Could be nothing…could be ugly.

Now I TRY to not get to wound up over “conspiracies”, but with social media lighting up over this, it kinda got me thinking they might be on to something…

Feel free to jump to your own conclusions. All I know is that things are not going well for our “leadership” at the moment, and we’re on the cusp of election season. Just sayin’…

Water, food, shelter, medicine and a means of self defense. If you panic now, you’ll beat the rush.

Plan accordingly.

Thanks for stopping by. Now go do something to prepare yourself for our uncertain future!

In Memorium: James M. Dakin

It has taken me a long time to write this, but as we’ve reached the anniversary of the passing of Jim, I feel the time has come.

James Dakin, better known as “Lord Bison” to his loyal Minions, was a one-of-a-kind author and blogger, and turned out to be one of the best people I’ve known.

I first came across his website ( back around 2014 and became an immediate follower. I’d been going down the prepper rabbit hole for a few years and felt very knowledgeable in the subject, but when I found Lord Bison, everything I thought I knew about preparedness was turned on it’s head.

Jim’s perspective on the world, and the direction it was headed may have been completely different from his contemporaries, but he made very valid arguments from outside the box.

He wrote numerous non-fiction books on the subjects of preparation and frugality, I couldn’t tell you exactly how many, but I’ve got at least 8 of them. And he posted a couple thousand articles on his website. To say he was prolific is an understatement!

One of the amazing things about Jim was the he truly “walked the walk”. He traded in comfort and complacency for a life off grid, living without a vehicle and making due with only the barest minimum. And despite his austere life, he never begged for donations, he didn’t monetize his website, and in fact after some time he started posting his books on his own website and giving them away for free. What he wanted most was to share his experiences and philosophy with as many people as he could. Financial reward was never his motivation.

In 2020 Jim and I started corresponding via written letters using snail mail, as he’d “cut the cord” from internet access and had transitioned to a monthly newsletter subscription (which he did at cost – supplies and postage only!). We sent a couple dozen letters back and forth over the months and I got to see a side of him rarely seen in his online work. I found him to be very kind and compassionate. He was very open and curious about life in “civilization” and he spoke very lovingly of his family – both his children and his “NOL” – his shorthand for “New Old Lady”. I felt a true friendship with him.

In May of last year, his monthly installment didn’t arrive. This was unusual, as you could always count on Jim’s timeliness. I didn’t think too much about it – could have been delayed, lost in the mail, who knows. But when June came and I still hadn’t heard from him I got a sick feeling inside that something was wrong. I sent a couple letters which went unanswered, which was also unheard of. I called the two phone numbers I had for him, but both had been disconnected. I queried other Bison fans I knew and none of them had heard from him either. Jim had simply disappeared without a trace and we were all concerned.

In November of last year I received an email from his son, letting me know Jim had shuffled off this mortal coil on May 5, 2022. Unbeknownst to me or evidently any of his other Minions, he’d been suffering from a lifelong condition, which had worsened suddenly and led to his untimely demise.

While I think deep down I already knew he was gone, the confirmation hit me like a brick upside the head.

These days as we have front row seat for the dumpster fire that is present-day America, I can’t help but wonder what Lord Bison would have to say about it. Whatever it was, I’m more than sure it would be tempered with humor. That was one of Jim’s magic abilities, no matter the dire situation he could elicit a laugh.

In hindsight I can’t help but think that Jim knew he was on borrowed time. That would explain the frantic pace at which he produced. He had a lot to say and a short time to say it and I am so glad I was in the right place at the right time AND in the right headspace to receive his work.

Lord Bison, I wish there had been a chance for me to say goodbye. You changed me for the better through your writing, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Godspeed my friend! I’ll see you on the other side!

James M. Dakin, AKA Lord Bison- author extraordinaire!

An Interesting, if Foreboding Resurgence.

As I’ve mentioned in the past,  I’m a firm believer in preparedness.   I never really looked at being a “prepper” as my identity, it was just something I grew up with.  First, my matriarch grandmother was a child of the Great Depression, and I spent a LOT of time with her growing up, so I’m sure that mindset rubbed off over the years. (As did religion, but that’s a story for another day). 

Then I spent my adolescence and most of my teen years in Boy Scouts, who’s official motto is ” Be Prepared”.  Several years working with my father added to it, as he ALWAYS seemed to have whatever was needed on a jobsite, even when you had no idea you’d need it.  So in a way, it feels like preparedness is part of my DNA, even if it isn’t my identity.

After the Y2K scare came and went, I got complacent and I really stopped paying attention to preparedness in a meaningful way, and didn’t really start taking is seriously again until about 2008 or so.  The big story of 2008 was the Great Recession of course, which didn’t effect me directly as I was too poor to own a home anyway, but it DID effect my employer at the time, which put the fear of the unknown into me and got me started with ” what will we do if I lose my job?” scenarios.

One thing led to another and I ended up going down a deep, dark rabbit hole regarding preparedness and survival.   It became a bit of a hobby I guess you’d say, with me spending lots of time on various websites and forums, trying to learn everything I could about surviving “The End Of The World As We Know It” or TEOTWAWKI, and I’ll tell you, it was enlightening to say the least.

From around 2010 or so, the ” preparedness space” online just exploded!  Podcasts, websites, forums, news aggregates with a preparedness slant, YouTube channels, a mountain of books in the topic, “prepping” was everywhere!  Even mainstream TV got into the act with “Doomsday Preppers”, which honestly probably did more to damage the idea of preparing more than anything, but the fact that a mainstream media outlet would sink money into such a show just goes to show you how popular the topic had become.

But then a weird thing happened back in 2016.  We got ourselves a new President and suddenly folks didn’t seem so worried about TEOTWAWKI.  Ok, that’s not entirely true, a ton of people thought his election would be then end of us all, I guess they just weren’t of the preparedness mindset to start with.  But I digress…

Anyhow, by 2018 or so, the online preparedness space had been decimated due to lack of interest according to several friends and acquaintances that I knew in that space. Many of the websites I used to follow either quit altogether or they just petered out over a year.  The main forum I was on from 2009 til that time had far less interaction and started getting stale and boring.  My YouTube feed starting having considerably fewer videos about preparedness.   It was as if everyone thought “the danger” (whatever that was to them) was over and done with.

By 2020 the focus had become covid, shortly followed by the “insurrection” (don’t get me started on that load of bovine excrement!) and so on. People were focused on censorship and government over reach and again, the economy. But still, you didn’t hear much about preparedness, other than toilet paper, hand sanitizer and face masks. Oh, and baby formula.

But now here we are in Q2 2023 and suddenly the world of preparedness has once again exploded! A bunch of old faces are showing up again, along with a number of new faces.

Now, I’m not complaining. I think it’s useful and important. What’s disconcerting is there seems to be a touch of urgency bordering on desperation, which is different from the preparedness landscape in days gone by.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand it. In fact I’ve been shoring up my weak spots over the last 2 years. This latest prepper-mania has somewhat confirmed my bias toward preparedness.

I could be wrong, but it certainly feels like something wicked this way comes. And clearly I’m not the only one.

Give it some thinkin’. If everything went sideways tomorrow, can you eat? How about a week from now? Do you have cash on hand in case the banking system blows a gasket and your plastic cards don’t work? Do you have a water supply in the event your municipal supply goes offline? Medicines?

If the last two decades have taught me anything, it’s that relying on others, especially in a dire situation, is something best avoided. You are your own first responder, your own emergency service, your own responsibility. Act accordingly.

Thanks for stopping by!

Book Review: World Made By Hand by James H. Kunstler

I’ve known of James Kunstler for quite a few years now, having been introduced to him by a good friend sometime in the early 00’s. I’ve been a steady reader of his blog site ( for the last couple years too – he puts out very thought provoking articles every Friday. (Highly recommended!) This however, was my first foray into his fictional work and I’m just gonna come right out and say it – I REALLY liked this book. A LOT.

This was, in it’s own way, a post-apocalyptic novel which is pretty much my favorite genre of fiction. But it was so unlike any other post-apoc novel I’ve read in the past, it really doesn’t fit with the others I’ve read. (And there have been MANY!)

The story takes place in upstate New York, where I’ve never been, but he sets the scene so well that I felt like I’d been there. The storyline starts some time after everything has fallen apart, though you never get a specific time frame – whether its a year or five, you never really know. Basically folks are just trying to keep what’s left from falling apart and keep themselves alive. In this small town there are still remnants of a community, but severely diminished. They are living in a post-oil world, no more cars and trucks, no trains, no industry. Even bicycles are rare because rubber tires aren’t being made and the old ones are failing. Roads still exist, but hadn’t been maintained so even if there were autos, the roads would beat them to death. Electricity is almost non-existent and eventually quits altogether. For all intents and purposes, Government is gone though rumors persist of a President and a new Capital in the midwest. (Minnesota if I recall…) In a lot of ways it’s like they’re living in the 1800’s.

The protagonist is a quiet, calm man. He was a tech executive in the BEFORE, but scratches out a living as the town’s carpenter and plays the fiddle in the town’s musical group. We learn that he’d lost both his wife and his daughter during the troubled times, though you don’t really get much background on his life before the time of this story. He also has a teenaged son that “headed out into the world” some time previous, and he has no idea whether his son is still alive or where he might be. I found him to be pretty likeable and relatable, not like the uber-prepped, former military hotshots that are usually the focus of the post-apoc genre.

A couple things hit right up front – a strange new group of religious folks arrive in town, having purchased the former high school for their new Church and living quarters. There is a murder. The widow of the murdered man has her house burn to the ground. A group of men taking trade goods by river go missing… For a quiet little burg in upstate NY, a lot is happening!

I don’t want to spoil anything with additional details, I will just say this was a great book.

The story was compelling. The characters were realistic. The writing was superb. I couldn’t wait to get back to it every night and I was almost sad to see it finished!

I purchased the book out of curiosity, frankly not expecting much. In my experience non-fiction writers are horrible at fiction, and vice-versa. Well, Mr. Kunstler may just be the exception to the rule! This is one that will be staying in my library, as I know without doubt I will want to read it again.

There are a couple sequels to this story, and I’m happy to say I’ve started the second one as of last night. I hope it holds up to the first.

Well done Mr. Kunstler! Thank you for a great piece of work!! I look forward to the rest of the installments!

Thanks for stopping by!

Storm clouds and memes…

I’ve been a little quiet lately and “off my game”, feeling out of sorts and spending a lot of energy just trying not to get sucked into the vortex of darkness and doom…

It’s nothing I can put my finger on. It’s the overwhelming sense of being pummeled with bad news, destruction, lies and sheer madness. I cannot continue to believe what we see around us (and what /they/ continue to justify, excuse or simply bury if the other two options aren’t viable) is due to ineptitude. It’s too much, too often, too coincidental. But if it’s NOT ineptitude, what does THAT mean? Honestly, I can’t wrap my head around what is going on in the world right now. It appears to be a race to the bottom, and the good ol’ USA is leading the pack!

I made a promise to myself when I started this blog that I wouldn’t let it go down the path of doom and gloom, that I’d do my best to keep things positive or at least neutral. Since lately I didn’t think I could do that, I’ve simply been keeping my big yap shut. That being said, I figured I’d just share a few memes that struck a chord with me lately.

Here’s to better days ahead!

I’ll be back before long. Just gotta get out of my head for a bit (or maybe get fitted for a tin foil hat!?!). A book review is in the works, concerts on the horizon and other assorted stuff. No travel ’til Autumn due to tightly squeezed budgets, but it is almost surfing “season”, so if nothing else some beach time is right around the corner.

In the meantime, focus on food, water, shelter, medicinal needs, and a means of protection. The LAST thing anybody needs is to become reliant on this Clown Show commonly known as “government”. They do NOT have your best interests at heart. That is YOUR job.

Keep your chins up folks, sanity certainly MUST return at some point…

Well, a guy can dream, can’t he?

Thanks for stopping by!

So many fails!

This morning has me facing a big reality check in my ability to deal with “unforeseen circumstances”.  In short, I’m beating myself up pretty good this morning.

As I write this, we’re at about 30 hours without power.  I realize that for some of you,  this is nothing.  For us, it is extremely unusual.  I’ve lived within a 25 mile radius of where I am now my entire life and to the best of my recollection we’ve never gone more than 24 hours without power.  Outages are usually resolved within 12 hours, most in less than 8.  So yes, we’ve historically been a little spoiled.

But that was then…  Our utilities company (Pacific Gas & Electric) has been really dropping the ball the last couple years.  One of my colleagues that lives close by, but in a more rural section, has routinely gone without power for 4-5 day stretches half a dozen times a year since 2019.

Around 5:00am today – 27 hours into the failure we got an update from the Utilities stating the “expected” restoration is by 10pm TOMORROW.  This is unprecedented in our area.  We’ve lived in the same apartment for 16 years and have never, ever gone 3 days without power.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been a big believer in preparedness since my days as a Boy Scout back in the 70’s and 80’s.   Emergency preparedness has been part of my job for the last 20+ years.  I’ve been an active member of my Town’s Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.), I’ve trained with County Fire Depts. in two different counties, and done FEMA emergency response training.   In short, I know this stuff, and have a knack for imagining a “worst case” for any scenario.

I’ve spent years and countless dollars preparing for emergencies and this minor blip caught me with my pants down…

Don’t get me wrong.   We’re not suffering or in any kind of danger, but I have never felt so unprepared in my life.

I’ll start at the beginning…

When I woke up Tuesday morning,  I just went to the gym expecting that by the time I got home the power would be back on, but stopped off at a 7-11 on the way home to get coffee for the Mrs. and I, just in case.   Which turned out to be a good thing, ‘cuz the power was still out when I got home.

I showered and dressed for work by battery operated lantern and got ready for a day at the office.  The Mrs. happened to have the day off and was going to be home, so before I left I pulled out our “solar generator” and hooked up the TV and our modem so she wouldn’t be bored and also have the capability to recharge her phone if necessary.   I left for work fully expecting the power would come back on at some point during the day.  So far, so good.

By mid-afternoon, still no power and no update from PG&E on restoration. By this time, we’re getting concerned about the food in the fridge and freezer.

I left work a little early so I could stop by our mini-storage unit and pick up our “big” cooler, then detoured to the nearest Quickie-mart and grabbed 20 lbs. of ice.

I got home to find the Mrs. had distributed candles throughout the apartment and had a couple battery lanterns running as well.  She’d turned the solar generator off to conserve energy – it was down to about 70% capacity by that time.

I got busy loading the contents of the fridge into the cooler, only to discover we only had cooler capacity for about 2/3 of the refer, using 2 coolers and an insulated cooler bag.  Not good.

The freezer was packed pretty solid, so it acted as sort of a cold-battery.  Everything was still pretty much frozen solid, but I hooked it up the to generator for a couple hours to recharge the cold, and put the small insulated bag into the fridge for extra insulation.

After all that, I ran up the road where they had power for some takeout tacos and burritos.  Then we unplugged the fridge, and hooked up the modem and TV, watched a little TV for a distraction and then got ready for bed.

Again, I was expecting a resolution overnight.  Turned out to be wishful thinking.

I got up this morning and went to make some coffee.   First problem, I cannot find (in the dark) our kettle.  We ordinarily use an electric kettle, but I bought a “camping” kettle for situations such as this.  Well, I couldn’t find the darn thing anywhere.  (FAIL!)  No worries, says I, I’ll just boil the water in a regular pot.  Now for the stove.  I purchsed a single burner propane stove for emergencies several years ago.  Nice little unit, never had to use it.  I’ve got a dozen bottles of propane for it, which I found immediately,  but again could NOT, for the life of me, find the stove.  (FAIL!)  No worries,  says I, I’ll just grab the Esbit stove out of the go-bag.  So I went to the wife’s go bag, and NO DANG STOVE!! (FAIL!)  I know I got one for her, and was sure I put it in there, but I emptied the bag and it was not to be found.  Then I had to dig out my go-bag, and turned one up. 

I set up the stove, put the pot of water on and let it start heating.  Unbeknownst to me, this little stove would NOT bring the water to a boil.  Why was it unbeknownst to me?  ‘Cuz I never trained with it!  (FAIL!)  I got impatient after the second fuel tab, and made the coffee (in a French press) with water that maxed out at 161 degrees.  It wasn’t gross, but it wasn’t good either.

Another shower and shave by lantern light, then thought I should run the fridge a bit more before I left.  At this point the generator is down to 12%.  I was able to run the unit for about 30 minutes and then it died out at 0%.

Now I’m back at work, thinking about all the food that will likely be spoiled by the time the power comes back on.

So, a lot of lessons learned here.

I had a good solar generator BUT I had only one extension cord to plug things into it.  (FAIL!)

Once the battery was dead, I had no way to recharge it since there is NO sun for the solar panels.  (FAIL!)

I had a little backup battery for charging cell phones, but I’d let it die by not keeping it on the charger, so it was useless.  Using that for charging phones could’ve given us a little more capacity on the generator. (FAIL!)

I wasted time and added stress looking for the propane stove, which I never found. (FAIL!)

Have you seen me?

We were both having issues with our cell phones – they were barely working without wifi. We realized we no longer have an old fashioned “land line phone”. We have the line, we just didn’t replace the last phone when it broke. And the last one was a cordless phone, which needs electricity so it wouldn’t have served us well anyway. (FAIL!)

Our “big” cooler is wholly insufficient for emergencies. Way too small. It’s fine for cookouts or weekend camping trips, not preserving the contents of a whole fridge/freezer. (FAIL!)

Also, it occurred to me that had the power been out at our storage place, I wouldn’t have been able to get to our cooler at all…

Having go-bags is GREAT, but clearly just throwing stuff into a backpack without a clear inventory is a rookie move. (FAIL!)

Having a bunch of emergency supplies is also great, but having said supplies so disorganized you can’t find what you need, when you need it, is plain dumb. (FAIL!)

We did have a couple fortunate things, our hot water is still working and we had heat in the apartment. That was especially lucky, as our furnace hasn’t worked for about 3 years, and we just got a new one a few days before Christmas. Up til then we were relying on electric heat. We’d have been sunk if that were still the case…

All things considered, this has just been embarrassing. But I have learned a great deal from this excersize and can guarantee that the next time will NOT be like this.

Most importantly I’ve learned there is a HUGE difference between “knowing” and “doing”. I know a lot about survival and preparedness but I’ve never really had to put that knowledge to the test before. Now that I have, at best a very kind instructor might give me a C-. Test your gear folks. You don’t want the first time use to be during an emergency situation, trust me on this one.

I’ve got a lot of work to do…

Thanks for stopping by. Be careful out there!

Back at it!

First workout of the New Year this morning.

It was rough getting outta the house – 5:15am, pitch black, cold and pouring rain – but once I got there I was glad I did it.

Today was chest, biceps, triceps and abs. I dropped 20lbs off all my previous weights, so as to not over do it my first time back out. I clearly made the right decision, cuz I’m still feeling it!

I wish I could say it was fun. It wasn’t. But it’s not fun being sluggish and being squeezed into your clothes either.

Listen, if I can do this you can do this. A little really does go a long way. Get out there, lift heavy things. Push yourself. It sucks mightily at first, then you’ll wonder why you went so long without it!

We’ve got a lot of missed time to make up for. The last couple years have put a hurting on a lot of people for a lot of reasons, and there is nothing on the horizon telling us this year is gonna be much better.

Better to face adversity with a clear head and a strong body right?

And like it or not, fitness is one of those things you simply can’t outsource. It’s up to you to make the best possible version of you. Nobody is going to do it for you.

Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now. I wrote that as much for ME as I did for my readers – I’ve got a lot of ingrained laziness to overcome!

Thanks for stopping by!

Uh…wrong again.

We’ve been getting some real rain in the Bay Area over the last week, which is very welcome but good grief! The forecasting has been so outta whack.

The first burst hit us on New Year’s Eve, and we knew we had rain coming, but as it turned out the resulting rainfall was 3 TIMES the amount forecast! Oops. Surprise!!

I spent most of that day stressing about the creek that forms the property line for the facility I work at. When I left Friday night, the creek had 25-30 feet to go before it breached the bank (and flooded the building I’m responsible for!), and by 4pm the next day it only had about 10′ capacity left. By 10pm it was between 5 and 7 feet.

Sunday we got a respite from the rain, the creek dropped considerably and we thought we were in the clear…

Then Monday we get flood warnings and high wind advisories from the National Weather Service. Then the “news” is non-stop with coverage on the impending horror storm coming Wednesday. “It’s going to be the storm of the century!” “Expect massive damages!” There WILL be LOSS OF LIFE!”…

I spent Monday and Tuesday battening down the hatches, clearing all storm drains and rain gutters, prepping response carts with necessary equipment, alerting all other departments, getting stacks of sand bags ready, staging our giant water barriers that will (hopefully) save our basement from flooding and keeping a vigilant watch on the creek. I put my entire staff “on call” for Wednesday night.

When Wednesday rolled around, we were as ready as we could be for this Biblical storm, everyone on high alert.

And then…not much of anything.

Sure, it rained. For a bit. There were a few pretty good gusts of wind. I may even go as far as to say is was the biggest storm we’ve had in the last 2, maybe 3 years. You know, the years California has been in a massive drought?!? Overall, it was pretty much a nothing burger.

I don’t know which is worse, the utter incompetence of the National Weather Service and our local meteorologists or the repulsive fear mongering of the “news” media.

The silver lining in all this is that we didn’t sustain any damage and it was a good drill for my team.

I’m a firm believer in preparedness, so I don’t look at this as wasted time. That being said, I could have done without the added stress that was induced by the over-hyped “news” being churned out nonstop.

We’ve got rain in the forecast on 8 of the next 10 days, so maybe something will happen but now my blood pressure should stay a little more normal, since we’re well prepared.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to diminish the adverse situations some folks have experienced during these storms – there has been some flooding, there have been some power outages, there have been some folks trapped in cars and whatnot. Mostly, we’ve lost a LOT of trees.

No, my issues is with the fools that got it all wrong. There was more distress and more problems on NYE than there should have been because they underestimated the situation, and city/county/state resources weren’t ready for what we got. Then they OVERestimated significantly, causing much undue stress and anxiety for much of the population.

In the end, we got what we desperately needed, some good steady rain and some preparedness training. I guess it wasn’t all bad…

Thanks for stopping by!

Caught unprepared…

Well, this was embarrassing!

As anyone that knows me knows, I’m a bit of a fanatic about preparedness. It started way back in my Boy Scout days, but had been kicked up to a “way of life” for the last 15 years or so.

Well yesterday I had a lapse and it came back to bite me!

Long story short, we’ve got an “extra” car that I’ve kept around for those times when a car is in the shop or for hauling duties (it’s a station wagon, roughly the size of a mini truck in the back with the seats folded down).

I’ve been “planning” to sell it, as I don’t use as much as I thought I would, but as with most things I’ve got more plans than time, so it sat for a while. Then it wouldn’t start due to a dead battery (purchased in February 2022, so it wasn’t old). I took the battery in for an exchange on Tuesday and Wednesday I decided to drive it to work (26 miles each way) to get the fluids working through the engine and transmission. The trip to work was without issue, but coming home the dash lit up with red warning lights about “low coolant” and advised me to stop the car.

I pulled off the highway, into the nearest gas station and steam started blowing out from under the hood- uh oh!

I went in to the store (this was NOT a “service station”) and bought a gallon of water to top off the coolant (yes, I know this isn’t correct, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and all that…) and when I went to pour it in, I discovered that my upper radiator hose had come completely detached and had spewed coolant all over the engine. D’oh!

Now, had I been in my regular ride, I would have had fluids and tools, flashlights, etc. But because this was a “spare” I planned to sell, there was NOTHING in the car. Nothing.

Luckily I had a Leatherman multi-tool on me and with it’s little screwdriver I was able to get the hose reattached and limp the car home – still low on coolant, but it never got hot on the remaining 10 miles home.

I kicked myself all the way home for leaving so unprepared. Thank goodness I was able to sort things out with a $10 bill and a multi-tool, at least to get home. It certainly could have been a lot worse.

So, let this be a lesson for you that you don’t have to learn the hard way! Problems rear their ugly heads when you least expect them, which is why you should ALWAYS be prepared. Even if all you’re doing is going to work, just like any other day…

Thanks for stopping by! Be safe out there!

My Favorite Bison is Still Missing…

Roughly 15 years ago I became involved with my local C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) and while I considered myself to be living the Boy Scout’s motto “Be Prepared”, after going through the training for C.E.R.T. and working with our local LEOs and EMS/FD, I recognized that while I was better prepared than most, I was not even close to where I needed to be.

This lead me down a very long, twisted, sometimes horrifying rabbit hole in the world of preparedness, survivalism, resource depletion, world events and politics.

In the course of study, I ran across a website by the name of “BisonPrepper” and was immediately intrigued.  This guy was unlike EVERYBODY in the “preparedness space” on the web.  He was living proof that “conventional wisdom” could be thrown right out the window, and survival could still be possible on next to nothing financially.   All you had to do was unlearn everything we’ve been taught was ‘necessary’ and learn to embrace frugality.   How was he living proof?  He was doing it,  living off grid on ‘junk land’ in the wilds of NE Nevada, living without an automobile, without plumbing, without ‘utilities’, basically living without most modern conveniences that the majority of people in “first world” countries deem essential to life.  Like refrigeration, for example.

I followed his blog for years and would comment frequently,  and James and I would exchange emails occasionally on things that were too big to discuss in a comments section. I bought (almost) all of his books, and while I didn’t agree with him 100%, I enjoyed his point of view and his out of the box thinking enough that I kept coming back for more, year after year.  And besides, he was funny as all get out (unless you’re easily offended, that is).

Fast forward to June 2020 and Lord  Bison (as he was affectionately called by his loyal minions) announced he was going really off grid, discontinuing his blog and moving to a monthly subscription newsletter via snail mail, so naturally I signed up.

It was at this point Lord Bison and I became friends.  We used to correspond frequently via the Post Office, and I’d send small gifts and holiday greetings and what not, anxiously awaiting every new monthly installment.   Then suddenly it stopped. 

I’ve sent a few letters, sent a few emails and all have gone unanswered.  I tried the phone number I had for him and got the old “this number has been disconnected” recording.  His last newsletter was in May of this year, or maybe it was April,  with a May electronic update (he started doing one post a month after a year or so of Mail only, but I digress) and not a peep since then.  Not even a comment on my blog here, which were frequent before his disappearance.

Have you seen this man?

It’s a weird feeling, not knowing what in the world happened to someone that you “talked” to almost daily for a dozen years or so.  It’s unsettling to say the least.  It’s difficult to wrap my head around how someone important to you can suddenly be gone without a trace…

Jim, you magnificent bastard, if you’re still out there, know that your presence (and your majestic hair!) is missed.  Sido mentioned your disappearance a while back, and a few of us chimed in (including Wilder) in concurrence that none of us had heard from you, which is worrisome. 

My hope is that you’ve ‘gone to ground’ out in the BiPOD you told us all about, but it gets harder every day to convince myself of that.   My pessimism, so finely honed under your tutelage, keeps telling me otherwise.  Six months is a long time for someone with as much to say as you do, to keep quiet.

If you’re reading this, let me say Thank You once again for everything you did for me and the greater collection of Minions. Living through these crazy times we find ourselves in is going to be a bit less frightful thanks to you and your life’s work.  I agree with the notion that nobody is ever “fully prepared”, but I can say with 100% certainty that I’m miles beyond where I was when I found you, and my fear of the unknown has DEcreased by 90%, at least. And that is because of you.

Whether we meet again in this life or the next, your next jelly-filled donut is on me Buddy!

Thanks for reading.


M.D. Creekmore's survival blog provides essential prepping information to fortify your resilience. Equip yourself for any scenario and gain peace of mind in an unpredictable world.

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