With your host, Category5.
Has the long waited anticipation left you all with a wet spot in your jeans?
Before we get onto the heavy breathing, I looked at the statistics and noticed that, though plenty of people read the Ancient Chinese Wheelbarrow post, not many clicked the link to the article. It shows a lack of Proper Prepper Personal Perspective. I guess a wheelbarrow just doessn’t seem survivalist sexy enough. Now, even if it had been something about survival gardening, you should have been on that like a teenager on a condom. Food should be 90% of your focus. If you were thinking a wheelbarrow was not interesting for ‘Bugging Out’ and ignored it… please, just go back to Rawles blog or M Snyders, Shit Of A Plan Fan (when the shit hits the fan, dont say he didnt spread it) and stay there… because ignorance can be educated and crazy can be medicated but there aint no cure for stupid. So if you were thinking, ‘I know all about wheel barrows. Duh. There is one in the shed and I have seen them SpankMart’, you are thinking of something completely different. I’m betting your home wheel barrow can’t carry 6 people while putting no strain on the handler. Nor was it considered a top-secret military transport, spoken of only in code. That articles full name was How to Downsize a Transport Network: The Chinese Wheelbarrow.
Because South East Asians already understood this concept, it was a small mental hop for them to modify the concept with bikes on the Ho Chi Minh trail. If you are not familiar with that the bicycle, or Peoples Truck, was the item credited with winning the Viet Nam war, you can go here, https://www.bikeshophub.com/blog/2017/01/30/how-the-bicycle-won-the-vietnam-war or http://www.historynet.com/pedal-power-bicycles-in-wartime-vietnam.htm . Is that prepper sexy enough for you.
And now for the moment you have all been waiting for. The One. The Only. Category5….
———————————————Ass Pain Episode II—————————————–
—————————————–The Ass Gods Strike Back————————————–
*(The disasters written about here happened a few months ago so dont be looking at me as a news source)
What a tumultuous last 24 hours. At least 37 dead so far. National emergency. Political turmoil. Lines up down the block for water…. And I had my wallet pickpocketed.
Like any other self-absorbed North American, I only cared about the wallet. That and seeking murderous, wrathful vengeance, while cursing the gods, the thief and mankind. Not in any particular order.
I, once again, tried to goad the gods into a fight seeking them to finish me once and for all. It takes a theologian to really know what’s going to piss off a god in a personal manner. It’s been quite a few years since the last time I did this. Sometimes I have to curse the gods to get their attention.
I haven’t slept much due to the rage chemicals pumping through my head. I even awoke angry. Lethally angry. My day is pretty much written off so I road back to the seaside to try and find my peace of mind in the sound of the waves. Clearly, I failed my Jedi training. Something something, this is the path to the dark side. As Mrs. C5 prepared to head off to work, behold, what is this wallet shaped object at the bottom of her bag. No robbery had taken place. It seems the only asshole in this country is me.
So why am I telling you this? I figure you should know the guy that you are getting advice from. The good parts and the bad. Many prepper experts and collapse commentators are dripping with self-righteousness. They are addicted to the anger they direct towards made up enemies. The other. That type of addiction is the type of thing that leads to atrocities. And Americans have been working themselves up to a Rwanda type of event for many years now. Ive been talking about this since before 2010 and most that hear it think I am off the meds. The reason this is obvious…is because its so fucking obvious. It takes some serious Hopeium and self-propaganda to not see it. And this massacre aint coming from the left. A subject for another time.
At its core my rage was the result of feelings of powerlessness. Of inadequacy. If I had found someone to blame for my robbery I might have killed an innocent man. I’ll have plenty of time to think about this. I will be meditating on that duality of my nature for a while. Probably as long as it takes to get the bankcards we cancelled last night reassigned to another continent. It is that duality between my charitable side, helping people, sharing my knowledge, trying to house people on our land, trying to keep them fed during the chaos and trying to create a better apocalypse for all. Then there is the other part of me that doesn’t take powerlessness or betrayal well. Oh, great Yoda guide me.
The other reason I am mentioning this is that many people in this South American country will be going through the same emotions over the next little while. Their homes have a meter of dirt in them. Broken bodies still to be found. Their towns nonfunctional. All they have worked for washed away. The livelihoods of those who vehicles were destroyed, taken away. Roadways do conveniently act as rivers when several feet of water that wasn’t there 5 minutes before need someplace to go. What is left afterwards is a carved up, boulder strewn, dried up river bed where a flat road used to connect you to water, work, and garbage disposal.
So you probably noticed I predicted that these new microburst rain bombs are the new normal. The reason this is obvious… is because it’s so fucking obvious. Speaking of predictions, I’m going out on a limb and predicting cholera will show up. I figured I would put that in writing in case I take a break for a while. (Hi, this is C5 talking to you from the future like one of those bad Star Trek episodes. The only worse ones were the alternative universe episodes. It’s a few months since all of this happened. No cholera outbreak happened but a several episodes of Dengue fever did. Back to the show.) Tomorrow we are finally going to do something more touristy to clear my rage filled head further. It’s not all disasters, slums and dangers here. It is a tourist destination after all. I’ll be swimming with sea lions. That should be interesting considering it’s a large predator. Luckily I’m not its food source though I might change my mind in years to come as toxic algae blooms also become the new normal taking out the essential oxygen supply of the locals fishy food source. That is also an easy prediction.
PTSD. One of the things I have read on the subject is that people who got it went through something that left them feeling completely powerless. Impotent. For a rape or torture victim or the prison population, that is obvious. For African American inner city young males, that’s not something polite white company chose to think about. Same with junkies with PTSD for that matter. For a military man or first responder where a bit of machismo, training and an identity of self-sacrifice, feelings of powerlessness and sheer impotency is not something a person wants to admit. Especially when those of the same profession see it as a subject you don’t talk about or worse, it’s seen as a sign of weakness or cowardice.
In the face of a wall of water coming towards you, washing away your life, or maybe even having to allow someone else to die to save yourself, feelings of powerlessness seem like the proper emotional response. Don’t–ya–think?
Timewarp. I have now swam with sea lions. It was certainly one of those once in a lifetime things. I am back to my normal, non-rage self and it’s clear to me that the gods are giddily happy because they are fucking with me a bit for your edification and entertainment. I am seeing the pattern and the next round of circular logic story telling begins.
Speaking of Ass Pain…..I’m pretty sure I drank sea lion poop in the water. It’s a good thing I just started a round of Ciprofloraxacino or Cipro for short. A month and a half of diarrhea is far longer than 10 day recommendation before you see a doctor. MrsC5 has already been to the hospital because of an infected perforated intestinal lesion, given a mass antibiotic injection and a IV drip to rehydrate her. Without it, she possibly could have died. And to think the Antibiotic Resistance Apocalypse is on its way. Thank you industrial farming complex. Not. If you are contemplating Bugging Out to another continent as a refugee or illegal alien, you will face this runny problem. Its not really an option. If superstorm related floods hit you area, you may also face this.
Last night, our water shut off. I was filling one more empty pop bottle when the pressure dropped. I managed to fill a pot for todays morning coffee before the final drips stopped.
To get to our sea lion adventure, we had to cross the city in one of the small busses that push north American safety sensibilities and personal space boundaries. We saw people lining up in several districts to get carriable allotments of water. Water is shut off across the city. I’m guessing its rolling water blackouts but it is not lost on me that the poorer districts are being shut down more than the wealthy districts. ( these photoes were from a moderatly wealthy area)
Sooooooo….. Do you remember in my first post, me saying, ‘Note to self- Store water every chance I get. Not really a note to self’. The reason this was obvious was because it was so fucking obvious. I have been refilling every plastic pop bottle or juice container we purchase with filtered water. I really should put it out in the sun to double purify it. We don’t usually drink a lot of pop but here we know soda is usually made from sterile water. In some countries, its cheaper to by Coke than clean water so you hear horror stories of mothers bottle feeding children coke so they don’t die of dysentery. We intentionally drank it for the free three liter bottles. Some small ones we keep in the freezer part of the fridge in case we lose power. This would buy us a little more perishable food time to eat before we lost it.
So, hear is your first survival lessons of the day, Grass hoppers and it is also C5 exclusive Kung Fu.
Fridge Pillowing. Very prepper unsexy. All the Real Stuff is. Prepping is not adventurous at all. Its really quite dull. We already have this policy at home.
If the power goes out, the first thing we do is unplug the fridge and freezer then cover it with all the meager blankets and couch cushions to trap the cool in. You unplug it so if you are away when the power comes back on, this doesn’t break the motor by overheating it or potentially starting a fire. In case of a major power outage like a superstorm, cyber attack, CME or the like, we would go as far as roping mattresses and insolation around it. This is because for the next few days, we would be far too busy dealing with more immediate responses. After those jobs are all all taken care of, we can get onto the job of canning or dehydrating if weather allows. This is because what we have stored in our fridge and freezer is a lot of valuable food and a part of our food storage and pantry system. It also represents a lot of hard farm work. Our blood, sweat and tears. The reason it is a first action is that it buys us 3 or 4 days while not having to think about it. What’s not processed can be cooked and consumed before touching any of the stored food. We have many canning jars stored for this very purpose. After that, large pots of stew or soup can be kept from bacterial spoilage by keeping it at a low simmer or leaving it near the woodstove. Do any of you know the ancient children’s rhyme, Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot, nine days old. This is an ancient form of preventing bacterial food spoilage. Pre-indutrial Europeans would have a large iron pot near the woodstove for this purpose, adding new ingredients as the pot reduced. It was perpetually changing as new ingredients were added as obtained. Soup is the best way to consumed survival food as you don’t lose any calories due to broiling meat or losing boiled veggie water. It heat’s your core in cold times and provides sterilized water by bringing it to a boil. It can feed many people by adding cheap fillers like rice, pasta, grains or forageables.
But pack to Fridge Pillowing. Pillowing should be measured, not in inches, but in feet. I would even go so far as to place plastic sheets over that acting like a goretex shell. To help our fridge and freezer along, we try to keep them full. This helps your appliances not to work as hard, consuming less electricity. Empty spaces can be filled with water bottles. We have done that while here filling every space with small water bottles stuffed in any hole (Phrasing !…. I think, all I really want out of life is to be the Archer of the prepper world).
In case of a power outage these acts as ice packs and a store of water. Some day, in my long list of projects, I plan on building my own fridge with a full foot or two of compressed poly insulation and reflective bubble wrap. I am even thinking of DC or direct current so it only runs on sunny days directly from the solar panels without batteries. This fridge would open from the top so cold air wouldn’t fall out each time the fridge is opened.
When the water shutoff, I did a quick tally of the water we had managed to save since getting here. Only a measly 30 liters.
Yet here I am in a desert city facing water shortages with only a measly 30 liters of water for 2 people… and diarrhea. I suck. At home we have 250 -300 litres and this small amount is only because we have a deep well powered by solar panels, a surface well that needs some repair, roof catchment and 2 dug ponds. Plus we have a compost, sawdust and bucket toilet. No need to flush. Here I need to flush… a lot.
This all has something to do with sea lions, pick pockets, mischievous gods and ass pain.
The moment when I realized my potential murderous rampage was interrupted by, “Just kidding” and the chuckling smirkyness of some celestial being, while my body chemistry was trying to figure out what to do next and a sort of shock mixed with still ready to fight mixed with shame mixed with that I probably need to write about all this, Mrs.C5 chimed in, “Well, it’s probably good that this happened to us now”. Insert dilated pupils and wide eyed suppressed rage face here. What could possibly make this good. I have been letting her off easy for putting my wallet in her bag. Ass pain. “We had been lowering our guard as we get used to this place. I haven’t been paying attention to my bag as much. You had your wallet in your back pocket.” Yeah. Good point.
Here’s your next survival lesson grasshoppers. You can always tell the experienced travellers because you will see them carrying their day pack on their front instead of their back while in crowds. That way they can wrap their arms around it if someone tries to grab it and it can’t be cut or opened from behind by a sneak thief. In the same way, women carry their purses in the front of them instead of on their ass where it can be grabbed and yanked until the strap breaks or cut like the purse snatched woman I mentioned last blog. In the same way, your wallet goes into your deeper front pocket. A pocket with a zipper is best. I haven’t worn my shoulder holster wallet carrier as it might be mistaken for a gun holster in a place just 16 years past unrest with a shit load of armed police/military just past their right wing death squad phase.
Mrs.C5 had asked me to stop filling water bottles. Sure, we have some fall back water to drink for a week but nothing to flush with or wash dishes with. I may have to stand in those water lineups afterall. Luckily the water came back on and we will chock this up to a “dry run”. I am only here for a year so I can’t justify a water storage system and I wouldn’t know where to purchase it anyhow… But I can afford some plastic garbage bags to poop in.
This is full on poop Yoda. Everybody poops. Even the road warrior poops.
You put the bag in your empty toilet, poop, then close it with a twist tie. You do not pee in this…though a few squirs are alowed. You don’t want to fill the garbage bag with urine. That would end badly. I have had to examine what comes out of me more than most from living in vehicles and RVs. You produce a lot more urine than feces. Liters and liters more. Instead you should pee in the sink or large holed juice container. A small gas can container has a large enough hole and easier disposal. Historically the chamber pot or any pot has always been a regular part of life for a waste disposal in the middle of the night.
It’s now time for my regularly scheduled embarrassment of Mrs.C5. She’s periody at the moment so this may end badly for me. Let’s consider it payback for the, my wallet in her bag thing.
She was riding me in a sexual position often referred to with the name that rhymes with, um, perverse sow hurl. Oh you know what I am talking about. Afterwards, she said, “You have to go see a doctor. I want you to start taking better care of yourself.” What the fuck. Oh yeah. That’s exactly what a guy wants to hear post-coitus. “I couldn’t concentrate because I was having to stare at your ankles.”
Yup. I had big swollen ankles the 1st weeks I was here. Full on, old lady looking ankles. It hurt to walk. We had no idea what was going on and assumed the worst. Blood clots ready to burst off and cause a heart attack or stroke? Gout? Diabetes? What if I can’t ride an airplane to get home?
We eventually figured it out. It was salt retention. I didn’t mention this at first to Mrs.C5 because I could just picture the bland food I would be forced fed for the rest of my life. Death would be preferable. Luckily, it’s not really too much salt but not enough water. I wasn’t dealing with the heat well and sweating a lot causing dehydration. My water intake wasn’t high enough because I couldn’t trust the water and was, thus, rationing intake. Big mistake. I immediately sat down and forced two or three liters past my gag reflex like a porn star. The swelling disappeared in a few days. No need for surgery. From then on, if my pee gets dark, I realize I am not getting enough water and risking potential organ damage. My point being, if you are already dehydrated, it’s going to be hard to go out and find water to haul home. Have I mentioned, water is really heavy. You can’t carry very much of it very far.
I have just been informed that the water is now out again and the toilet is not filling. I have informed her back that tomorrow we shop for strong garbage bags. This is what being a survival semi-expert couple is all about. Isn’t it romantic. Poop pillow talk.
So, do you see how this is all beginning to slowly fall together. Water bottles, pick pockets, sea lions, poop related diseases and ass pain. Not to mention anthropomorphic global warming related disasters, infrastructure breakdown, the problems of being a refugee and really fucking annoying gods. Ass pain.
I added a basket on the bike as is the custom here. They haven’t embraced low hanging bike paniers here. It’s all baskets. But that does help for getting through tight traffic. I put mine on to carry, guess what, heavy bottles of water… and groceries. But it’s too late. All those bottles of water in the store disappeared several days ago. Now, it may help me haul water from wherever they dole it out. If that infrastructure breaks down, I’m guessing the polluted river is about 10 or more km away. Did I mention water is heavy.
Those people I had already watched hauling water were often struggling. Especially the old, women and smaller folk. Those with wheels could haul more. Look carefully at some of the photos I have provided for the different ways people roll water home.
It’s the next day. The death toll has surpassed 72.
I solved my emergency crap bag problem for about 1 canadian dollar. 10 garbage bags. Since I was out with the bike anyhow, I decided to search farther afield into the wealthier district for bottled water since those places would likely get first dibs. I was correct but it was only a pallet of small bottles. I am not that desperate. I did purchase twelve liters of generic soda pop as an emergency backup. I can reuse the 3 liter bottles anyhow. The generic pop had already disappeared at our local grocery. The big American multinational bottling companies must get first rights of access to water since there was plenty of brand name of pop available. Aw, corruption.
Speaking of corruption.
Some government agency sent our cell phones a text. It went something like, “Don’t panic”.
C5 rule of survival – when the so called authorities say “Don’t panic” wise men panic.
“Remain calm. Don’t believe rumours. There will be no food shortage or electricity interruption.”
Aw shit. I decided I better pickup more food. Maybe a few candles.
There is no down side to storing food. I am going to eat it anyways. I might as well have it on hand instead of trusting some large company to store it for me.
C5 rule of survival – Mutate now. Avoid the post-apocalyptic rush.
I decided to head to the NGO’s head office after hitting the bank to have some cash on hand and bring home some groceries. I thought I would see if they could use my counsel but mainly I wanted to know, “what rumours are they telling me to ignore.” Remember, I have a language barrier going on here and a severe lack of news. We have no internet at this point. I am not worried at all but this is what I do. It’s just that “proper planning prevents piss poor performance” and I prefer to have a plan. But in the often misquoted words of a famous boxer, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”. Or there is the murphy’s rule of combat from which I steal the C5 rules moniker, “no plan survives initial contact with the enemy”. It was a good plan. It even included me insuring I had memorized the most direct bike route to the office which is a rallying point for potential evacuation if the shit hits the fan. Besides, they store food and water there for exactly these situations.
Then the gods decided to punch me in the face a few times for the sake of your education and entertainment. Oh joy.
I started early since I knew today was going to be a hot one. As I approached the bank it dawned on me that my bank cards had been cancelled. Ass pain #1. At this point, I should have turned my ass around, went home and made a new plan. Should’a, Would’a, Could’a. But, but, but I am trying to be a responsible survivalist here because a bunch of subscribers are watching. I decided I can beat Mrs.C5 to work. Half way there I see a guy repairing a bike tube and stop because I notice an air hose. It’s the first I have found since getting the bike and my tires are squishy. Full tires means less road friction and less energy expended. I realize that I had been pushing my luck not picking up a bike pumps since I have around 8 or more back at the farm and I don’t know where to find one locally. I collect them when I find them at garage sales or thrift stores in the buck or two range as an unappreciated barter item and low risk store of wealth.
I had already been having the conversation with you folks in my head about that a bike is near useless if you don’t purchase four more items to go with it. #1. A quality bike lock so your bike doesn’t walk or ride away. #2. Panier racks or some other load support system so you can carry stuff. #3. A bike pump. Enough said. #4. Patches and spare tubes. I had planned on talking about this in the next series.
This is called foreshadowing.
I caught up with Mrs.C5 just before she entered her work, gave her a kiss, took the bank card and road off like the road warrior. I should’a headed back to the bank near the grocery store near home. I would’a ended up back at home with a backpack full of food. I could’a just called it quits at that point and called it a 90% successful day.
Instead, I tried to impress you all with how awesome I am. I had initially planned on being back home within the hour to drop groceries and switch out pack for an extended ride. Now it meant backtracking in the opposite direction I wanted to go. What was back home was, most important, #1 my sunhat, #2 water, #3 the tools I travel with and #4 the camera so I could multitask. It was getting hot fast and I was losing time. Instead I decided to press on. I figured I would search for a bank branch on the way, buy water before I got to my meeting on the other side of the city, then I could whip down to the waterfront to find some shade and wait out the midday heat, then pick up groceries just before getting back home. Nice plan before the gods of Murphy got involved……
—————————————–(to be continued)……….—————————————
Stay tuned for the next episode- Ass Pain- Part III- Return of the Jedi Ass Pain.
Oh, come on. It’s classier than Ass Pain With A Vengeance or Ass Pain- First Blood
More Death and Destruction to come.
More Personal pain and self defaciating humiliation as well.