing how to get started however can be a major deterrent for many people. Fortunately, there are a number of local resources we can rely upon in order to help us to get started on the path to productive, self-sufficient gardening.

Gardening in Utah can be a wonderfully enjoyable and productive experience. Knowing how to get started however can be a major deterrent for many people. Fortunately, there are a number of local resources we can rely upon in order to help us to get started on the path to productive, self-sufficient gardening.

After doing some research myself, here’s my garden fertilized and tilled, ready for the first planting next week:

2009_garden_ready
If you are interested in getting started, keep reading for some recommendations on local resources.
Continue reading “Gardening resources (local and mail-order)”

To Bee or not to Bee?

[caption id="attachment_1488" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Note the Queen on the Bottom right"]Note the Queen on the Bottom right[/caption]

My name is Bryan. I am one of the 3 B’s. The three B’s are as follows: Bryan, Brian, and then there’s the other Bryan. I tell you that so you don’t get us confused. We are all beekeepers. If you were to tell any one of us a few years ago that we would be beekeepers, we all would have told you that you were stone cold crazy! Yet here we all are keeping honeybees…..and loving it!!! So…what happened?

We all have the strong desire to want to provide for our families, and prepare for whatever may lie ahead. No, we don’t have spare time gracing us at every turn. We all have our families with several young children. However, we all have a desire to be a part of helping something bigger than just our families. Enter the Honeybees. I came across a news article years ago explaining the importance of honeybees in our society. The more I read about the honeybees, the more I found I was feeding an appetite that I never knew I had. The more I read the more I wanted to know.

What I found was absolutely astounding. I can’t think of another insect that has had such a profound affect on civilization than the Honeybee. Honey, beeswax, propolis, pollen, royal jelly, all products of the beehive, has played an important role in the health, and wellbeing of mankind for ages. That does not even take into consideration the pollination work that the honeybee does. The honeybee was brought across the ocean to the Americas by the settlers (known as the white man’s fly to the Indians) to ensure the success of the crops they planted. I’m not even beginning to scratch the surface here.

[caption id="attachment_1489" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Catching my first Swarm!!!"]Catching my first Swarm!!![/caption]

So…why honeybees? The bottom line is that they need our help….. and, we need theirs. About 1/3 of our food supply is dependant on the honeybee for pollination. Disease, pests, and development have virtually eliminated the feral honeybee populations. It turns out that a fruit fly has five times the capability of fighting off disease than the honeybee. It is becoming more and more important to have managed honeybee colonies.

We live in a time when “going green” is in. Honeybees definitely play an important role in keeping the planet green. We, along with all kinds of plants and animals need this important species buzzing around. From the liquid gold of the sweet honey (which does not spoil if stored in a sealed container and will help relieve allergy symptoms!!!) , the increase of the yield in my home garden and fruit trees, to the lip balm made from the beeswax collected from the hive, my family has been blessed by having this truly remarkable species around.

So, if you are contemplating getting involved in this remarkable journey, it is time to jump in.

[caption id="attachment_1490" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Swarms 1 Stings 0!!!)"]Swarms 1  Stings 0!!!)[/caption]

If you are thinking of getting started in keeping bees, you will need to get started on it soon. The bees will be arriving about mid April. You need to pre-order them right away. They always are sold out right after they come in!

[caption id="attachment_1491" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Picture of my 6 yr. old helping me install a swarm I caught."]Picture of my 6 yr. old helping me install a swarm I caught.[/caption]

For all kinds of helpful information you can visit the Utah County Beekeepers Association web site, or attend an association meeting: www.utahcountybeekeepers.org

Bee Hive Plans

Top bar hive Plans: BackYard Hive.com

Langstroth Hive Plans: BeeSource.com

To purchase hives/frames and bee keeping products:

Jones Bee
Mann Lake Ltd.
DadAnt
Brush Mountain Bee Farm
Utah County Bee Keepers –go to the classifieds section.

To purchase bees packages:

Knight Family Honey
Jones Bee

If you are interested in getting started in Bee Keeping, there is the Bee Keeping Class in Orem on March 20th. If you would like to learn more now though or would like to avoid the class fee, I will be conducting an informal class at my house in Mapleton this Friday, March 13th at 7 PM.

We will be going over much of the same information from that class. In addition, we will be putting together a group order for bees and the recommended equipment you need to get started in Bee Keeping.

If you are interested in attending this informal class, please RSVP to Bryan Esquivel by e-mailing [email protected]

A brief Story of the 3 B’s and the Bees

By Guest Author Bryan Esquivel

Note the Queen on the Bottom right
Note the Queen on the Bottom right

My name is Bryan. I am one of the 3 B’s. The three B’s are as follows: Bryan, Brian, and then there’s the other Bryan. I tell you that so you don’t get us confused. We are all beekeepers. If you were to tell any one of us a few years ago that we would be beekeepers, we all would have told you that you were stone cold crazy! Yet here we all are keeping honeybees…..and loving it!!! So…what happened?
Continue reading “To Bee or not to Bee?”

10 Scenarios For Which You Should Be Prepared

Preparedness. There is perhaps no other word that conveys so much, yet so little. What does it mean? To what areas of life does it apply (or not apply)? Being adequately and generally prepared of a necessity requires that we ask ourselves all sorts of questions, plan for various scenarios, and abstract our preparations enough such that they can apply to various circumstances, if possible.


photo credit: rodrick.reidsma

Preparedness. There is perhaps no other word that conveys so much, yet so little. What does it mean? To what areas of life does it apply (or not apply)? Being adequately and generally prepared of a necessity requires that we ask ourselves all sorts of questions, plan for various scenarios, and abstract our preparations enough such that they can apply to various circumstances, if possible.

For example, having a lot of food stored will help you if there’s an earthquake, fire, flood, unemployment, famine, etc. So, this preparedness item is quite versatile in its applicability and usefulness. Other, more specific items, such as a portable toilet or potassium iodide tablets, fill a much smaller niche and can’t be used for too many situations other than the ones they’re intended for.

Yet, they’re all important. Preparedness in this context means acquiring the knowledge, skills, and physical possessions that would enable you to comfortably survive whatever may come our way. In most cases, external circumstances outside of your control dictate what you must go through, and thus you cannot reliably foresee what will happen. So, preparing for the unknown can be daunting, but it is by no means impossible.

Continue reading “10 Scenarios For Which You Should Be Prepared”

Beginning Bee Keeping Class in Orem

Beginning Beekeeper’s Class

When:

March 20th (6pm-10pm) and March 21st (10am-4pm). Friday’s class is all instruction, Saturday’s class is instruction plus the possibility of an in apiary portion.

Where:

1206 South 1680 West, Orem, UT.

Cost:

$20 per person; $30 for couples.

Description of Class:

This class is aimed towards the first year beekeeper who is looking gain basic knowledge about bees, the problems, swarming, honey harvests etc.
Continue reading “Beginning Bee Keeping Class in Orem”

Review: Life Caps

Life Caps are a new and fairly recent product on the market in the emergency preparedness category. I’ve heard of them on a few websites, and then I attended an emergency preparedness fair last weekend where several women were recommending them.

The product is promoted as an “emergency preparedness pill”—you take one capsule three times daily, along with drinking plenty of water, in order to provide your body the nutrients it needs throughout the day. The creators claim that these pills satisfy your body’s needs such that you aren’t hungry for food, which is ideal in an emergency scenario if you don’t have access to your normal daily amount of food.

Continue reading “Review: Life Caps”

The Surveillance Self-Defense Site

As an admitted geek, I have often tried to help people in understanding ssd-1the importance of information security, especially when it comes to technological storage and transmission.  From what kind of software you run, to how you communicate with others your data can be vulnerable.  From employers to government agencies, neighbors to hackers, what you say and keep can be taken and used in ways that you don’t want.  But teaching everything people should know to keep themselves safe is often a long process, and something I often have to revisit to remind people.

As an admitted geek, I have often tried to help people in understanding ssd-1the importance of information security, especially when it comes to data storage and transmission.  From what kind of software you run, to how you communicate with others your data can be vulnerable.  From employers to government agencies, neighbors to hackers, what you say and keep can be taken and used in ways that you don’t want.  But teaching everything people should know to keep themselves safe is often a long process, and something I often have to revisit to remind people. Continue reading “The Surveillance Self-Defense Site”