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Old 12-26-2012, 07:50 AM   #1
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Financial self-protection

What with the economies of the world going nuts, what are you guys doing to protect your future?

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Old 12-26-2012, 08:24 AM   #2
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Financial self-protection

Living in the now. Then there is no future. I always have all that I need.

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Old 12-26-2012, 09:54 AM   #3
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Re: Financial self-protection

I don't think anyone can "protect" their future as such. There's no way that you can ensure that it will fall within certain acceptable parameters, and unless you're ungodly wealthy, there's no way that you can even have a hope of ensuring that the world's agony doesn't affect you (see the Walton family and their famous bunker in Arkansas -- that's how they "invest in the future"). For the rest of us, all we can really do is try to become more adaptable, I guess. Become more adaptable, and more aware of what we need vs. what we want. No one ever died for lack of a smartphone, but people die every day for lack of clean drinking water.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:24 AM   #4
Krystal Locke
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Re: Financial self-protection

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
What with the economies of the world going nuts, what are you guys doing to protect your future?
I am slowly transferring a modest inheritance from savings into my IRA to take advantage of both a decent (relatively speaking) interest rate and a favorable tax situation (little income, moderately large savings account full of untaxable money, large tax credit for IRA contributions). Win win win, thanks mom, I miss the shit out of you and would gladly trade the cash for another day, but the universe just doesn't work that way so thank you I love you.

I have had a very short year income-wise due to the economy hurting the business that I work for, so some of the savings have gone to expenses and I fear and regret that a lot. To ameliorate that, I've really just shopped sales, learned to garden, can, freeze, and store non-perishables.

Old technologies really interest me in hard times. New technologies do, too, but they are often blind to reality where older technologies are a little more reality driven. My scooter, por ejemplo. 20 bucks a month total operating cost if I commute to and from work every day. But, only flies 8-9 months out of the year because it is blind to the fact that it is freaking cold and wet in winter here, and I am still carrying insurance on the truck for those 9 months.

I am not sure I go for the want vs need when others are dying argument too much. My sphere of influence goes only so far, I am far outnumbered by folks who have "less" than I do and I don't have the capacity to vet all the needy, I contribute mightily to social programs in my own community and culture through taxes, etc., and we all fall right into tremendous double standards and slippery slopes.

I dont need a smart phone. I dont need the internet. I dont need to be a homeowner. I dont need electricity. I dont need running water. I dont need new clothes. I dont need a truck, or a scooter, or a bike, or transportation at all. But I have worked for all those things, and I believe I should and do have some agency over my earnings. Where is the line? Does my position allow me to demand from others who have more or better?
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:29 AM   #5
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Re: Financial self-protection

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Living in the now. Then there is no future. I always have all that I need.
How has it come about that you always have all that you need?
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:40 PM   #6
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Re: Financial self-protection

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Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
How has it come about that you always have all that you need?
I mean in the moment. If you are in the moment how can you not have all that you need? If I don't have it I must not need it. I might want it...but not need it.

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Old 12-26-2012, 02:22 PM   #7
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Re: Financial self-protection

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I mean in the moment. If you are in the moment how can you not have all that you need? If I don't have it I must not need it. I might want it...but not need it.
Not buying it. At this very moment, you are burning calories, you will need more to continue living at some point. At this very moment, you are consuming resources that may or may not be infinite or renewable. Reality is not an infinite series of discrete infinitestimal moments as much as it is a continuous process.

I would find it very dangerous to live solely in the discrete moment. But I have to go to work soon.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:12 PM   #8
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Re: Financial self-protection

Thanks, Krystal. I am not selling it. I am just stating my ideas. I have everything I need, again, at this moment.
I see you think about it differently.

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Old 12-26-2012, 05:43 PM   #9
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Re: Financial self-protection

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
What with the economies of the world going nuts, what are you guys doing to protect your future?
Buying gold and guns of course! Nothing says long life like soft shiny metals, and haggling always seems to go better when you have a gun in your hand.
Ok, actually, I'm learning a little about local flora (who knew dandylions were so valuable? Also I've got a good line on matsutake, thanks to marrying into a Japanese-American family), thinking about fresh water collection, and ways to keep warm in the winter. I have a small stockpile of seeds I'm practicing "farming" (poorly) with...my potatoes and carrots, along with my fishin gear, are my current best bet for surviving potentially thin resource availability.
So, in a nutshell, my financial protection has little to do with money directly. "Mottai nai," and self-sufficiency are my rules of thumb since I see no way of regulating my finances in a way that doesn't put me in someone else's pocket. I have some stocks and whatnot, but since their value seem to be so heavily based on the fears and whims of the masses (ad the fabulously wealthy) I don't put much...er...stock, in them. I do like what little I understand of IRAs though.

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Old 12-26-2012, 09:49 PM   #10
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Re: Financial self-protection

Well - I see how you think Matthew - very practical. Personally, I think silver is better than gold. And in New Zealand a fishing rod and dingy will probably be better than a gun. It's a fairly safe place to be and I shall be back there after this latest stint in cold Nippon.

Reading up on what is going on - if the banks start to fail (51 small ones have failed in the USA in 2012 thus far) enmasse, the cash in your bank will either not exist, or will become unavailable even though they say it is guranteed since the banks will close - then when they reopen they may limit your withdrawals. This is not insignificant waffle - it has been playing out in Greece, Spain, elsewhere (but is kept out of the mainstream news).

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 12-26-2012 at 09:53 PM.

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Old 12-27-2012, 12:24 AM   #11
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Re: Financial self-protection

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Thanks, Krystal. I am not selling it. I am just stating my ideas. I have everything I need, again, at this moment.
I see you think about it differently.
I do, because, oops, this moment is gone. And now, the next one. And eventually, I will be stuck in a this moment 20 years from now, and I wont be working, I likely wont be training, I wont have my nice house, my partner, my health unless I plan for that future this moment.

If I have everything I need, and I hugely do, it is primarily because I planned, worked the plan, and invested the results of the worked plan in several former this moments. I am ambitious, and I work toward comfort and security for my small family.

I find that turning your back on the 800 pound gorilla in the room is poor self defense.

Glad your way works for you. I hope it continues to. I have fair assurance my way will, if I take the correct wise steps.

I am an ant.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:40 AM   #12
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Re: Financial self-protection

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Buying gold and guns of course! Nothing says long life like soft shiny metals, and haggling always seems to go better when you have a gun in your hand.
Ok, actually, I'm learning a little about local flora (who knew dandylions were so valuable? Also I've got a good line on matsutake, thanks to marrying into a Japanese-American family), thinking about fresh water collection, and ways to keep warm in the winter. I have a small stockpile of seeds I'm practicing "farming" (poorly) with...my potatoes and carrots, along with my fishin gear, are my current best bet for surviving potentially thin resource availability.
So, in a nutshell, my financial protection has little to do with money directly. "Mottai nai," and self-sufficiency are my rules of thumb since I see no way of regulating my finances in a way that doesn't put me in someone else's pocket. I have some stocks and whatnot, but since their value seem to be so heavily based on the fears and whims of the masses (ad the fabulously wealthy) I don't put much...er...stock, in them. I do like what little I understand of IRAs though.
Guns may have some practical value, but the gold thing, I dont get.

When I lived in Austin, I was hella poor broke-assed no money living on love and illicit drugs. Great good fun, for the most part, but not sustainable. I learned about 20 ways to rock the dandelions. They are some of the most delicious and nutritious food around.

As an older, wiser, more responsible adult, I kept the yard food and added a decent little veggie garden. I was way too high in Austin to grow anything. Up here, I still get the dandelions, but also have a huge patch of miner's lettuce coming up in the yard even now.

If we're talking zombie apocalypse fiscal cliff stuff, I'd like to remind the compound's admissions panel that I know how to grow grains, extract oil from them, and turn the grain into ethanol, as well as turning the extracted oil into biodiesel. Ethanol and biodiesel are pretty damn useful things, in the zombie apocalypse compound.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:01 AM   #13
Krystal Locke
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Re: Financial self-protection

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Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
Well - I see how you think Matthew - very practical. Personally, I think silver is better than gold. And in New Zealand a fishing rod and dingy will probably be better than a gun. It's a fairly safe place to be and I shall be back there after this latest stint in cold Nippon.

Reading up on what is going on - if the banks start to fail (51 small ones have failed in the USA in 2012 thus far) enmasse, the cash in your bank will either not exist, or will become unavailable even though they say it is guranteed since the banks will close - then when they reopen they may limit your withdrawals. This is not insignificant waffle - it has been playing out in Greece, Spain, elsewhere (but is kept out of the mainstream news).
Rupert, check this site out.

http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/.../banklist.html

Far more US banks failed in 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. The vast majority of the failed banks are small, fairly recent startups that did not have the ability to meet their obligations. Small banks tend to attract small money and customers who are not particularly money-wise and flinch when they hear a scary news story. Small banks also felt a lot of pressure (both from larger banks to be competitive in loans, and from customers who requested unwise loans) to overextend themselves when the credit and housing bubble was forming.

The company holding my IRA was deemed too big to fail, and so I lost far less than folks with retirement accounts with small institutions, and I very purposefully chose my bank on the same criteria. I dont think Bank of America is at all overextended in the way The First Hometown Bank of East Neighborhood Smalltown Heights is going to be when just one of its 137 customers defaults on his mortgage or small business credit account. And the local branch tellers still know my name, ask after the cats and the home improvements, and call me up if it looks like I'm going to be a little short one month. Almost 25 years with the bank, same free accounts, and not one incident of poor customer service.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:54 AM   #14
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Financial self-protection

In the Netherlands, savings of up to 130,000 dollars in Duch savings accounts are guaranteed by the state. The major Dutch banks are too big to fail too. So savings are pretty safe.

Dutch pension funds are separate entities, but they are large entitites and their coverage is closely monitored. Pensions seem pretty safe as well. The pension payments might be lowered a few percent in some (worst) cases, but that's about it.

I think the Dutch are more worried about the possibility of losing ones job than the possibility of losing ones savings or ones pension. Losing your job can have major consequences. If you can't pay the mortgage you may be forced to sell your house. With current declining house prices, the price you get may well be lower that loaned amount. But you still have to pay back the loaned amount under Dutch law (I understand that in the US you won't be left with a debt to the bank, the bank just becomes the owner of the house).

So, declining house prices and growing unemployment is a reason for concern here, especially because Dutch houses are expensive when compared to Dutch income (in the Netherlands, the average price of a house is 440,000 dollars while the average net annual household income is about 44,000 dollars).
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:16 AM   #15
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Re: Financial self-protection

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I mean in the moment. If you are in the moment how can you not have all that you need? If I don't have it I must not need it. I might want it...but not need it.
mary,
How do you cope when you have no cash in your pockets and you need to catch public transport rather than walk a long distance? Surely you have to also think of the future in respect of rent/utilities?I dont think your landlord or electricity /gas company would take any notice of your Nowness [other than to say pay the bills NOW or out you go /or you have no utilities.Having a Zen like attitude to the future is in theory great but not very practical.Still I do like reading your stuff NOW.Happy New Year,Joe
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:40 AM   #16
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Re: Financial self-protection

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
mary,
How do you cope when you have no cash in your pockets and you need to catch public transport rather than walk a long distance? Surely you have to also think of the future in respect of rent/utilities?I dont think your landlord or electricity /gas company would take any notice of your Nowness [other than to say pay the bills NOW or out you go /or you have no utilities.Having a Zen like attitude to the future is in theory great but not very practical.Still I do like reading your stuff NOW.Happy New Year,Joe
I didn't mean to imply that I sit on my rock and think about how now I am...right now I am getting ready for work.

I work and save and pay my bills. But I don't worry about what will happen to me in ten years because that doesn't help me. Happy New Year to you, too.

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Old 12-27-2012, 06:02 AM   #17
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Re: Financial self-protection

Buy low, sell high.

Save first spend later.

Don't buy shiny stuff you don't need.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:00 AM   #18
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Re: Financial self-protection

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Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
I am not sure I go for the want vs need when others are dying argument too much.
Well...it wasn't an "argument" at all, and pretty far from the point you seem to think was being made. You can live forever without a cellphone; you'll be dead in three days without water. If you're trying to prepare for the future, do you invest in iPhones or do you try to ensure that you'll have water?

It's a choice. There may be a "right" answer, but only time will tell what that is. Me, I'm struck by how many people in this thread seem perturbed by others having a different take on the question.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #19
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Re: Financial self-protection

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Well...it wasn't an "argument" at all, and pretty far from the point you seem to think was being made. You can live forever without a cellphone; you'll be dead in three days without water. If you're trying to prepare for the future, do you invest in iPhones or do you try to ensure that you'll have water?

It's a choice. There may be a "right" answer, but only time will tell what that is. Me, I'm struck by how many people in this thread seem perturbed by others having a different take on the question.
Fair enough. I do both. I look at financial security and resource security as related but separate things, and I act accordingly. The question was about financial security, so I focused on financial arguments. And I read the other posts in light of financial security and evaluated them in that light. So, I am making some assumptions based on that. I am assuming that the vast majority of the people involved in the thread are middle-ish class economically and living in a first world country with a fairly stable infrastructure. That allows for pretty good separation of financial security vs resource security, and assumption that basic survival needs are met through technology at the moment.

Sure, I can live forever without an iPhone, and probably will. My water is comfortably provided by the city, and is very affordable. If something were to change enough that my city water stopped, I live in southern Oregon. I collect rainwater to abate summer gardening costs and load on the common supply. I live less than two blocks from a large creek, and a couple miles from a river, so a temporary loss of water would be a minor inconvenience. If the shit came down so hard I'd lose city water for good, I'd get the fam up into the mountains behind town, close to one of the numerous mountain lakes. Which just happen to be full of tasty tasty trout. And surrounded by tasty tasty berries and veggies and deer. And morels.

But we were talking another financial downturn. And that almost certainly wont stop the water, although it may make it more expensive. A financial downturn looks more likely than an acute infrastructure collapse, so that's what I plan for.

The reason some of us judge others' plans or lack of plans for financial hardship is that we often bear the cost of the poor plan. Right now, the same percent of my dollar goes to pay for the 11% (an increase of 4% from average) of my neighbors who dont have work as it did before the price of gas doubled and all other costs rose with it. Right now, my house's value is lower than what I owe on it because thousands of other people did not pay enough attention to their finances to see that they could not afford a half million mortgage on a Rogue Valley salary, much less on the "salary" they are now getting from the state, read, me. At least the housing and credit collapse has also collapsed interest rates, so I am even more comfortably financed than I was, which is good, considering the mortgage is a bit upside down.

Yes, we are all connected, one human family. For some, that just feels good to think. For some, it is a call to take responsibility for ourselves and those immediately around us. I fall somewhere between those two extremes.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:32 AM   #20
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Re: Financial self-protection

I trust in Jesus to take care of my needs. That isn't to say I don't go to work and pay the bills because a person still has to due his/her part.

I don't think there is any bank too big to fail. I could be wrong but I don't think so. Employers are pushing employees to direct deposit so money is being pushed into banks and rarely do you find somone that is walking around with a pocket full of cash because of this and other factors. So it won't matter how much money you have if you no longer have access to it. How much anything is worth is only how much someone is willing to pay for it or in severe situations what someone is willing to do for it.

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Old 12-28-2012, 09:24 AM   #21
Krystal Locke
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Re: Financial self-protection

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I didn't mean to imply that I sit on my rock and think about how now I am...right now I am getting ready for work.

I work and save and pay my bills. But I don't worry about what will happen to me in ten years because that doesn't help me. Happy New Year to you, too.
I find that a lot of people around me seem to equate planning successfully around money with worrying about it. I don't worry about money because I've planned, I dont live paycheck to paycheck most of the time even on a low income because my ten year plan from ten years ago was decent, and my ten year plan for ten years from now is actually pretty good. Planning and working toward the future is not worrying, nor is it worrisome.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:12 PM   #22
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Re: Financial self-protection

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
Well - I see how you think Matthew - very practical. Personally, I think silver is better than gold. And in New Zealand a fishing rod and dingy will probably be better than a gun. It's a fairly safe place to be and I shall be back there after this latest stint in cold Nippon.

Reading up on what is going on - if the banks start to fail (51 small ones have failed in the USA in 2012 thus far) enmasse, the cash in your bank will either not exist, or will become unavailable even though they say it is guranteed since the banks will close - then when they reopen they may limit your withdrawals. This is not insignificant waffle - it has been playing out in Greece, Spain, elsewhere (but is kept out of the mainstream news).
I'm trying to be practical, but of course execution is always a bit different than planning. I had the benefit of knowing two of my great grandmothers who lived during the Great Depression. I hope for the best but try to plan for the worst. I don't want to suggest that investment in the various money systems is too dangerous (by the way, what do you like about silver compared to gold?). I've thought about cashing out my few stocks, but they were an inheritance so I figure it's money I never exactly earned to begin with and so decided to "let it ride," in the interest of maintaining diversity of my meager assets.
I do worry a little about the domino effect and recently I've been seeing a lot of ads on the internet (go figure) foretelling the coming stockmarket collapse. I don't know how seriously it's being taken, but I do know that fear spreads like wildfire and believe mass-hysteria isn't as far removed as many of us would like to think...sometimes the only thing to fear is fear itself, but that doesn't stop people from rash actions. So I'm just trying to track as many possible trends as I can. I'm in Spokane, Wa. right now (somewhat different than my home area near Seattle) and have seen a few US flags flying upside down in windows; some folks are itching for a problem. Hopefully Europe's situation will improve soon or some other hopeful sign will abate people's fears.
Thanks for the chance to think about this stuff a bit more (it never hurts to consider these things)! I've enjoyed reading this thread.
Take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 12-28-2012 at 12:15 PM.

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Old 12-28-2012, 12:23 PM   #23
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Re: Financial self-protection

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Guns may have some practical value, but the gold thing, I dont get.
...
If we're talking zombie apocalypse fiscal cliff stuff, I'd like to remind the compound's admissions panel that I know how to grow grains, extract oil from them, and turn the grain into ethanol, as well as turning the extracted oil into biodiesel. Ethanol and biodiesel are pretty damn useful things, in the zombie apocalypse compound.
I have to wonder about the gold thing too. On a simple level I get the idea of stockpiling part of what is supposed to make the paper worthwhile, but at the end of the day I'm in favor of what I think of as real wealth and not abstract wealth. Guns are great tools. My dad was a hunter so I was raised with an appreciation for that (BB gun at age 4 kinda pissed mom off though). He quit hunting though, saying, "I'd rather shoot them with a camera."
Biodiesel/etc. noted and is being taken under consideration. Currently we're in need of people with the Twinkie recipe...any viable skills there?
Seriously though, is that a fairly easy process refining grain? It never hurts to consider alternative fuel sources.
Take care,
Matt

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Old 12-28-2012, 02:03 PM   #24
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Re: Financial self-protection

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Seriously though, is that a fairly easy process refining grain? It never hurts to consider alternative fuel sources.
Take care,
Matt
If by refining grain you mean creating alcohol, no, it's not difficult at all. Water, a source of carbs (sugar, corn, etc.), and yeast. Given enough time the stuff ferments creating alcohol. Heck, if you've ever made real sourdough bread from a starter the clear liquid that forms on top over time is actually alcohol (hence the name "hooch"). Distillation can be a bit involved, but it ain't rocket science. And done correctly it can go in to some gas tanks or in to highball glass... Done correctly being the critical point here.

Of course in the US it is illegal to distill alcohol for consumption, even if it is only for personal consumption in small amounts. So any knowledge I have of the topic is based on reading and *purely* hypothetical discussions. Or by making it for cleaning purposes. Or for disinfectant purposes... Yeah, that's it... High proof alcohol is great for cleaning old oil off swords...

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Old 12-28-2012, 04:10 PM   #25
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Re: Financial self-protection

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
If by refining grain you mean creating alcohol, no, it's not difficult at all. Water, a source of carbs (sugar, corn, etc.), and yeast. Given enough time the stuff ferments creating alcohol. Heck, if you've ever made real sourdough bread from a starter the clear liquid that forms on top over time is actually alcohol (hence the name "hooch"). Distillation can be a bit involved, but it ain't rocket science. And done correctly it can go in to some gas tanks or in to highball glass... Done correctly being the critical point here.

Of course in the US it is illegal to distill alcohol for consumption, even if it is only for personal consumption in small amounts. So any knowledge I have of the topic is based on reading and *purely* hypothetical discussions. Or by making it for cleaning purposes. Or for disinfectant purposes... Yeah, that's it... High proof alcohol is great for cleaning old oil off swords...
LOL! I understand the basic chemistry; it's that "done correctly" bit I have no real understanding of. I can make things rot no problemo. I recently heard of a beer (?) someone made from using the yeasts in his beard. Doesnt sound too appealing, but I can see why it's one of civilization's oldest professions.
As a side note, before I was laid off I worked with an ol' timer who grew up in a "shiner" family in the midwest and he related a couple stories of running from the cops in an old model A (as I remember it, any way)...not that I officially condone illegal activities.

Gambarimashyo!
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