Posted on

First Batch!

First batch of Pickles

Organic Seed PacksFor this project, it feels like to story of the Little Red Hen. Not the part of the story where she does all the work but will not share at the end, since none of the other’s would help her. But more because getting to this point went through so many steps.

It started Back in March when I bought the organic seeds. In the omnibus pack of seeds there was a pack for pickling cucumbers. I had not planned on planting them, but through them into the germinator at the last minute. and wouldn’t you know, they sprouted.

Then in May when I plowed out the additional gardens at the end of my yard. Thanks to former boss and old pal Dave Lesser for the use of your rototiller. Come to think of it I had better return it.

Then there was protecting them from all the horrible dangers of a garden in our neighborhood. Rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, insane weeds, weeks of watering with no rain. Then the last 2 weeks of 5+ inches of rain.

Here are the Cucumber plantsAs of last night, we had picked about 45 cucumbers, and we have to start preparing them for winter (sounds pretty rustic).

I had wondered if there was something special about Pickling Cucumbers, making them different than regular cucumbers. I still do not know, but I did crunch down a wedge while we were preparing them and thought it tasted pretty good. And if I were to describe them, they do look like, well pickles.

So we started preparing the cucumbers for canning. And what a challenge it was finding a recipe. There are hundreds of recipes and variations available. We settled on a pretty simple recipe we found online.

We have not canned anything in a number of years (probably about 12). We used to make jams and jellies all summer long. We started doing it because my wife loves jelly, but most commercial jellies . . . suck. After Knott’s Berry Farm stopped shipping to the east coast, we needed another source. Over the years, we tried Strawberry, Blueberry, Sour Cherry, Peach, Raspberry and Blackberry. We also tried making juice Jelly – commercial juice out of a bottle.  We were kind of horrified when a “mixed berry” juice jelly became the favorite that we shared.

When I was growing up, we also had a concord grape vine in our backyard and would make grape juice and jelly annually. And I have to say the system my wife and I had was far easier and less messy than my Mom’s system for Grapes.

For Jellies, we also went to the trouble of heat sealing the lids, rather than using wax to seal them. Wax would have taken the process so over the edge with work we would never have kept it up. And so long as you have the right pots and utencils, it is pretty easy. Since we have them all, the process of jarring the pickles went pretty well.

As you see, that is 4 jars down. We have at least another 8 to go plus however many more we may want.

Also considering what we might want to do with the tomatoes, which should start coming in the next week or so. Spaghetti sauce? salsa? Stewed tomatoes?

Posted on

What am I Reading?

Feed Your Head

How much do you read?

I am an avid reader and tend to have 2-3 books going at a time – in addition to my all too large doses of social media and the News of the Day. Some are for fun. Some are because I want to learn something. Some to pass the time. Also in order to be sure I have something to do while in waiting rooms or lines at the store or pharmacy. I hate being caught out somewhere, bored, with nothing to do.

Feed Your HeadI saw a meme a while back that questioned how many books people have read since they left school. With a little research at Google, there was a study done noting that approximately 28% of people (I guess in the US, but it did not say), do not read any books within the course of a year (the study was done in 2015). And this was up from 21% back in 2011. Considering that I read about 40 books per year, I find this disturbing.

But more important is the question????

What do you read?

You have heard the saying, garbage in, garbage out. The question goes to what you are feeding yourself on an intellectual level. As we remember what the Dormouse said. The Law of Attraction says you become what you think. So what are you filling your mind with?

As I noted, I am usually reading a number of things. And I would like go into them, because they are fresh on my mind.

Eat Well Move Well Live Well

If you have reading Astrogardens from the beginning, you recall that I was on a cleansing diet in May. The diet basically cut out all unnatural sugar and processed foods. I did spectacularly, losing 20 lbs. But since completing it, the pounds are coming back. The authors of the diet (Roland and Galina Denzel) wrote a more extensive book about cleaner and more healthy living, which I have been reading since June. The idea is that I would really like to keep the pounds off. I am happier being a little slimmer. My pants fit. I have less joint pain. I sleep better. And I feel better about myself eating healthier food. It is more like a textbook – so I am reading it slowly.

Lost Ways

This is a book that has been heavily promoted on social media for years. The description on amazon says:

Lost Ways
Lost Ways

“The SHTF we all prep for is what folks 150 years ago called daily life: no electrical power, no refrigerators, no Internet, no computers, no TV, no hyperactive law enforcement, and no Safeway or Walmart. The Lost Ways prepares you to deal with worst-case scenarios with the minimum amount of resources just like our forefathers lived their lives, totally independent from electricity, cars, or modern technology whatsoever, which means you’ll also be bulletproof against the ever-increasing threat of an Electro Magnetic Pulse, a Powerful Economic Breakdown, Famines, and Natural Disasters.”

Decent description IMHO, especially using the SHTF (Shit Hits the Fan). I have wanted it for a long time because it is so well promoted. Maybe it is the way they introduce subjects – asking an open ended question. It is done in the same effective way as on Ancient Aliens or 48 hours mysteries. It draws you in until you can not wait to read the next line.

I have wanted this book for a long time and decided to buy it last Friday (maybe it was because I was cruising Facebook after drinking a 6-pack, but who knows). It is a little expensive ($37 plus shipping – unless I had used the special price link when you search it on google and got the same thing for $22. Oh Well. Live and Learn.) But so far, I have loved it.

Click Here to buy it if You are interested using the better price.

Lost Ways reads like the Almanac – interesting advice for living life as they did 100 years ago when you could not go down to the corner drug store and had to grow and can a lot of your own food – or hunt and be able to store it. If I was treating Astrogardens like a business, I would be able to write this off as an expense. Call it R&D. This advice is amazing and I plan to share and deep dive a lot of the things I am reading about.

Survivalist bookWhat Every Survivalist Should Grown in His Backyard

This was one of the Free gifts that came with Lost Ways. And it is a great resource. The book goes through a lot of different plants that you should consider having in your backyard that are pretty easy to grow and damn useful in a pinch.

Honestly I was just as interested in this book as I was in Lost Ways, as the way it is presented is a lot like how I wanted to write in this blog. In fact, one of the first entries is about the plant Arugula. I read that yesterday and then went out and harvested some leaves for our salad last night out of my garden.

Harry Potter

As it goes, I have read the Harry Potter each summer for the last 3 years. I have just started the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, on Saturday. Last year or the year before I also read the Screenplay book for Harry Potter and Harry PotterThe Cursed Child. I was excited for something new, but after reading it would suggest forgetting it unless you have a real jones for screenplays. It did nothing for me and the story was not as engaging as the series.

As for the Harry Potter series, I recommend it for a multitude of reasons. 1) I like to read Young Adult novels. As a copywriter, it helps with flow. YA writers tend to keep sentence structure simple and plot lines linear. For what I do, that is important and it is good to immerse myself in that style of writing. While I am at it, I also enjoy the hell out of the stories.

Also, 2) Someone else’s conspiracy is a lot less stressful that the real life crap that is going on. It is an escape from there here and now and just as entertaining as the 20 foot tall Baby Trump Balloon flying over London last weekend. Didn’t Harry blow up his aunt as a balloon at the beginning of Prisoner of Azkaban?

And 3) It provides me with inspiration. Especially now with Astrogardens. Harry faces so many of the same themes that I have begun discussing now. Government conspiracies, good and evil, Good guys vs bas actors, fake news. I would not be surprised if you hear more about Harry here. I am thinking of writing a Harry Potter themed ebook in the near future. Watch for it.

So if you are counting, Since May, that makes 11 books. And that is not counting the news on the net.

Posted on

Voting with your Wallet – Part 2

Are we in the middle of a revolution now?

Has World War 3 already started? Will we (collectively) only know about it in 30 years when we read about it in  the neatly printed government text books from our government apartments outside the government work camps we are herded into each day?

Consider what the future looks like under a controlled economy. We have been lurching there throughout the past 10, 20, 30, 40 years. And we have been voting for it with the politicians we elect, through the companies we support who provide the products and service we want to buy.

Thrive - What on Earth will it take?
www.thrivemovement.com

For me it is the fear of these institutions and the revolutions they control – The mind control and social control – that have me acting to protect the little patch of earth that I can control. Where my family resides.

So in addition to growing my own food and preparing the best I can for the Zombie Apocalypse, what can we do live in it?

A few years back (November of 2011 – I looked it up), a movie was released that asked a lot of these question. The movie was called Thrive: What on Earth Will it Take. The point of the movie (it is a documentary that shockingly haha did not get nominated for academy awards like similar documentaries by Michael More or Albert Gore) was to question the control structures of this world economy. But it does not stop at identifying the problems. They go into detail about things you can do to move forward without these structures.

PRetty often I visit their site to remind me of some of those actions.  They have a Top Ten list, which I include here, to when your appetite. If you want to read more about them, go to the ThriveMovement website.

Top Ten Actions

  1. Find Your Way to Stillness
  2. Get Informed, Speak Up & Connect with Others
  3. Bank Locally
  4. Buy and Invest Responsibly
  5. Join the Movement to Audit and End the Federal Reserve
  6. Keep the Internet Fair & Open
  7. Support Independent Media
  8. Support Organic, Non-GMO Farming
  9. Require Election & Campaign Finance Reform
  10. Advocate for Renewable and “Free” Energy
  11. Take Part in Critical Mass Actions

And as part of the theme of this post, items #3 and #4 (note if you go to the site, they will be #2 and #3 because they do not know how to number things there) discuss some very specific things you can do about what to do with your life and your money to support life where you live – in the way you want to live. Like with Banking, I bank with a local credit union. Not that I have much money, but I know that they will invest the money with local projects that support our community. No skyscrapers in New York. More like business loans for the businesses in our area.

 

Posted on

Voting with your Wallet – part 1

Like a tree falling in the forest, so are the ripples in a pond.

“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” – Dalai Lama

drops in the oceanSometimes you might wonder if your small actions can actually make a difference. Do the choices you make have an impact outside of yourself?

Consider, this morning, I made a pot of coffee and am drinking it in my dining room. I was out already this morning, and sometimes I will stop and get a cup of coffee at a coffee shop (Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Wawa or the local coffee shop Dosie Dough). But today, it was my own pot.

For me personally, I usually drink my own coffee. I brew it very strong and I like it that way. Also, the cost per cup is somewhere south of $.10 per cup. And I drink a lot. It is a choice I make. So consider yourself. How do you make this decision each morning (if you are a coffee drinker that is)? Not everyone is as cheap as I am.

So think of the options you may have. The local gas station. Its convenient. It is on the way to wherever you are going and you need gas. The coffee is passable. Dunkin Donuts. Usually convenient. Likely to taste the same each time. Pretty cheap. Lots of options if you like specialty drinks. McDonalds. See Dunkins. Starbucks. Strong coffee. Trendy. Expensive. The Local Option. A small restaurant you may have near your home or workplace. Convenient – maybe. Friendly – hopefully.

Each option comes with its own positives and negatives. And in the end, may have a negligible effect in the grand scheme of things. Who cares what coffee you drink or do not drink. But it is decisions like this that we might want to put a little more time and effort into considering as we go throughout the day. Can each of them make a difference? Is your choice of coffee like that pebble dropped into water?

Small Choices Big Consequences

The Red Hen restaurant

Small choices and their meanings have taken a rather large part of the discussion in the National headlines this weekend. The case of the owner of The Red Hen, a small trendy restaurant in the Washington DC vicinity. The President’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders,  and her family visited the restaurant over the weekend, and were asked to leave by the owner because the owner did not want to serve someone connected to President Trump.

In itself, this was pretty inconsequential. The Press secretary had the grace to walk away and find another place to eat. And had it not been for social media, and one of the employees of The Red Hen bragging about it online – which quickly went viral, the event would have gone pretty much unnoticed. Just a business, refusing service to someone for their own reasons. But the viral nature of things has made that pebble of discourtesy seem more like The Rock of Gibraltar falling into the ocean. And the ripples will surely be felt for a while.

Why?

The actual act of refusing service and asking someone to leave should not be a consequence. No laws were broken. And from the report of the exchange from all people who reported it, from all political perspectives, though uncomfortable, did not cause much of an uproar or public scene. In our society, choices can be made. But before we make these choices, we should consider what the unintended consequences may be. Like the Tree that falls in the forest, did someone hear it? And what did they do as a result?

Did the owner of the Red Hen consider the effect of refusing service to President Trump’s Press Secretary. Could she possibly have imagined what the result of her decision would be? Did she consider that:

  • Her employee would brag about it on social media?
  • @PressSec would acknowledge that comment on Twitter and say to her over 3 million followers that she had been asked to leave because of her beliefs?
  • The President of the United States would comment about it as well?
  • Maxine Waters would use the event as a nationwide call to action to be rude to anyone associated with the President?
  • A late night host suggested that other restaurants might choose to taint the food they serve to people they disagree with – going so far as to ejaculate in it before serving it?
  • People would flood Google and Yelp with bad reviews about the restaurant?
  • Pictures of her family would be plastered all over the internet with alternating positive and negative comments?

Few people would consider that a small decision in our daily life could have such far reaching effects. The owner and her employees felt that they had to refuse service, because they did not like Mrs. Sanders, and what she represents. Itself, a small decision. But as we see, the consequences are not.

While I could go on and on about the many effects in the whole world (and I would like to because I live for that), it is not relevant to the main purpose of this article. I brought it up because, from the beginning, I started this blog and my garden this year to make a difference. The difference I hoped to make was a small one in the Grand scheme of things. It was to transform my yard into a place where I could grow healthy food for my family and share the experience with others.

It is issues like the one we faced this weekend that assure me that we should be staying closer to home – especially when it comes to food. Who knows when someone might choose to do something malicious for whatever reason. And even if its not malice. I recall stories of high school friends telling about how they would clean (or not) their fast food stores. About how they had swatted flies and served them with food. I can only hope that these were mini urban legends. But I tend to believe otherwise.

Comedian Eddie Murphy performed a Stand-up comedy movie called Delirious. He told a story about eating at a Chinese food restaurant and how people often make fun of the accents. The joke came when the waiter went in back and says under his breath, “I maka special won ton soup for you.”

This is not a new. People have been horrible to each other throughout history. But we might hope that we have evolved just a bit. Since that is probably not the case, We should start be watching ourselves when in public.

 

Posted on

Mad Max Pt. 3 – What’s Beyond Thunderdome?

If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 of this series, you might want to go back and read them.

Mad Max 1 showed a world where people and society were breaking down. The people are living, but the fabric of society was ripping. The line between morals and values was blurring. And the value of life was seen as lost. You saw no bombs, but things looked bleak.

The Road Warrior made it clear that society was lost. What happens when government is no longer there for people’s protection? We see people scraping by for an existence. Joining together when they can, but relying on the good graces of others. And these ties prove to be not so binding.

The third installment, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, takes us a few years down the road from when The Road Warrior takes place. You know this first due to the fact that Max’s hair is longer – very 80’s esque. And also, the desolate desert has moved on. Gone are the recent trappings of the past world.

There is little or no traffic in the way of cars. Lots of getting around on foot or with pack animals.

And as with the first two movies, this one is packed with important takeaways that speak to protecting ourselves now.

Up Another Notch – Better soundtrack

Unlike the previous movies, the Mad Max franchise decided to upgrade with more acting firepower. Well, maybe one names actor – Tina Turner – who is more a singer. But a big name nonetheless. And the bonus was that they get Tina Turner singing the opening song. I often wondered which was the bigger draw for Tina – the chance to act or a vehicle to put out a hit song. Both seemed to work. Here is the song – We Don’t Need Another Hero:

Now you might not see the value of a good soundtrack, but that is my own litmus test. I love music. It speaks in ways that the actors, the script and the setting cannot. It set the mood. And in this case, it lived beyond the movie and helped to bring in new viewers (who were probably confused as hell trying to understand what was going on.

Additionally, the costumes showed a world without the trappings of mass production. In Road Warrior, people were wearing the clothing they got away with in the aftermath whatever apocalypse happened. In Thunderdome, people are wearing much more rag tag clothing. Its either Rags or feathers or leather or whatever people could stitch together. It is truly devolved society.

Bartertown

Bartertown

The One “bright light” in the desert becomes the shanty town city of “Bartertown” Max is led to it after his wagon (sorry no cool cars in future apocalypse world) and camels are hijacked by a flying vehicle (desert life still sucks as much as during the Road Warrior). Max follows it into the distance to Bartertown to try and retrieve his things from the thief.

Bartertown is the conflux of devolved society. People are allowed to come in if they have something to trade (and will pay for the opportunity). It shows the state of society in the apocalypse – no money, all trade by barter. It’s a come together swap meet. Max has to finesse his way in, as he has nothing to trade anymore. He offers his “skills.” He finds himself in one of those “Offers you cannot refuse.” Auntie (the punked out version of Tina Turner). And she conscripts Max to face Thunderdome – a apocalypse-day version of a Gladiator Fight.

“The Law” of the new land is one of power. Power is controlled by dictatorship by Auntie, who uses her own form of Democracy/ Mobocracy to control Public Opinion. They come together at Thunderdome – like a WWE cage-match. But its a fight to the death. The law of Thunderdome:  “Two Men enter, one man leaves.” The offer/deal Max cannot refuse is to kill his opponent. When he realizes that the brute he is charged with killing is mentally challenged, he will not, thus breaking the deal. Which brings up the next law,  “Bust a deal, face the wheel.”

Here brings in a new form of justice, where you are pretty sure this cannot be good. You see a “wheel” that is spun, like on wheel of fortune. And reading through the possibilities, there is a small chance of “aquittal.’ Though the rest speak of potential horror. Amuptation. Death. Forfeit Goods. Underworld. Aunties Choice. As Max spins the wheel, his winner is Gulag. Now what could that possibly mean.

Fast forward to Max sitting backwards on an old horse tied up. In front of the horse’s nose dangles a jug full of water. And they place a large Mask on Max’s head and slap the horse to go running into the desert – where it gets lost, keels over and dies – with Max still strapped to it with this goofy mask on.

So what does this mean to our world today? DEMOCRACY – Consider the number of times in the past 2 years our governmental system has been called a “democracy.” And people say this with a straight face, thinking “democracy” is a good thing. Their lack of understanding about it astounds me. Under a true democracy, the Mob rules. If it comes to an up or down vote, protections on your liberties are basically gone. Think of one of the most well known Mobocracy trials – that of Jesus Christ. Pontius Pilate asked the crowd who they would like him to save. And it was not Jesus, but an actual criminal, Barabas. The founders of the USA considered democracy, and chose instead to make us a republic. This gives the chance for discernment before a wild and crazy, emotional decision is made.

DICTATORSHIP – in the absence of laws, people with power (money, goods) and Charisma will rule. And it is in their best interest to rule with an iron fist. Then the rules become whatever that person may decide.

SURVIVAL – Or survival of the fittest. Consider whether you are able to defend yourself now. Are you physically fit? Are you emotionally prepared for adversity?

And what about the Children?

Now we come to the points that were actually the main reason I began thinking about Mad Max in the first place. Max is then rescued from the desert and brought to an oasis in the desert. And here are a group of Children ranging from very young to teenagers. They have been left here post-apocalypse to survive. And as a result, they have become their own cargo cult. Being young, they have just enough where-with-all to survive and feed the little ones. After that, what have they become?

After capturing Max, they introduce them to their Now. Together, they tell the story of their life, which they tell from memory around the nightly campfire. They call it “Telling the Tell.”

“We got it mouth to mouth, so you gotta listen it. Remember. Cause what you hears today you gotta tell the birthed tomorrow.”

The oldest among them act out the story – with modern props to tell the story. About Captain Walker – the pilot who brought them to safety to this place. With the use of a viewmaster camera they tell a a basic story about how they got there and what they know about their history.

It is in this story, that the true tragedy of apocalypse can be seen. What happens to the history of society. The oldest and the wisest are only as knowledgeable as who they learned from – and how much they remembered. Can they read? It is all fractured history. They take Max as the Hero of their world. He, to them, is Captain Walker, returned from myth. To them, he is the savior. To Max, they are just an encumbrance.

In the end, he steps up and is able to rescue at least come of the children. They fly out of the desert to a city, where they find themselves alone with buildings and more of the trappings of the past. Still spreading their version of the past – telling the tell.

I remember this when I am teaching my own children. Which things do they need to know first? Is it self defense? Is it survival? Is it history? The importance of freedom?

At least for now, much will be about gardening – call it survival.

 

Posted on

Mad Max Pt 2 – When Things Fall Apart – The Road Warrior

We left off talking about Mad Max – and how there are lessons embedded in the movies that point to why we should be considering preparing.

The first movie ends in true 70’s style. Max drives off, feeling bleak, to unknown destinations. And while he is exiting a brutal environment, filled with sociopathic players and actors, It is grounded in a basic reality.

The Road Warrior makes no pretense about normalcy. Its all pretty much summed up in the opening narration:

My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos, ruined dreams, this wasted land. But most of all, I remember the road warrior, the man we called Max. To understand who he was we have to go back to the other time, when the world was powered by the black fuel and the desert sprouted great cities of pipe and steel — gone now, swept away. For reasons long forgotten two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel they were nothing. They’d built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked, but nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled. Cities exploded — a whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear. Men began to feed on men.

On the roads it was a white-line nightmare. Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice, and in this maelstrom of decay ordinary men were battered and smashed — men like Max, the warrior Max. In the roar of an engine, he lost everything and became a shell of a man, a burnt-out desolate man, a man haunted by the demons of his past, a man who wandered out into the wasteland. And it was here, in this blighted place, that he learned to live again.

I include the entire quote because it is a great example about the state of mind of people when society falls apart. And it is the backdrop of the next two hours of action-packed car chase war. More to the point. It sets an imaginative standard for the mind of people that have been labeled as Preppers.

This community can be defined in a lot of ways. But to keep it simple, they are people who are preparing for disaster.

  • They want to be ready to survive in case society breaks down.
  • They want to be self sufficient.
  • They want to be armed (call that guns) so they can defend themselves from anyone who tries to take what is theirs away from them. Other people. The government.
  • They want food on hand in case food is no longer available.
  • They want actions plans in place in the case of a nuclear bomb attack. Think bomb shelters from the 1950’s and 60’s.
  • They seek survival skills like self defense, outdoorsmanship, dry camping.

For Max in the Road Warrior, you see life in this chaotic dystopia. People Need Defense. People need Gas. People need food. And there are those who will try to make their way on their own. And there are others who will be out to take it from those too weak to defend themselves. 

  • Food and water are a problem. There is an iconic early scene when Max and his dog top and have a meal. Max pulls out a can of Dog Food and proceeds to eat it. When he is done, he throws it to the dog. They are in a desert and there is no Wawa around the corner to get a drink and a Hoagie.
  • Life is brutal. It is kill or be killed. There is a scene where a young boy (called the Feral Kid) confronts the leather gang with a metal boomerang. He throws it to get their attention, and deftly catches it with a heavily gloved hand. He then throws it at one of the leaders and plants it in the guy’s skull. The leader, then tries to throw it to get the boy, who jumps in a hole. Another of the leather gang runs to retrieve the boomerang as it comes back, and it chops off the man’s fingers – to the guffaws and laughter of his compatriots. What a cool Toy. What great friends. This speaks to the mindset of people no longer in civil society. Life and death (and violence) and the norm.
  • There is Safety in Numbers – But you are on your own – Max is a loner and drifter. Just looking for gasoline and staying alive. The group he runs into has gasoline, and is hoarding it from all attackers. Gas is power. no one has money any more. Most of the people are scraping out an existence.

Of course this is a movie, but it shows a stark example of how things fall apart. And add to the question of what preparations do you make in the case of disaster. Think of the people in new Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Or after a hurricane. An earthquake. A volcanic eruption. There are so many action movies that set these scenes. And while it is drama and entertainment, it makes you stop and think about what you might do should such an event happen. Do you have a safety plan? Can you protect yourself? Can you protect your family?

Because the first problem is the event itself. Then you must ask, can you survive the aftermath. And in that aftermath, what will be left of society as we know it.

In part 3, (Of Mad Max and of this study) we will explore exactly that. What happens after the Zombie apocalypse. What is left? Who is left? What do they become?

Posted on

Mad Max is a Textbook to The Zombie Apocalypse

Anyone wanting a clearer understanding of what life could be like during the zombie apocalypse would do well to study the Mad Max movies.They were a funny set of movies that evolved over their 36 year run. And if Mad Max Fury Road in 2015 shows anything, it is that this franchise still has much to say (or is that much to sell?). But the bigger point is that from the beginning, the movies show what happens when things fall apart. When law and order and society descend into a post apocalypse existence.

So, studying aspects of this descent I believe is a healthy way to draw the example about why we should be paying attention to things now. If and when things start to fall apart, where will we be? Is there anything that will prepare us for that world? Will we make it?

Mad Max 1

I remember watching the original Mad Max on TV. It was back in the late seventies or early eighties. The movie came out in 1979. You could say we waited for it to come out on cable, but in LA, no one really had that. We had ON Subscription Television. They came out and put a special antennae on our roof. Then at night, starting around 5 or so, they would broadcast 3-5 movies over the course of the evening.

It was a way of selling in home movies before the world of video stores (or even VCR’s which did not exist up til then). I believe other areas of the country had cable. That did not come to LA for a few years. But ONTV was high tech for its time. You had a little box (Actually it was huge – about the size of two VCR’s taped together). And it had 1 control knob – that was off or ON. When it was off, you could see the scrambled version of the movie – without sound. And when we hadn’t paid the bill (or when we wanted to watch R movies or the late night soft core porn without Mom and Dad finding out) you could kind of see it.

I credit ONTV with introducing me to some of the finest film that Hollywood had to offer and we never went to the theaters to see. That being said, they also had a good amount of the stinkers that no one should waste their valuable time watching.

As I recall, Mad Max was one of those movies that you could not tell whether it was a good one or a bad one. It was low budget. Lots of brutal death and killing. Many long car chase scenes – often ending with blood and guts. And of course, Mel Gibson wearing leather and carrying guns. What could it possibly mean and what value could it bring? Just ask the people who put together the Fast and The Furious franchise. Both groups have made bazillions from the formula.

Key Points about Mad Max 1

So if it was so bad, why am I talking about it and how did it grow to be a billion dollar franchise and career-maker for Mel Gibson?

  1. Dystopia. – Having watched this film multiple times, I never considered it dystopian (what I would have called Sci fi at the time. I had seen Death Wish with Charles Bronson and most of the Dirty Harry films. So seeing cops and robbers indiscriminately kill each other without the whole world come crashing down was run of the mill. Yes it was in Australia. Yes it was in the desert and out in the middle of no where. But hell, I was from the Southern California desert. It could happen. But after it had been out for a while and Hollywood wanted to explain why people dug this movie, they had to make up a story. It also helped to make sense of the movies that were to come.
  2. Breakdown of Law and Order – What happens to the world when Law and Order lose their effectiveness. If there is anything dystopian about this movie, it is not being able to figure what’s going on between the cops and the politicians. When I saw it at the early age of about 12, I just figured that it was like the cops in the Movie The Gauntlet. If anything, I thought it was a problem with the government in Australia. And since they were way out in the desert, no one in the big city cared. They were on their own. In the course of the movie, the sociopathic, murderous biker gang members were just the bad guys – who just wouldn’t go away or die. They kept getting worse and worse. And the cops could not stop them. The movie becomes like The Thing or Alien, where you have a group of trapped people facing an evil force out to kill them. In the end, the only way for Max – the police – to win was to collapse all thought of following the law. It is win at all cost.
  3. Peanut Butter and Honey is disgusting – At least the Australians did not choose Vegemite as a snack. That would be totally gross. But when Max told his wife he was eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich, I just about wretched.
  4. The 70’s Hollywood Ending – If anything helped to bring this movie to Dystopia, it would be the ending. He leaves the main bad guy chained to a car that is about to explode. “The chain in those handcuffs is high-tensile steel. It’d take you ten minutes to hack through it with this. Now, if you’re lucky, you can hack through your ankle in five minutes. Go!” He drives off into the desert and you see the car explode in the background.  No idea what happens next. Its a very 70’s ending.

It was the beginning of a series. At the time, I doubt any of them had an idea about where the franchise would go.

Takeaways

Why do I focus on these movies? I will first say that part 2 will take this discussion to a new level. But at this point, the idea of being left on your own with no chance of safety and protection is what its about. You see Max’s family slaughtered. This could potentially happen at any time now. But in the case of societal breakdown, the potential for this is much greater. Where will we go? What will we do? Will it change us? Will we lose our own humanity.

Also, how should we being living our lives now in order to protect ourselves from this kind of future. I am not going to lie. Much of the point of Astrogardens is to remind people about this. And to consider what you might want to be doing to prepare for it.

Whether it is learning how to grow your own food. How to start a fire – with or without matches. Gut a fish. Preparing and canning fruits and vegetables? We will explore some of these.

Next, explore how the Road Warrior takes societal breakdown to the next level.

Posted on

The Zuckerberg Effect – Steps Toward the Zombie Apocalypse

The Zuckerberg Effect

You have heard of the Mandela Effect – where something you remember one way you find that now it is completely different. It is so named as it was thought that Nelson Mandela had died, only to find that he was alive and well.

In the age of a Bigger Brother Facebook, a new phenomenon is happening:

THE ZUCKERBERG EFFECT

This is where things show up on Facebook and then mysteriously disappear. In the case of these instances, they were articles about controversial subjects. So in my case, I GOT ZUCKED!

Given that in the last week MARK himself sat in front of congress and testified about the abilities of his company to manipulate data. AND that their plans are to continue to manipulate News and information on Facebook to favor “TRUSTED” news sources. For some reason, this feels like China. A platform that at least used to feel like a free speech and expression place is now proved to be otherwise.

What Kinds of Information are we looking for (But Maybe not Finding)?

Here is where the rubber meets the road. What is being censored from our world? What information is out there that the Mainstream Media (MSM or LSM – Lamestream Media if you want to be edgy) is trying to keep from us? I am starting a list here, and will find a more public space to invite people to be a part of and add to.

Vaccinations (anything about them, but mostly for me about their ties to causing autism)

Natural Cures

Chemtrails

The Rothchilds – and other Global Elites

911 was planned from Within

All Other False Flag Events

UFO’s

War is an Industry, Not an Event

Common Core Education

Global Warming Deniers

You get the idea. These are all subjects that have been squelched, shunned, ridiculed and shoved aside by the media. And as you dig deeper and deeper into the subject, you find elements of truth. Elements that have been changed. Elements that deserve to see the light of day despite all the efforts to cover them over.

It has gotten so bad, that life feels more and more like the Truman Show. But we are all Truman.

So what’s the tie in with your garden?

As I have said from the beginning, my Astrogarden is in place as somewhat of an insurance policy. What if the world comes to an end. Or what if your community can no longer support itself? How can we become more self sufficient?

In the face of this question, our personal freedom and sovereignty is of vital importance. One of those freedoms is the freedom of Free Expression.

Please join! Invite your friends to join. If you happen to be a member of Facebook, and want to be a part of documenting the continued Free fall of free speech, please follow this link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1013043985513372/

 

The Goal: Document as many instances of this as you come across or can remember. This week, it has happened to me twice.

Posted on

What’s a Victory Garden?

Victory Garden in the Zombie Apocalypse

When I began research on what to do with my garden this year, one of the resources that I found was about “Victory Gardens.”  So I must begin with everyone’s favorite resource for interesting (albeit potentially flawed) information, Wikipedia:

“Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany during World War I and World War II. George Washington Carver wrote an agricultural tract and promoted the idea of what he called a “Victory Garden”. They were used along with Rationing Stamps and Cards to reduce pressure on the public food supply. Besides indirectly aiding the war effort, these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made victory gardens a part of daily life on the home front.” Wikipedia – “Victory Garden”

Honestly the only things I knew about Victory gardens were from old cartoons and black and white kids shorts like The Little Rascals. And for anyone wanting a course on wartime propaganda, these are a great study.

But the idea was pretty simple. Back in the 30’s and 40’s, resources were scarce. We were dealing with  the Great Depression and world War 2. And people needed food. So why not encourage people to fend for themselves and grow a garden.

The funny thing is, the advice that was offered to people about private gardens was really pretty good. It offered ideas about crops to grow and how to keep it sustained. Let’s face it, the food you grow will not be all that you will need. But it does provide fresh vegetables and fruits that were not available.

So Why is This Relevant Today?

Right now, I believe that following this process of creating a Home Garden to be of vital importance. That’s me. And my reasons, while some might say sound like they are coming from the mind of a raving lunatic, are pretty sound.

  1. We have just come out on the other side of a long and protracted Recession – The Great Recession of 2008. – How hard was your family hit during this last recession? For us, it was significant. I lost my main job in 2010. On the one hand, this was sad. It was a pretty good job. On the other, it was a loss in income. And prospects were not good. To continue working in my field, I would have taken a significant pay cut. So I began working from home. And while the income is different, we have been able to make it work.
  2. The World (and our own Government) is not to be trusted – As an ardent civil libertarian, I am always concerned about the powers that control structures may have over our lives. “Don’t tread on Me” has as much if not more relevance today as it did back in the 1700’s. It’s not the British doing it to us. But it is the Anti Gun Lobby, the Global Warming/Climate Change movement, Monsanto, whoever is spraying Chemtrails all over the sky. The list goes on.
  3. Health – You have no idea what is being passed off as food these days – As I have noted in other articles, the level of processing and chemical contamination in our food and water sources is unbelievable. By growing things yourself, you can exercise better control of your food. What is your opinion about such things as Flouride being added to your water?

So for me, it is not so much for Victory, but rather for protection. Am I going to go so far as many preppers and begin storing long term food supplies, water filters, Alternative power sources? Not yet, but that may be next.

For now, it is transforming my yard into a positive growing environment that will produce healthy food for my family to eat. And if I can do so, while entertaining people and offering sound advice, then it is a bonus.

Posted on

The World We Want

Part of the reason for creating the garden at our suburban home is to bring us all a little closer to nature.  They are similar to the reasons given by preppers and people afraid of the possibility of a coming zombie apocalypse. And since I read and watch a lot of science fiction and dystopian fiction, I can fall into that pretty quick.

So my thought was to consider what kinds of plants I would need to grow if, all of the sudden, food would become scarce. What would we want. What would we/will we need. It was with this in mind that I was looking into urban gardening.

And let me tell you that researching this has been quite a task in itself. After tomatos, peppers, cucumbers and a couple of herbs, I did not have a clue. So I started the task of googling and found so much amazing information. And as a result, will be growing a whole lot of vegetables that I would not have ever considered. And varieties I could never have guessed at.

And frankly, I love the idea of turning my entire property into a backyard farm. And if 60 percent of it were’s under the shade of trees, I would be doing more.

In Sol Luckman’s book Snooze, he describes the home of one of the main characters as a sort of Urban Farm. They practice “permaculture” where they can grow food all year round. I guess this works in Florida, because here in PA, the snow kind of acts as a deterrent at least six months per year. But anyways, it points out the idea of taking control of your own health and nutrition by growing your own food.

But back to the reason for the garden. Because there was a point to this post when I started it. Life is uncertain. And a look at the political culture of our world today points this out. We have Conservatives who want to protect us. Liberals who want to control every aspect of our lives. And the Neos who just want world domination. In most cases, they are all working against what I would consider to be the most important aspect in life – personal sovereignty.

While it is wonderful to think that we live in a country and a world where our opinion matters, I have seen enough of the political climate to have compete distrust in the power elites – Whether in Washington, Harrisburg, Reading, PA or even our own little Borough of Wyomissing.

I think that as far as government’s go, they would  do well to take the advice of the Rush song Closer to the Heart.

And the men who hold high places
Must be the ones who start
To mold a new reality
Closer to the heart
The blacksmith and the artist
Reflect it in their art
They forge their creativity
Closer to the heart
Philosophers and plowmen
Each must know his part
To sow a new mentality
Closer to the heart
https://youtu.be/QY2iKzm62AM
Until then, I will keep my garden going and look to do all I must to keep poor family safe and protected. It is one small step I can take toward creating the World I Want.