Killing the Straw Man

When I die, I want a judge, tax attorney, regular attorney, accountant, bankers, IRS tax examiners and auditors, Social Security Admin clerks, creditors, IT people, hackers and probably a few other people I’m not thinking of right now present at the graveside service.

All bequeathings, and gifts and so forth are to be distributed at this time to whatever beneficiaries I designate and those folks and representatives of my church and whatever charities I pick are to be present as well. Bring a truck and take it with you because this will be your only opportunity. Anything left will be dropped off at Goodwill after hours so there is no record of it. All remaining bills are to be paid to the penny as well as all tax debts.

The final tax return will be filled out and accepted by the IRS clowns. Whatever refund is coming will be immediately remitted to my church. All accounts will be shown to have a balance of ZERO. All accounts will be permanently closed. There is to be no correspondence as there will be NO ESTATE.

After this the IT people and hackers (and there’ll probably be some overlap there) will begin removing my name, addresses and social security number and other account numbers from any storage devices on the internet. I do not care if I signed something giving you a right to the information. I am rescinding that right and if necessary, my agents will hack the planet to take it out of your possession. They will also monitor the net to see if any identity thieves ever try to make use of my information. A small retainer will be paid to them in advance to ensure this happens. They will also work to develop a way to render information about me inert. That is you may know I lived. You may learn certain things about me. But you will not do anything with the knowledge.

I’m writing all this, and I guess this is science fiction of a sort at this point, because there is something that lives after us. It gets taxed. Computer database entries are made about it. It has employees. It gets used for malicious purposes. It gets mail decades after you are in the ground. You may have seen something on the internet about the “straw man” being a legal fiction. Well it’s very much an unfiction to people dealing with estate and probate issues after someone passes. So, when I go, I want mine GONE.

Yeah what I’ve said here is far-fetched. I’ve just felt for a long time that it’s right. A person should live on in the memories of the people they’ve left behind. There shouldn’t be any paper-pushing done in their name.

Occupy: it has begun

Clashes with police have broken out in Oakland, Denver and New York. Things in Austin have changed a bit. There appear to be more people at City Hall and they don’t have quite the same look as the folks who have been there from the beginning. As I drive by every day I am starting to see people who look a little older. There also seem to be more musical instruments around. There is still the one tent. I have also seen a police car parked nearby and I don’t recall seeing that when this started. I hope Austin can be spared the violence. That may not be avoidable if there is copycat behavior in the other cities.

Towards a Hardened People

What if our sun became a pulsar overnight?

Well not a pulsar in the strict sense. But what if there were an area dead center of the plane of Earth’s orbit that fired off enough material to cause a geomagnetic storm similar to the Carrington Event every “day” on the sun or once per its rotation. So every 25 to 36 days we got a blast of solar matter which means a constant EMP condition somewhere on the planet. Anyone who’s studied this, after telling me that what I’m proposing could never happen would say that our energy grids can’t handle even one without going out for weeks, let alone having it happen once every five weeks.

Have you ever asked yourself what you’d do if electricity were no longer available? That’s not something most people care to think about. Most of the talk concerns hardening the infrastructure, hardening buildings and even building Faraday cages out of metal trashcans and ammunition cans…Shielding everything from the pulse.

That may not be possible given the current economic and political philosophies in Washington.

This blog and others on preparedness talk about advanced training and learning to build a fire with a hand drill and using a knife to cut the stick and board to do the drilling. What we’re all talking about is hardening the people. A pulse can take many forms. It’s anything that encourages complacency…the belief that we have time or that we’re safe because nothing really bad has ever happened to us. That’s the EMP on our minds. It gets us to shut down, to think that we have no choices. The beginning of reversing that process is acquiring knowledge.

To harden as a people we have to live like our ancestors. They didn’t have power so they survived without power. So they’d be much better able to deal with something that would devastate most of us.

We all need to acquire the skills for the time when we’ll need them. And if that time never comes we’ll have fun lighting the barbeque with a hand drill.

Steps Towards Paleo Eating

Un-Sandwiched I’m trying to eliminate bread from my diet. The goal is to get rid of processed sweeteners and all grains. But I’ve realized that I’m not good at the willpower game long-term. Eventually I end up at the Asian buffet with wonton soup, sesame chicken and orange shrimp on my plate. We’re running low on bread at the moment and I started to just have the cold cuts and cheese with some mustard as a dipping sauce but I was looking at it laying there in the dish and it didn’t look like much. Food needs to be fluffier. It needs to have some thickness to it. it needs to stick out of the bun in odd directions. So I cut up the meat and cheese and put a couple fistfuls of spring greens and spinach in the dish, sprinkled pepper and garlick Mrs. Dash and drizzled some Sriracha and mustard. I know it’s basically a salad but I’m calling it the Un-Sandwich.

Dealing with threats: Doing the unexpected

I’ve found, in my brief experiences with threats, that doing something the criminal isn’t expecting can end the threat. There have been two times when I was an intended victim. The first was in a mall. I sensed something was wrong, stopped walking, turned around an tried to look a mugger in the eye. He wouldn’t look at me and since we were right by a down escalator, he took it. The second, I drove out of a fast food drive through and some guys followed me several miles. All the time they were giving me this gangsta pissed off look and saying “What’s up, man?” I turned into a shopping center parking lot and got out of the car to deal with them. They drove off. I’ve heard of people throwing keys away when someone demanded them. I had a great aunt who stood her ground when a kid had come in her yard and hit her over the shoulder with a stick. The kid and his buddies bailed.

None of this is foolproof. Everything I’ve mentioned could have gone very badly. What’s common to them is that we all became instantly aware, something criminals would rather you didn’t do, and did something they weren’t thinking we would do. Robber, mugger-type crooks come to the setting with baggage. They’re cowards, they’re afraid, they usually aren’t looking for a prolonged encounter. They want to hit and git. They’re looking for a mark…someone unaware of his or her surroundings, someone they can quickly intimidate.

Fear is deeply connected our thinking. The longer we have or take to think about the threat, the greater the fear and the greater our chances of acting in fear…complying…giving them what they want.

Again I’ve presented examples of how I and others have been able to end a threat. Thugs are not all the same. Situations like these can become dangerous and/or deadly quickly. The best thing is to be aware of your surroundings and remove yourself from the place so that you can avoid the encounter entirely.