Tag Archives: 2012

April 13, 2012 – 251 days Until Baktun 12

 

Survivalist Tip:  If you have a home and a vehicle, you should have at least 1 gas can readily available, in the event you have to evacuate.  There’s a likelihood power will be out when the axes shift, so gas stations may not be functioning completely.  You can take a chance and try to suck some gasoline out of a fuel hose.  But, not only is that uncouth, it’s a good way to catch germs and viruses, such as flu, Ebola and gingivitis.  Gas cans are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at any retail outlet.  Here’s a basic checklist: 

  • Get one made of metal; it’s less likely to rupture should you have an accident or have to use it as a defense weapon.
  • Make certain it’s self-ventilating, which means it has a feature in the spout that keeps out air as you pour the gasoline.
  • Make certain the cap seals firmly once you fill it up with gasoline.
  • Don’t fill the can up to the top.  If it gets hot somehow, pressure can build up and cause it to explode.
  • The gas can should be spill-proof and over-fill protected, which means it has a feature that prevents spilling when the can tips over.
  • The can should be child-proof.  If any kids in your group reach for the gas can, threaten either to take away their chocolate, or leave them on the side of the road for zombies to get them.
  • If you have to travel somewhere with the gas can, secure it to the inside of the vehicle.  Attaching it to the roof with duct tape doesn’t qualify as secure.

Gasoline is highly flammable and therefore, very dangerous.  Responsible gas users know how to deal with the liquid, even under the worst of circumstances.  Proper gasoline use will prove to the Mayan deities that you care about the environment.  Amidst the chaos, the last thing you want is a reputation for spreading your gas all over the place!

 

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April 12, 2012 – 252 days Until Baktun 12

Survivalist Tip:  Aside from tires, perhaps the most important feature of your vehicle is the engine.  A vehicle without a fully-functioning engine is like a microwave oven without a key panel – what good is it?  As with the battery and tires, you need to care for your vehicle’s engine through preventative maintenance.  Here’s a basic checklist: 

  • Keep the air filter clean
  • Change the oil regularly, at least every 6 months
  • Check the spark plugs
  • Check the coolant / anti-freeze fluid
  • Add a bottle of gasoline treatment every time you fill up the tank

It’s not that time-consuming, but it is really that simple and absolutely necessary.  If you have to evacuate your home, a well-maintained engine will help you escape, traverse the barren wasteland, climb over dead bodies and ultimately make it to somewhere safe.  Besides, the power from a fully-functioning engine will help you crash through a phalanx of celebrities trying to steal your vehicle and your chocolate.

 

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April 11, 2012 – 253 days Until Baktun 12

Survivalist Tip:  Yesterday I discussed the importance of maintaining the integrity of the tires on your vehicle.  In the event you should have to change a tire, of course, you’ll a tire jack.  And, just like a vehicle without good tires, a vehicle without a solid car jack is akin to eating pizza with low-fat cheese.  Why bother?  Your vehicle should come equipped with a tire jack.  If it doesn’t, you got jacked (pun intended) and need to buy one.  It’s bad enough changing a flat or disintegrated tire; changing one in the midst of the chaos at the start of the new Baktun will be especially hazardous.  Regardless, safety is important.  So, while a member of your posse stands nearby with a shotgun to fight off any politicians, reality TV show stars, or other lower-than-pond-scum forms of life that might survive, here are some safety tips for operating a basic tire jack. 

  1. Most tire jacks are hand-operated, scissor types that fold up and fit neatly beneath the front seat.  Others are hydraulic, lever-operated.  Although they’re more expensive, I recommend purchasing a hydraulic jack.  You don’t want to expend too much energy pumping a hand-operated one.  You’ll have enough trouble keeping the kids and pets under control.
  2. Sometime before December 21, do a test run of your jack to make certain that it functions properly and that you know what you’re doing.  This includes making certain all of the jack’s parts are thoroughly lubricated.  Using your vehicle owner’s manual, learn to identify the crank, ratchet or lever.  (If you’re getting sexually aroused at this point, you’re losing focus and probably will die when the apocalypse hits.)
  3. Make certain the vehicle is on a relatively flat surface, away from traffic.
  4. Shift automatic vehicles into park.  Shift manual vehicles into reverse or first gear.  Engage the emergency brake.
  5. Immobilize the vehicle, either with a brick, a steel wedge, or the head of the most uncooperative member of your group.
  6. Place the jack base flat on firm ground.  Find the part of the jack that connects to the vehicle’s frame.  This part is flat and usually circular-shaped.  The area beneath the vehicle where it fits is often an indentation that is slightly larger than the jack part.  In other vehicles, it’s just a large equally flat part of the undercarriage.  (If you’re confused, take a deep breath and get hold of yourself.)
  7. After the vehicle is lifted a few inches, remove the wheel cover and loosen the lug nuts.  After lifting it a few more inches, remove the bad tire and replace it with the spare.  Replace the lug nuts and tighten them securely.  Trying to loosen or tighten lug nuts manually is the most strenuous part of changing a tire, so I recommend buying a battery-operated lug nut tool.
  8. Lower the vehicle back to the ground and store the jack properly.

As I’ve stated several times before, your vehicle may be your life line away from danger or greedy in-laws.  A tire jack is just one of the many assets to ensure a safe drive.  Besides, it makes a great disciplinary tool for anyone in your crew who gets out of line.

 

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April 10, 2012 – 254 days Until Baktun 12

 

Survivalist Tip:  Among all the important features of your vehicle, a good set of tires can’t be emphasized enough.  A vehicle without tires is like non-alcoholic beer.  Why bother?  Tires aren’t just for football practices, UFC training regimens, or hillbilly swing sets.  As December 21 approaches, you have to make certain your vehicle’s tires are in good shape.  Here’s a basic check list. 

  1. In the U.S., tires must meet standards of tread wear, traction and temperature resistance.  A tread wear rating of 500 – 7oo is very good; 300 – 400 is good; 200 is average; below 200 is dangerous.  Traction grades extend from AA, A, B and C; highest to lowest.  This represents the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement.  Temperature grades – from A to C – represent the tire’s resistance to the generation of heat.  (Don’t confuse these ratings with bra cup sizes, which have nothing to do with survivalism.) 
  2. Tires also need to be properly inflated.  Tire inflation is measured according to pounds per square inch, or PSI, and is directly related to the tire’s diameter.  Tires of 25” to 30” in diameter should have PSI of 32.  Those with worn tread are more likely to be seriously underinflated.  Underinflated tires cost you gas mileage, since they make the engine work harder.  They can also be a safety hazard.  If you have to evacuate your home during the apocalypse, or if you’ll be on the road anyway, the last thing you want is a blowout along the barren wasteland.  That makes you vulnerable to attacks from zombies, wild cats and any hip-hop stars that might still be around. 
  3. You also need to have at least one spare tire.  The spare shouldn’t be one of those pathetic donut types.  That’s so 20th century.  A spare should be a full-size tire.  The same standards for the regular tires apply to the spare. 

There’s no getting around good tire maintenance.  Being a responsible vehicle owner is like being a responsible gun owner.  You don’t want to be careless, or someone could get hurt.  And, in the immediate aftermath of the upheaval, there will be plenty of chances for people to get hurt.  You just don’t want to be on the receiving end of it!

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April 9, 2012 – 255 days Until Baktun 12

 

Survivalist Tip:  Yesterday I mentioned the need to maintain the integrity of your vehicle’s battery, even if hope to remain at home during the apocalypse.  But, as a precaution, you also need to have a set of jumper cables on hand.  This assumes, of course, that your vehicle’s battery malfunctions and that another vehicle is nearby.  For the latter, you’ll have to rely upon someone else, such as a friendly neighbor, or a noble stranger.  If you’re lucky, you might encounter an abandoned, but still fully-functioning vehicle during your flight to safety.  All of these scenarios, however, go against the basic creed of survivalism, which is that you depend upon yourself instead of someone else or a government agency.  That can be easily resolved with a battery-operated generator, which I also previously mentioned should be a tool in your gallery of supplies.  Carting such a heavy object along as you evacuate may seem impractical.  But, considering the outrageous alternative scenario: you’ll stumble upon a kindly IRS agent. 

  1. You have to familiarize yourself with the positive and negative terminals of the vehicle battery.  This shouldn’t be too difficult, since they’re plainly marked with a + (for positive) and a – (for negative). 
  2. If you have to jump-start the battery, clean off any corrosion around the terminals. 
  3. Familiarize yourself with the jumper cables themselves.  Usually, the positive cable is red or orange, and the negative one is black. 
  4. Connect one end of the positive cable to the dead battery and the other end to the good battery, or better yet, your generator. 
  5. Connect one end of the negative cable to the good battery, or the generator, but connect the other end to a metal part of the engine on your vehicle.  Do NOT connect this other end of the negative cable to the dead battery, or it could explode.  And, with all the drama you’ll have to endure from the screaming members of your posse, you don’t need to add to it.  Actually, any metal object will do, such as a metal railing, or a prosthetic leg.  On this step, you’ll generate a normal spark, as you connect to the ground and complete the circuit. 
  6. Start the other vehicle, or the generator. 
  7. Turn the ignition on your vehicle, while pumping the gas pedal slowly.  At this point, if all turns out well, your vehicle’s engine will come back to life.

Keep in mind this is a worst case scenario.  You have to make certain your vehicle’s battery is in good functioning order in the first place because the last thing you want to do in the chaos of the upheaval is hope someone will help you out.  The Mayan gods don’t look kindly upon people who are too stupid to prepare for things.

 

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April 8, 2012 – 256 days Until Baktun 12

Survivalist Tip:  Whether you hope to remain in your home at the start of the new Baktun, or flee somewhere, you need to make certain your battery vehicle is in good functioning order.  Hopefully, you’ll have bought a heavy duty truck or SUV by then, so this piece of advice focuses mainly on batteries for those types of vehicles. 

1) Get a dry-cell battery.  A water-based battery will be more problematic.  If you’re traveling long distances, for example, a wet-cell battery eventually will require more water.  You don’t want to spend what precious bottled water resources you have in your supply to refresh the vehicle battery.  If you’re not modest, however, you can urinate into the cells of a wet-cell battery, but that will leave you extremely vulnerable and could lead to arguments with the more uptight members of your posse, which then could lead to you expending much-needed energy to beat the crap out of that person or persons. 

2) Check for and, if necessary, remove any corrosion, lead oxidation, paint or rust with a brass wire battery brush from the battery on December 20.  Pubic hair is a good substitute for a wire brush, especially if it’s from someone over age 45. 

3) To prevent any further corrosion, thinly coat the battery’s terminals, posts, terminal clamps, lugs and exposed metal around the battery with high temperature and water resistant grease.  Petroleum jelly isn’t recommended because that’s for sexual acts performed by low-class people, and you definitely don’t want to be in that same category. 

4) Test the battery by attaching it to a voltage counter.  If you don’t have a voltage counter, then buy one!  Don’t try to substitute it with something like a microwave oven.  A good count will be at least 100 amp hours.  If you don’t know what that means, then you shouldn’t own a vehicle in the first place! 

5) As a precaution, you need to purchase at least one extra battery.  If you have to evacuate your home, you never know how far you may have to travel, or how many piles of dead bodies your vehicle will have to climb over. 

Even with power utilities out of service, your vehicle battery shouldn’t be affected.  Battery maintenance is necessary no matter what the calendar says.  It’ll be critical during the initial phase of the upheaval.  You’ll need lots of power to run away from politicians, zombies and other varmints that might survive.

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April 7, 2012 – 257 days Until Baktun 12

Survivalist Tip:  Whether you plan to stay in your home during the apocalypse, or flee somewhere you think is safe, you need to have an all-encompassing tool box among your supplies.  A good one is made from aluminum or steel.  It’s not easily damaged if you drop it, or smack some idiot upside the head with it.  A complete tool box features the usual items: 

  • hammer
  • screwdriver
  • tape measure
  • pliers
  • duct tape
  • black electrician’s tape
  • wire cutters
  • markers
  • assorted nails
  • assorted screws
  • various size batteries 

But, it also should contain:

  • drill (battery-operated)
  • blue painter’s tape
  • flashlight
  • wrench
  • work gloves
  • safety goggles
  • hacksaw
  • utility knife
  • vice grips
  • chisel
  • staple gun
  • small wrecking bar
  • chocolate
  • antacids

 Whether you have mechanical difficulties with your vehicle, need to build an impromptu outdoor shelter, make a quick home repair, or give your bratty kids something to hold onto to stop them from being so bratty, a well-stocked tool box will help you get through the initial chaos at the start of the next Baktun.  The ancient Mayans always kept their tools organized and in one place.  What else do you think explains why their temples have survived for the past 2,000 years, while your cable keeps going out?

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