Tag Archives: emergency preparedness

Protecting the Aristocracy From Mutants, Muslims, Mormons and Malcontents

Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

During almost a decade when most of my salary was paid by FEMA I used to have to go to FEMA Regional Headquarters every quarter for meetings with people doing the same job I was doing in New Mexico, but from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and hmm if there’s another state in this FEMA Region I can’t recall it at the moment.  But you get the idea. 

Fairly dreadful meetings and nowhere near as interesting as the weeks spent in the training center at Emmitsburg, MD, or the various other meetings in places where there were Civil War battlegrounds to drift off and walk around on studying how those poor bastards delt with their differences of opinion.

But that’s another story for another time.

The Regional meetings for Emergency Management people and Flood Plain Management people were held on the top floor of an amazing bunker complex at FEMA Region 6 Headquarters outside Denton, Texas.  A venal, truly hidebound lot of bureaucrats we were, too.  Although the worst of us was nowhere near as anal, ugly, downright arrogant as the FEMA people.

And that was before 9/11 and FEMA becoming a part of Homeland Security.  I hate to think how it must be today.

But what I wanted to tell you about is that bunker complex.  Damnedest thing I’ve ever beheld this side of Carlsbad Caverns if it was set up for the US Congress, the 82nd Airborne Division and MD Anderson Hospital were all planned to be housed inside it.  For a long, long while.

Just the parts I was allowed to visit and mull over were several stories underground and probably several acres diameter.  Above ground under all the festooning of antenna, cable and concrete was a pillbox so the people underground could go up and peek out to shoot the occasional mutant, malcontent, or just enjoy the sight of all the devastation.

The first level entryway was a hallway with sprinklers to wash off the radioactivity lingering on anyone going inside, along with slots to allow shooting anyone who didn’t use soap or wash long enough.  And just beyond that was a huge freezer for dragging the carcasses into of people who either got shot or didn’t get clear of the radiation quickly enough to avoid the blind staggers.

Nearby was a huge, amazing, pristine, empty hospital complex with supplies, stacked along the walls, equipment, tables, clean shining stainless steel waiting for some doctors to show up to treat any patients that might show up.

Next floor down was the ‘Continuity of Government’ facility.  A place designated for the Governors of all the Region 6 States, their staffs, their families to wait out whatever difficulties led to them being there.  Hallways with State Flags for each of the member States hung in front of entranceways to avoid Louisiana confusing itself with New Mexico.

An entire floor was devoted to warehousing food, water, all manner of supplies the people living down there would be consuming.  Another floor devoted to Security and Military personnel, along with their equipment and ammunition.  That floor also contained the communications equipment so’s they could talk to anyone who still was alive outside and able to speak English.  Or to whomever else was left out there with radio equipment still working.

And those were just the floors I was allowed to visit.  The FEMA folk hinted there was a lot more, winked knowingly, but wouldn’t discuss what was there.

Soothing thought, I found it, knowing the government had arranged for a place for all those folks I considered more important than regular people to get in out of the rain and keep doing whatever needed doing for the people outside with their eyeballs running down their faces and their flesh sloughing off.

I surely hope they’re still maintaining those bunkers.  I’d hate to think the politicos aren’t being looked after if something happens.

Old Jules

Betting on Future Sheep, or Locating the Moth Balls

While you earthlings are fretting over whether your next king is going to be friendly to your preferred nuances of greed, waste, envy, scorn and target identification, you might want to squeeze in a few minutes to find those moth balls.  The days for protecting your brass monkeys might not be completely over for the year, but keeping the emphasis on the right syllable is as important now as it ever was.

Even though those Pendleton blankets might seem anachronistic today, and knowing there are plenty of sheep still out there grazing, there’s going to be another October and November eventually.  Betting on the come, figuring you can just toss the holey blankets and buy something Chinese to replace them might problematic by then.

There’s a rumor going around the Chinese plan to devote the entire planetary wool production to their world-wide-near-monopoly on steel.  Chinese statisticians and accountants have discovered crescent wrenches and pliers made of wool will do the job as well as the ones made of steel they’re selling now.  And they’ll be worth as much as the dollars US consumers use to pay for them.

Save some of those moth balls for your toolbox.  Next year that might be where you’ll find your Pendleton blankets.

Old Jules

 

Disambiguating, De-Obfuscating and De-Horsemanurizing the Previous Post

I just got to say I love that word, disambiguating. 

Anyway, here’s Old Sol today.

And here he is October 23, 20o5.

Planetary positioning today

Planetary positions October 23, 2005, with particular emphasis on Saturn, Uranus and Earth/Mars positions.

Please don’t in any way interprete this to mean I believe you’re interested, or that I’m offering any sort of theory, opinion, statement or hypothesis.  I’m just posting some images of Old Sol’s face and the concurrent locations of celestial bodies relative to one another.

Further deponent sayeth not.

Old Jules

Juggling Priorities

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

When I began posting this blog just before the end of June last year,

The Great Speckled Bird: Respecting our Betters, my life was a  somewhat different place, though it hasn’t changed much by outward appearance.  Mainly what’s changed is priorities.  Time has speeded up for me in a sense.  Things I’ve needed to be doing all along, but were on the back burner indefinitely have fought their way to the front burner and now are holding the high ground. 

The season that’s been attempting to pass itself off as a winter here seems every day to be assuming the attire of early spring.  Which is to say, I need to be doing spring-like things inside the priority mix, instead of winter things, and the spring activity demands this year will be somewhat different from last year. 

One of the ways that will manifest itself is that I’ll be posting less regularly on this blog, trying to spend more time doing higher priority activities.  A lot of the projects I had planned, or was working on during the blog months are going to be abandoned or allowed to be pushed into abstractions for some future time, except one.

So the frequent and somewhat regular posting here will change to a target-of-opportunity mode. 

Jeanne will continue posting the Ask Old Jules entries, and I’ll probably occasionally post something there also, as time allows.

I’m no good predicting the future, but my intention, within the context of what the Coincidence Coordinators will allow, is to have this shelter and the area immediately around it back mostly as it was when I arrived several years ago.  Including me being somewhere else.   Most of my priority juggling is going to try to fit itself into that as best it can.

Hopefully the ancient Mayans had all that figured out and that’s what all the hoopla about the Mayan calendar’s really about.  The cats and me experiencing another pesky reincarnation without the Universe raising any eyebrows.

Old Jules

 

The Long Watch

 

Lot’s of high-powered rifle ammunition flying around the surrounding ranches this morning. But I don’t think it’s a government SWAT team come all the way out here to shoot my face off between breaths this fine morning.

In fact, I think it’s deer hunters out trying to squeeze in a last-minute set of antlers on an umpty-ump-point-buck to take home and put on the wall.

I only mention this because a few of you readers and a particular slice of the population of preparedness blogs I read are taking the “Come in and get me coppers!” approach to reflecting on what the US Congress has been doing lately.  There’s a high-anxiety factor leading people to say things on blogs suggesting they think if the government wants them it’s going to have a tough job on its hands getting them. 

Anyone who stops to think about this concept a moment ought to be able to figure out that’s not how it’s going to play out.  Even if they’re correct in thinking someone thinks they’re important enough to send in the cavalry to get them. 

No matter how good you guys who’ve been collecting a thousand different great knives and 200 each calibers of weaponry and ammunition anticipating what you believe is happening, if they want you, they’re going to get you.  If you’ve been shouting challenges at them from your blogs, they’ll most likely do it to your face between two breaths from a distance of a quarter-mile while you take an outdoor leak.

This isn’t the best moment in history to be talking about going to war with the US government.  Even in a whisper.  They’ve spent the last decade developing tactics, strategies, surveillance gear and weaponry intended to deal with people a lot uglier, smarter, sneakier and more highly motivated than any US citizen is likely to be.

I’m not saying what the US Congress did over the past couple of weeks won’t change a lot of things in ways you’ve come to see as your ‘rights’.  I believe it probably will.  I’m just saying you might be well advised to think things through more carefully than you’ve been doing.  You’re all dressed up to play checkers but the game has changed to chess.

Thinks I. 

Old Jules

 

Get a Job! Internment/Resettlement Specialist, US Army

This brought a chuckle for me this morning. Amazing the stuff you find on these blogs. Jules

asians art museum's samurai blog

Updated 12/31/11.

At www.goarmy.com, for real:

“Dust storm at this War Relocation Authority center where evacuees of Japanese ancestry are spending the duration.” Dorothea Lange, Manzanar, CA, July 3, 1942. National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the War Relocation Authority, 210-G-10C-839.

UPDATE (12/31/11)

We’re screwed: President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Bill Into Law (ACLU press release, 12/31/11)

 

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For Want of a Nail – Something Worth Knowing Chainsaw-wise

If you own a chainsaw and it has a primer plunger or bulb similar to the one above you might give some thought to keeping a spare around.

I’d barely started cutting when this one developed a crack and allowed air into the fuel line.  I shrugged, puzzled over possible ways to plug the air leak and decided it probably couldn’t be done because of the oil and gasoline.  So I asked Gale to pick one up for me in Kerrville the next day.

The place he went had a bag of these things of 87 different sizes.  It wasn’t enough to know the saw model and make.  No way of matching anything without the actual item to compare it to.  So a $5-or-less has now taken several days out of getting firewood cut and those dead oaks threatening buildings and roofs onto the ground.  Oak Wilt, Firewood and Sawmilling

There’s no wind today and I think if it weren’t for that piece of plastic I’d have both of those down and cut to firewood lengths by mid afternoon.  I’m going to pick up a spare when I get a replacement.  That saw’s got a lot of miles on it and it’s been a good one, but maybe it will figure it can’t die final-like until it wears out that extra primer plunger bulb.  Cheap insurance. 

And if the saw goes kerplunk and leaves me with one of those little hollow plastic bulbs on my hands I can probably rig a way to use it for something else if I live long enough.

One more bug on the windshield of life.

Old Jules