Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kicking Cable TV and The Dish: Part Two

Let's round up an inexpensive computer, and a good video card. I'll let you decide how you're going to do your audio. Most of what you will get online is stereo, so you may just opt to run the audio out of the on-board sound card to the speakers on your TV. You already have your high speed internet.

Now, you all know you can watch video, and even TV shows right on your computer without building a specialty box. If I was single, I'd just get a nice 21 inch flat screen monitor and be done with it. What we're going to do is sort of build a stripped down, low budget media server, but primarily designed to handle streaming media. Unlike a true media server, it doesn't always have to be on, thus saving you money in power consumption.

You don't have to use a specialized version of Windows to do this, such as Media Center. You can build up a machine that uses a version of Linux, as long as drivers are available for your selected video card. Apple Macs have also been used to do this. If you go a used MacMini route, select a MacMini with the Intel CPU that uses the Intel GMA950 Graphics Processor. The GMA950 is optimized for HD video. You won't need a video card if you get this machine. I've seen these Macs for around $350 used in the SF bay area.

So in keeping with the wide variety of possibilities in the selection of hardware, this is going to be a general how to. Everything we'll discuss can be translated into working with Linux, and Macs.

Since Microsoft still seems to have a major (although weakening hold) on personal computing, we'll stay over here on the PC side of the road.

You'll need to find a cheap computer that has a PCI Express slot, often denoted as PCIe on packaging. The reason is you'll need a PCIe video card is to deliver your streaming video to that nice big LCD or Plasma TV in your living room.

Finding a cheap computer could be as easy as asking your kids. Teen geeks often upgrade hardware, and they may what you need just laying around. In fact they could probably whip up the complete system for you in an afternoon. Just tell them what you're going to use it for.

There's also Craigslist, Freecycle, and Ebay. You could also just purchase a barebones style system from a retailer such as MicroCenter. Microcenter has a prospect for this project right here (link will die after product is sold) for $199.00. Make sure you check their clearance, refurbished, and hot deal tabs at the top of the page. Sometimes they have insanely low prices.

Okay, so now you have your PC.

Next comes selecting a graphics card. You're looking for a PCIe graphics card.

A very good budget choice is the Sapphire 100253HDMI Radeon HD 4650. The Radeon 4650 line will even deliver excellent Blu-ray playback if you install a Blu-ray capable drive in your cheap computer system. It has a built in HDMI connector, eliminating the need for cable adapters. The other nice thing is this particular card does not require an external power connector like some of the higher end video cards.

Tiger Direct has this card for $59.99

E-Bay has a wide range of prices for this card. One was as low as $15.50 at the time I wrote this article.

There are other cards out there. Now that you've seen this card, you know what to look for. You can evaluate the hardware that is easily available to you.

Tomorrow, part three: Software and sources of content online.

Additional reading:

Popular Mechanics - How to Build Cheap Linux and Windows Home Media Servers in Three Easy Steps

Hot Hardware - High Capacity $300 Budget Media Server

MaximumPC - How To Build A Media Server

Have The Know How - Step By Step Ubuntu Media Server Build

Build A Media Server - How To Build An Apple Media Server

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kicking Cable TV and The Dish: Part One

This post is targeted primarily at those of us who live in areas that are serviced by high speed internet like cable or DSL. The Internet is really all you need these days for watching TV.

You won't be able to watch sporting events easily using the Internet. I, personally, am not a sports fan so this doesn't bother me in the least. Oh, sports programs are available, but not always the games / events that you'd like to see live. I don't really watch that much TV to begin with, but there are a few shows out there that I do enjoy. My personal favorite is Fringe. You have to love Walter. I'd definitely want an amiable, psychotropic swilling, mad scientist with a pet cow in my bunker at the end of the world.

What motivated this post is the fact that I'm trying to find additional ways to cut back on my outgoing cash. When you have a wife and a kid that are used to having a TV with 500 channels of nothing available 24 hours a day, weening them from it is going to be difficult.

But, I figure that by dropping Cable TV and keeping just the Internet connection ( I get download speeds of 20Mb/s. DSL will only guarantee between 3 and 6 Mb/s. ), I'd save over $80.00 per month. If I drop my home phone and use something like majicJack, I'd save another $40.00 per month.

I'm also currently letting one of my neighbors leech off my network. He had DSL installed, but it never worked right, and when he tried a cable hookup, it didn't work right either. So I put up an N router along with a wireless amplifier, and he's able to use my network to access the web.

This is another way to cut your costs because most of us never use all of the available bandwidth, so sharing with one or two neighbors and splitting the cost might be a way for you to add to your savings. Just make sure you know your neighbors well. It would not do to have one of them using a connection registered to you to download child porn or upload copyrighted material to the web.

Make sure you change your wireless network password regularly. Even with today's newer wireless encryption schemes, all it takes is time, and some tools ( visit Wi-Foo ), and a determined 12 year old can get into your wireless network. Changing your passwords will at least slow them down. If you live in an apartment, townhome, condo or something similar, running cables would be easy if you are adjacent to each other, and your network would be secure.

I'd love to get rid of the cell phones, but my teenage daughter would probably die. You should have seen her when her phone broke one night. I am not exaggerating when I say I thought I would have to call the paramedics. She collapsed in the street screaming when my wife and I told her, "Don't worry, the contract is up in three months. We'll get you a new phone then." This was not the behavior of a spoiled child. It was complete, and total panic. Hyperventilating, racing heartbeat, eyes rolling about unable to focus, incoherent speech, inability to walk unassisted, cold sweat.

Yeah, it sounds funny, but apparently she's not the only one who is so attached to the electronic tether that any break from it induces a panicked state. I've heard similar stories from other parents, and even stories about adults behaving in a similar manner.

It was so bad that I went to a 24 Hour Walmart and bought a similar phone and performed some surgery to get her phone functional and put her back into a normal state of existence. Up until that night, all the talk of how people would react if the grid went down was just conjecture. Now I have first hand experience with what many of us may be facing.

So, to be able to kick CableTV and Dish to the curb, you need an inexpensive computer, a high speed internet connection, and a good video card.

I've run out of time, so I will continue in Part II tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gerald Celente: Top Trends 2010

Three Part Interview ( about 20 minutes in total) with Gerald Celente regarding our near future.

Click here to be magically transported to EclipTV.

If you're not yet familiar with Gerald Celente, take a moment to visit his website and learn something about this on target forecaster.

He also has posted his top nine predictions for 2010 on his site: Click Here

And if, after all the stuff that has happened of late, you find yourself in serious need of some laughter, check this out from the Borowitz Report:

Department Of Homeland Security Issues Terrorist ID Cards

Monday, December 28, 2009

Of Suicide Bombers and Government Officials

One of these days Mohammed is going to realize that getting explosives onto planes is going to lose its sting as an instrument of terror. Right now he's doing a good job of pointing out what an incompetent boob Janet Napolitano has turned out to be. But eventually it will be impossible for him to get a bomber on the plane once we're all forced to receive a pre-boarding enema and stomach pump. Then fly to our destinations naked, blindfolded, and handcuffed to our seats.

In the meantime, he's sacrificing his pawns to force the shifting of more resources to safeguarding aircraft and air terminals. You might say the terrorists have won this round. They showed how weak and ineffective American laws and law enforcement are at preventing such an incident. Also, these resources are no longer available for other venues. But then, maybe its part of his plan. Draw off the guards and leave another target vulnerable.

Anyone wanna go to the mall?

The world often laughs at how myopic Americans are, how obsessed we are with the handicap of the nonsense called "fairness" and its ugly step-sister "tolerance", and they laugh at our notorious short term historical memory.

What they often overlook is the fact that they are laughing at the same people the ThreePers are pissed off at. As an aside, a "ThreePer" is most accurately called a "Three Percenter" and is a reference to the estimated three percent of the population that actively supported the American War Of Independence. I prefer "ThreePers" because it sounds like "The Reapers", and believe me there will be alot of reaping to be done to those who have sown so much evil in this land.

We seemingly careen from one war, one crisis to another without having learned a damn thing from history. Fairness is for the playground, for a friendly game of checkers, or a roll of Liar's Dice played by the old men down at the corner cafe. Tolerance is what we have so far exercised for the fools who continue to strip us of our Liberties while exposing us to risk. These two ideas have no place on the world stage where everyone, including your "friends" are trying to steal from you or use your military power or influence to improve their own position.

Something to be aware of that the media and the government continue to lie to you about in the name of "fairness" and "tolerance":

Psychology Today had an article called "Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature" It cites Oxford University sociologist Diego Gambetta, editor of Making Sense of Suicide Missions, as stating when religion is involved in a suicide mission, the bomber is always Muslim.

It isn't like those of us with some modicum of common sense didn't already realize this, but when a journal such as Psychology Today and a prestigious institution such as Oxford University venture out into a politically correct minefield to tell people the truth you would think the PC crowd would rethink their position.

Ah, I know, wishful thinking.

But at least you don't have to feel guilty about what you instinctively knew.

Speaking of being made to feel guilty.

Read this, "Take All Prisoners: Your Conscience, the Sociopath's Weapon of Choice".

Now, I want you to keep this in mind every single time a politician opens his or her mouth to berate the public at large for standing in the way of whatever it is that he or she is trying to do.

Have you noticed that politicians, from Obama on down, corporate heads, and union leadership no longer try to explain why they want or need to do something?

If you do not immediately step up and join them, they first try and make you feel guilty, "it is for the children" - remember that crap? Then they resort to name calling and trying to cow you. Then they resort to force.

Now you know why. You're dealing with the mentally ill.

God help us, the inmates are truly running the asylum.

Update: The American Preppers Network is in Newsweek: Read Article Here.

Jackie Mason: Morons On Capitol Hill

See more of what Jackie Mason has to say at The Ultimate Jew.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Another Bomber: More Spin, More Control

Over this past extended Christmas weekend, something happened which most people have seemed to ignore.

Oh, its not the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airliner by another crazed Muslim. That got plenty of coverage.

The fact that the flight originated outside the USA also got plenty of coverage. It had to. They had to blame some other country for failed security protocols.

The fact that the TSA, airlines, and other governmental agencies immediately stepped in and instituted new controls and tighter security also received a good amount of coverage. But that isn't what is important either.

Yes, tighter controls on the American flying public. Of course, those controls don't affect the flying public outside the country.

Realize the fact that government agencies, rules and regulations, restrictions on your liberties and freedoms, didn't do a damn thing to stop the attempted bombing. If these were an effective measure to eliminate the threat of terrorism, it never would have happened.

That's what is important for you to note.

But of course, the media won't point that out to you.

Benjamin Franklin said it best, “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

You've given up your freedom for nothing. You've allowed yourselves to be strip searched, poked and prodded, and driven like cattle by people who would otherwise be unemployable. The TSA is a jobs program for the barely literate. Half the time I've had to deal with them, I've had problems with them being conversant in English. Many of them looked like they're the ones who should have been taken aside for secondary screening.

Good job, America. You surrendered yourself to being treated like Jews being loaded onto cattle cars every time you fly, and for what?

You still have to fight to preserve your own safety. You still have to subdue your own attackers. Only now you have to do it without the benefit of having your trusty nail clippers, because they're too dangerous for you to have on board an aircraft.

Where are all the vaunted and hallowed rules, and regulations that were supposed to keep you safe? Didn't that criminal read them? Why didn't he pay heed to them? They are the law after all.

Where are the security forces rushing in to save your life?

Oh they're around.

They're somewhere safe and sound, looking for a way to increase their budget for next year. They won't take on an armed attacker one on one like true heroes. No, they have to work as a gang and bum rush the guy or shoot him from a distance. They behave like a criminal gang. No honor. No loyalty. No responsibility.

You're on your own in this world. Every time you let those bastards in Washington DC pass another law, you place yourself even further outside the safety of a cohesive community. Those political whores divide along every possible line they can draw between a once free people. They are killing this country with a billion paper cuts from that blizzard of meaningless and useless legislation they pass every year.

Most of which they seem to exempt themselves from.

You better get used to that fact because things are going to get a whole lot worse. You will need to realize that the only person who can safeguard you and your you.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kid.

Some call him Jesus.

Others call Him Yeshua, or even Immanuel. To some he was only a prophet, and to some just a man or even just a story. To many, He is the Son of God.

Last year, I posted what a lifelong practitioner of Shinto had to say about Christmas.

"I pity the people who can not enjoy Christmas", she said. "If someone is so mean of spirit and small of mind that they can not celebrate the birth of a child, ANY child, then the meaning of Christmas has escaped them. No matter the number of holy days in their faiths, or the meanings behind them will erase the fact that they are hollow people with hollow faiths. We can argue the merits and faults of Christ, Christianity, and Christiandom until we are all blue in the face, but it doesn't eliminate the fact that a child was born that day."

Happy Birthday, Yeshua.

Luke 2:1-14

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Untenable Positions

Things are bad.

Even with the window dressings of the winter holiday of your choice, everyone knows its bad, Even though everyone from Obama to the guy scalding milk in the corner coffee shop is pretending that tomorrow will be just like yesterday, they know its bad. Somehow ignoring the monster just outside your door seems the best thing to do.

I just don't get that mindset.

The old quote from Hoover, "Prosperity Is Just Around The Corner", is as valid today as it was in the Great Depression. Which is to say it is just a lot of BS.

Take a listen to the song of the same name. It was released some seventy eight years ago. Doesn't it sound all too familiar? The only difference between then and now are the number of social safety nets that have managed to keep most of the worst out of the public eye, that and a media class that has circled the wagons around the political class and works to keep the average American distracted.

I spoke with a friend of mine yesterday. He often walks past a charity that distributes food to the needy. On the door was a new sign. It said that they are no longer accepting new clients.

Bloomberg reported on December 8 that one in eight Americans are now receiving food stamps. That is over 32 million people.

States are trying to find ways to play hide the sausage with a very unreceptive public.

Hawaii wants to abscond with county tax monies, and find a way to float themselves a loan by not giving their citizens tax refunds. Article Here. Bear in mind Hawaii has already furloughed state employees, reduced the school week to four days, and reduced the number of health inspectors.

Look at the results. Video of rats and cockroaches rampaging in a market.

Homeless families camp along famous Waikiki Beach. Article Here.

They don't even have enough money to hold elections. Article here. That's okay, you were the last state adopted into the Union. Maybe you'll be the first to start voting with a cartridge box instead of a ballot box.

It is simply amazing. Las Vegas has a burgeoning underclass, maybe an "underground class" would be the right word. People have taken to living in the storm drains beneath the streets lit by millions of watts of neon. Article Here. People are looking to cash in on foreclosures, by stripping homes. Article Here.

Arizona is considering shutting down all services not mandated by the federal government. That includes the state's highway patrol. Article Here.

California is staring at a budget shortfall of $21 Billion Dollars for next year, 2010. Article Here. Personally, living here and seeing what is going on, I'd easily add another $10 Billion. Protests on college campuses resulting from fee hikes on students have become more ugly, and have even resulted in an attack of the UC Chancellor's home. Article Here. California found a way to float itself a loan by increasing tax withholdings by 10%. Article Here.

Every state is looking at upping taxes, and so are the Feds. The problem is there's nothing for them to tax from the middle class, because they've all but eliminated that segment of the population. The poor pay nothing and the rich pay nothing, and both groups have profited heavily from the middle, and we're about extinct.

The fact is, I could continue to cite some really troubling facts about the way society is headed. The disparity between those who have a great deal, and those who have at least something has widened by miles in the last few years. The distance between those who have anything and those who have nothing has widened by light years.

So far government programs and charity programs have served to keep the mobs sedated with a full belly, free medical care, free housing, and a sense of normalcy by replacing those embarrassing food stamp books with debit cards.

The money, and the class of working people, that made all of this possible is just about gone. Now the politicos are looking for ways to steal from each other in order to continue this stupid game. They want to keep themselves in power, wealth, and luxury and safe from the marauding masses who are just a few missed meals from taking to the streets.

Soon, even that shell game will exhaust the few coins left, and their positions will become completely untenable.

So, what does this mean to you:

We've said it all along. Buy bulk staple foods. Store water. Have an alternative means of cooking. Have a way to extinguish fires. Have alternative lighting and heating. Have a way to camouflage your home so as not to stand out as someone who prepared. Have a method of defending yourself and your family. Network with people you can trust. Start a garden. Even in winter, you can grow modestly indoors.

Have an alternative means of sanitation. That includes installing a sewage backflow valve. Why? Simple, in some places if the city is forced to shut off power to sewage treatment plants, stuff isn't going to be going anywhere. If you're on the low side and a head builds, you may wind up with a very unpleasant situation. Cities have already discussed abandoning sections and shutting off power, water and city services like fire and police. Cities are already shutting off streetlights at night. Articles Here and Here.

I firmly believe we are coming down to crunch time. More people and agencies are talking openly about civil unrest. Article Here.

Two years ago when all of this started becoming mainstream news, and not just the realm of kooks and survivalists, many of us took a real hard look at what was going on. We pointed out the disparities in our population, the lack of a homogeneous population, the grand standing by politicians, the giveaways, the protected classes, and coupled it all with some historical knowledge. The results pointed to the potential for a very ugly situation.

As usual, the people behind the nice shiny desks wearing thousand dollar suits, called us crazy and alarmists.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Held Hostage In The Land Of The Free

We, the American Public, are being held hostage in our own land.

There's no other way to put it. We entrust people with a tremendous amount of power, send them off to Washington DC, and expect them to reflect the will of the public at large. Instead these elected officials extend the middle digit of not one, but both hands, in our direction whenever we shout our opposition to their nefarious plans.

Once they're in, they seem content to ignore us and call us unflattering names when we object. They only way they seem to leave office is feet first, ala Ted Kennedy.

No, we're chattel to them. Cash cows to be milked and managed to ensure their accustomed lifestyles.

We're penned in by laws and politically correct speech. Held hostage by our own sense of what is right, just, and fair.

How many of you remember the Quiz Show Scandals and Payola Scandals of the 1950's? If you boil these low points in American cultural history down to the lowest common denominator, its comes down to "pay to play".

Just like the radio stations and quiz shows of the 1950's, the House and Senate have become nothing more than an second tier auction house. A place to hawk less than palatable wares. A place where you can pay to have your favorite piece of legislation aired, and sold, to the public.

Over the weekend, in the middle of the night (the preferred venue for criminal activities), the Senate managed to get the needed votes to end cloture on the Senate version of the Health Care overhaul Obama so desperately needs to prop up his image as an effective leader.

So how did the desperate Fellow Travelers of Obama manage to get the needed votes?

They bought them.

That's right. They gave away more of your money in order to get people to vote "aye" on getting this tyrannical usurpation of power out of debate. Read who got what and how much at Fox.Com: The Price Is Right? Payoffs For Senators Typical In Health Care Bill.

Now understand they were paid OVER A BILLION DOLLARS just to END DEBATE!

How much more do you think they'll hold out for when it comes to actually vote for the bill and put it into law?

This is extortion, and bribery. Plain and simple. It's two criminals sticking each other up in a dark alley. They realize they don't have enough to pay each other so they go round up a few citizens to rob. The few citizens are people like you and I. How many generations out have we financed all this crap just so some ill prepared, self indulgent "I Want It All Now" Marin County type baby boomers can get free Viagra?

Watch that link to the "I Want It All Now" video. It's only part of the original NBC hit piece on Marin County, but it gives you an idea of what may be motivating some of the politicos from the San Francisco Bay Area. After all, that's where Senator "Babs" Boxer comes from. Right across the Golden Gate Bridge from that nutjob Nancy Pelosi.

Yes, I grew up there. Yes, it was like that, and it's probably worse by now. My neighborhood was probably the inspiration for "Swingtown". Oh, yeah, don't think the kids are stupid and don't know what the hell is going on.

This is ludicrous!

Where are the RICO Statutes?

I'm tired of this crap, and I'm sure most of you are as well.

Visit: Get Out Of Our House

Let's get some regular people in there, and send the carpetbaggers packing.

We can hope, but many of the entitlement class are all to willing to sell their votes and the souls of future generations for a few coins tossed their way in the way of government benefits.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rebellion and Revolution


Definition from Merriam Webster's Dictionary.

1 : opposition to one in authority or dominance
2 a : open, armed, and usually unsuccessful defiance of or resistance to an established government b : an instance of such defiance or resistance


Definition from Merriam Webster's Dictionary.

2 a : a sudden, radical, or complete change b : a fundamental change in political organization; especially : the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed c : activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation d : a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm

Notice something different between the two definitions?

Rebellions often fail.

Don't rebel.


Rebellions fail because they are often spontaneous uprisings without a clear goal, little in the way of support, either logistically or among the populace at large.

The "Third Servile War", better known for its leader Spartacus, is a fantastic example of what happens during and after a rebellion.

Revolutions on the other hand have much more long lasting results.

Many of us are members of the "leaderless resistance", and we should all take stock of ourselves, our desires, and goals. We can not easily group together in today's political climate. "Conspiracy" is an easy charge for the authorities to throw out there against any and all of us.

It is my personal opinion that much of the legal activity that has been occurring that abridges out rights, as affirmed and guaranteed by the Bill Of Rights and The Constitution of The United States of America, are designed to keep an effective revolt from materializing. Uprisings and rebellions can be dealt with in brutal fashion and with the complicity of the media at large, largely whitewashed and made to go away. Just ask Janet Reno.

A wide scale revolt would not be so easy to deal with as overwhelming force would not be able to brought to bear on problem areas. It is a simple issue of numbers. We outnumber them, and they can not take the risk of indiscriminately firing on everyone, for it will serve rather than to intimidate but anger parties who may have been content to sit on the sideline.

However, we can network within our own social circles.

We can also employ the clandestine cell system for growing the organization and coordinating efforts among separated groups. This system is in use by organizations wanting to minimize the effects of penetration by law enforcement or other opposing forces.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saving Money - The Digital Graveyard

I love tech.

But, I have to admit that some of it escapes me, even though I earn a living wading through it nearly every single day. One thing that totally escapes me is the "Electronic Cigarette". Yeah, lets all go suck on a rechargeable battery for fun and relaxation.

Hey come on, if God had intended man to suck on Ni-Cads, He would have put them on trees or shrubs, or something. God bless scorching your own lungs with hot gasses from burning vegetable matter.

I used to love having a cell phone, but now I hate it. Every single time I cross one of the bridges around the San Francisco Bay Area, I want to chuck the phone out the window. Actually, if I could get rid of it, and the wired house phone, I think it would be the next best thing to Heaven.

Many of us are trying to simplify our lives, get back to basics, cut costs, and conserve personal finances and resources.

Over the years, you may have accumulated a number of, now, unused, broken and forgotten electronic devices. These can include everything from old camcorders to cell phones and MP3 players. Some of us even have desktop and laptop computers lurking in corners and closets. Many E-Waste collection centers have been set up to collect your unused, broken, or unwanted electronics. Do you know why there are so many?


There's a lot of money in what you're giving away. There's gold, platinum, palladium, copper, silver, and other rare elements in many electronic devices.

And by giving the stuff away, you get zip, zero, zilch, nada, big fat goose eggs baby! Not even a freaking tax deduction. Guess who does walk away with the payday......sucker.

So if you've got an old CRT based TV or computer monitor, sure give that to the E-Waste collection center. It's mostly lead and plastic or wood. But the other stuff, you want to check out some other options first.

Option One:

These guys want your stuff. They'll tell you up front what they'll pay you to send it to them. Just tell them what you've got via their website. They pay for shipping and they'll even send you a box.

Option Two:

Pretty much just like Gazelle above.

Option Three

These guys buy only laptops, iPhones, Blackberry devices, and Smartphones.

Option Four

These guys even buy dead flat panel displays.

There are also brand specific places to sell back devices.

HP buys back their stuff, and from some other manufacturers.

Gateway Trade In Program

Toshiba Buy Back Program

Apple Buy Back or Trade In

COSTCO also has a trade in program, and is affiliated with Gazelle

Some of these places allegedly turn right around and sell the working stuff on E-Bay and make a profit out of low balling you when they buy your stuff. If you have the initiative and want to go the E-Bay route, that is also an option to get some cash back from your stuff rather than just giving it away.

If you're not sure about selling your own stuff on E-bay, you can contract with someone to do it for you. Typically they take a cut of the final selling price.

iSold It On E-bay



Think people don't buy damaged or broken stuff? Just go look on E-Bay at the iPhone section.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Home Made Hydraulic Ram Pump

Lately in Prepper Chat, the discussion of a "grid down" scenario has popped up. One of the items we discussed was the ability to pump water without electricity.

Here is a link to Clemson University which has an exhaustive page on constructing a home made Hydraulic Ram Pump. This page has tables to enable you to calculate the size of the pump you will need to construct for your application as well as lists of materials.

The pump uses a portion of the volume of incoming water to drive the remaining volume up a pipe. The supply side has to be a constant source such as a spring or a portion of a creek or river that has been diverted. It uses the power of a large volume of water falling a small height to drive a small volume of water to greater heights. One could fill a tank installed upon a hillside from a source below. The tank on the hillside would be able to supply a home and farm with good water pressure.

Another type of pump that may be used if you have a good sized waterway nearby is a sling pump. A sling pump uses the current of the water to run the pump and deliver the water.

Just Desserts

Maybe its wrong of me to get a certain amount of joy from seeing the rich and famous get smacked upside the head by the dregs of society. However these days, its kind of difficult to tell the difference between the rich and famous and the dregs of society.

Just ask Rhianna. Chris Brown, what a man. You can take the boy out of the 'hood, but you can't take the hood(lum) out of the boy. Well, lets all give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was practicing for when Sharia Law is instituted.

Maybe it is un-Christian of me to revel in seeing these souls tormented by those who often serve as a plague to people of more modest means.

Maybe its just flat out wrong regardless if one is governed by a religious code, or by a personal moral code.

Well, shame on me. It's still funny.

You all remember back in October when a pair of loan agents were kidnapped and beaten by their clients? The clients were pretty upset that they were going to lose their home after the agents allegedly took off with the cash but did nothing else.

Well now, Daniel Sadek, founder Quick Loan Funding, has been the victim of a home invasion. Quick Loan Funding produced an estimated $4 Billion in subprime loans and collapsed in 2007.

Sadek made the list of "100 To Blame", a Vanity Fair series that outed the people, products, and institutions most culpable for the current collapse in the world economy.

I missed this series when it originally appeared in September of this year. Well, I didn't really miss it. It's not like I look at the magazine. Actually, this was the first time I've ever been to their website.

I've enjoyed reading through the article, and found it informative, entertaining, and curiously non-partisan.

Maybe an outraged American public will start using this article as an "enemies" list. After all, Obama has his.

Let's hope so.

Vanity Fair Magazine, September 2009: 100 To Blame

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tips, Tricks, and Work Arounds For Survival

Boiling Water In A Plastic Bottle: Trails.Com

Solar Water Heater Uses 2 Liter Bottles: Instructables.Com

Improvised Water Bag: Survival Resources

Mini Survival Crash Course: The Widening Gyre

Find Emergency Insulation In The Wild: Hellium

Improvised Clothing and Protective Items: Nuclear War Survival Skills

Build A Fire With a Can Of Coke And a Chocolate Bar: Wildwood Survival

9 Ways To Start A Fire Without Matches: The Art Of Manliness

Common Wild Edible Plants, Part I: Hubpages.Com Links to subsequent parts of the article at the bottom of each page just above the comment section.

Build An Oil Lamp That Runs On Used Cooking Oil: Judy Of The Woods

Ammunition Box Oven: SAS Survival Guide

Home Made Toilet: Trails.Com

Fox Hole Radio: Bizarre Labs <-Would be fun for kids of all ages

I've put up quite a few links to sites that have some really good information. It isn't meant to be comprehensive. The folks who have been around for a while may know some or all of this stuff, but the folks just getting started may find it useful.

The Old Timers may find other ideas they can use looking at other areas on those sites.

I've also, finally, updated the jukebox. It's kind of a 90's Dance Party Theme, so enjoy!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Your Car Really Cooks!

There's nothing like using the waste heat from your vehicle to prepare your food.

There's no real way to gauge exactly what kind of emergency is going to force you to leave your humble abode and take to the road. People who have been forced to flee hurricanes have traveled many miles inland to be greeted with long lines at restaurants, convenience stores, and even the roach coaches that pop up to take advantage of the influx of hungry, displaced people.

Long lines with hungry small children does not make for a pleasant experience.

With a little planning and some forethought you can turn an otherwise excruciating experience into something a wee bit more tolerable. Make sure you have plenty of heavy duty aluminum foil available as this is the most common item used in constructing the cooking vessels used in your engine compartment.

Do not reuse aluminum beverage containers. Often they are coated with a plastic on the inside that will melt into your grub! I know its tempting to grab those huge energy drink cans with the twist off metal lids. I've heard people talk about making soup in them, but for making soup and oatmeal, go with thermos cooking instead. Check out this post on "The Deliberate Agrarian" blog for the basics, or head on over to Kurt Saxon if you dare.

The ultimate book on cooking with your car is called "Manifold Destiny" available at Amazon and other book sellers.

If you're not sure about springing for the book, here are some links that give you a pretty fair idea of what is involved.

Links for cooking with your car:

Instructables: Cooking with your car

WikiHow: How To Cook Food On Your Car's Engine

WiseBread: Cooking Great Meals With Your Car Engine

See The USA By Jeep: Cook Meatloaf On Your Car Engine

One thing you might seriously consider purchasing for your vehicles are kevlar gloves and sleeves. They are heat and cut resistant, and will make getting your food off the engine much easier especially if you have used bailing wire to fix it in place.

The bonus is, if you have a flat tire, gloves often make the job easier.

See here for gloves.

See here for sleeves.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Baby Named Jihad.

I've been sidelined for a few days due to work, a computer that decided that one of the processors was going to run at 100% for no readily identifiable reason, and a cold.

I've ruminated quite a bit these past few days on the past eleven months and 10 days. A few more days and we'll be staring 2010 in the face. Something tells me this New Year's Baby is going to be one ugly mofo. More than likely it will emerge wearing a towel around its head and waving a saif. We'll call the little bastard, "Jihad".

Yeah, so call me a "racist" if it makes you feel better or morally superior. I'm quite immune to that kind of knee jerk, thoughtless, infantile retreat to the high ground of "argumentum ad hominem".

So, how did yours truly come to this, hopefully, wrong conclusion? Believe me, I hope I am wrong.

"Escalation, my dear Watson." Holmes actually said, "Exactly, my dear Watson." Often misquoted as "Elementary, my dear Watson". I love corrupting classic literary works. You should hear some of my song re-writes.

My wife hates those.

Especially the Christmas tunes.

Targets of bomb throwing Muslims used to be someplace half way around the world. Many times it was someplace many of us Americans stumbled across only on a map and only if we had a sadistic geography teacher. Often the incidents would involve groups of people we had no idea existed. We were lucky to see photos of these enigmatic and exotic peoples in National Geographic as we looked for the pictures of topless native women.

Over the years, the attacks have moved closer to here at home. US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Khobar Towers in Saudia Arabia. Marine barracks bombing in Beirut. Various nightclubs. Various Airline bombings. The El Al ticket counter at LAX. The first bombing of the World Trade Center, and 911. The DC Sniper case. The four Seattle cops gunned down just a few days ago. The Fort Hood Massacre.

And who could forget my personal favorite, "The Shoe Bomber"

This is just a partial list. There are probably other cases where Muslims were the aggressors, but we'll never know because being one of the current protected classes, I'm sure everything is being done to cover these things up and keep them away from the public.

Excuses are being made at every turn for these criminals who march under a Black flag. Hasan, the Fort Hood Shooter, has been described as everything from a "man of God", to someone who opposed war, to a victim of a hate crime.

We've hauled dirtbags up from Guantanamo and given them the protection of our Constitution. Something they'd like to see destroyed and replaced with Sharia Law. Read about this crap at the Council On Foreign Relations website.

Even the generally liberal citizenry of Canada, God bless 'em, are scared of the stupidity that is running free in this country. Read the Canada Free Press article "The Islamification of America, and the Emasculation of the US Military".

Let's face it.

The goal of the followers of Islam is world domination. They've tried it before, and Charlemagne put an end to it. The Ottoman Empire worked to expand Islam, but World War I ended that dream.

Let us be perfectly clear on this point. Their version of a one world government doesn't have any room for anyone who isn't a Muslim. They are a threat to every belief system in the world, including atheism. They are a threat to anyone who does not think and believe as they do.

They will not admonish you, and send you to your room to think about things without your dinner.

They will simply kill you. Most likely by sawing your head off with a dull knife.

Here we are again. Facing the same enemy and fighting the same war.

Does anyone know what happens when you show weakness in the face of the enemy?

Ask Hitler. He took a look at everyone's weakness and lack of resolve and ran with it. At the end of it all, an estimated 61 Million people died. I wonder sometimes if Hitler was a closet Muslim. Their hatred of Jews is comparable, and Arabs and Muslims flocked to support him.

Look! It's everyone's favorite oppressed Arab minority group, the Palestinians!

Ah, come on man! That's ancient history! You can't suggest that Muslims of today are like Adolf's old buddies!


Think its a fluke? How about this one?

What do you think the opinion of the oppressed women of the Muslim world is?

Here we are today with Fascists running our government, a closet Muslim president, and a corporate aristocracy that believes they are above it all. Islam has gained more than a toe hold in this country, its jammed the door open. Reports are rampant that "terrorists" (really Muslims) continue to exploit an essentially open southern border to traffic people and weapons.

I think we will see a continued escalation of attacks within the borders of the United States by Muslims. Attacks that will serve two purposes, one to advance their own agenda, and two to advance the agenda of a fascist government bent on stripping what is left of the old America away.

Their numbers increase daily through high birth rates, legal and illegal immigration, aided and abetted by a do nothing government. The media says nothing afraid of being called names, politicians say and do nothing afraid of offending a potential voting block.

What do you think will happen when police agencies start seeing large numbers of Muslims within their ranks? Hospitals? Schools?

Your own damn city council.

You think putting up a creche is risky now in "multicultural" America. In a few years, it could be a death sentence.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bankers Got A Gun

Lugubrious Game

The world today has taken a surrealistic edge to it. Everyday is like a painting by Salvador Dali.

Frankly, I'm amazed that people haven't gone insane, but maybe they have and that's why things keep staggering along. Every time I venture forth into the world either in real life, or via the internet or some other form of media, I'm convinced I have walked into a nut house.

People have often voiced the phrase, "Where is God....". Any of you who happen to be parents know there comes a time when your kids are bent on self destruction. A time where in spite of all your work and planning, sacrifice and example, words and discipline, they're just going to go and do something because they can.

You know what the outcome will be, and you just have to step back and let it happen. Depending on the type of person you are, you may be hoping that there is something left to salvage.

Perhaps God has decided this is the best course of action. One kid is enough for me. I'm dubious about families that have more than two. Can you imagine trying to ride herd on roughly seven billion? Then you've got various factions within that seething, tumultuous, violence ridden day care center all screaming at you to punish so and so for whatever transgression is perceived.

Yeah, God is out for a nice afternoon stroll while the kids burn the house down around themselves.

I can't blame Him.

So, along comes this story from Bloomberg: Arming Goldman With Pistols Against The Public

It seems that bankers or their minions have been reading some of the blogs or have somehow come to realize how really pissed off the public is over what they have done.

You guys and girls over there at Goldman Sachs need to realize that a pistol isn't going to save you from an angry mob. A mob that is probably better armed, better trained, and more motivated than you. Not to mention, you'll probably be overwhelmed by sheer numbers.

Whatcha got in that thing? 7, 10 rounds? Maybe 16 rounds in a double stack? How's that going to help you against the guy playing Lee Harvey Oswald in the window across the street?

You also need to realize that the people who are going to go after you, will probably go after your families when you aren't around. You might survive the killing concrete canyons of Manhattan only to be driving that Bentley of yours up the nice driveway to a smoking ruin of a home. I'll let your imagination paint a picture of the fate of your family.

Don't forget all those people in your own neighborhood that you, your wife, and your kids marginalized or looked down upon. Some of them may not be very Christian when it comes to overlooking your past attitude.

I find it curious that a group of people who have for all appearances have relied upon others to take care of their mundane needs have taken it upon themselves to attempt to look after their own safety. I would think they'd enlist the ranks of America's newest growth industry, private armies such as Xe.

Perhaps they know more than they're letting on. Are we closer to a collapse than they want to admit? In a true collapse all bets are off the table, and contracts are meaningless. You will be literally on your own. Any right thinking individual, regardless of contract, will be headed home to take care of his own, thirty pieces of silver be damned.

To the banksters out there, you're late to the game, and we own the field.

This is one field you can't buy.