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February 10, 2012

I remember once when I was in high school and the electric lawn mower we had broke down. I would grouse to my dad about using the hand mower, and he would give me this look of disbelief and I think a touch of sadness, then he would say… back in my day we never had anything but a hand mower to cut grass. Didn’t I tell you that I bought my first car with money I made cutting other peoples grass… and we never even dreamed of a power mower. Sometimes, son, I think we should go back to the way things were.

It must be some kind of genetics but I too now long for the ways of old, to be thrust into a time machine and have society as a whole brought back about 50 years. Yes today we have uncountable ‘modern’ convenience to make our life easier, but overall is this reliance a good thing? We rely so much on things out of our control that when these things break down our lives are directly effected.

Take for instance the banks. I can easily remember going into a bank with my bank book to make a deposit. The teller would look up my account on paper files add the new money and run the book through a printer where it added the amount to my bank book. Then the teller would actually initial the transaction in the book! If for some reason the teller could not find my account card they would go to the master bank book where it was recorded and make the changes. Now as everyone knows our banking information is (only) stored on some bank’s computer hard drive.

I have seen what happens when the power goes out in our small town of Fairbanks. No ATM’s, no cash registers working, no gas pumps working… Well you get the idea, we are totally at the mercy of the electronic age. When one part of this interconnected system breaks down the ripple effect spreads to a much wider area. When this occurs people tend to get upset and the result is chaos. If this were to happen in a large city or God forbid an entire geographic region, I am sure, depending on how long the problem lasts, that before long we would see martial law declared and the national guard patrolling the streets. (Remember what happened in New Orleans after the hurricane)

I am not saying that we should go back to the paper records of old. Or that every store have back up manual cash registers. I am saying people should be fully aware of the potential for this happening in there home town, and take some personal responsibility for there wellbeing. I lived in Philadelphia with a population of almost 2 million people and I have seen first hand what happens when a major snow storm is one the way. You have to ware football pads to go food shopping. People just act stupid when they perceive an emergency situation is threating.

When we live our lives with the knowledge that this possibility exists then maybe we would be prepared for its eventuality. We laugh at certain religions that encourage there members to have at least a months food supply on hand. We think some people are crazy to keep some extra cash hidden in there home. We look at people that have a backup generator and gallons of fresh water in there basement as some kind of end of world crazies.

Like the kid with the hand lawn mower, a man with a gas chain saw can survive and build a house if he wanted to. The man with some extra food, water, medicine, generator and weapon can ‘safely’ sit in his home and watch the others run in circles and fight each other for the quickly disappearing supplies that are out there.

Living in Philadelphia for 48 years I didn’t realize this, probably because I watched too much reality TV that never showed the ‘real’ reality…

now I am well stocked & no TV.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. kara permalink
    February 10, 2012 5:54 pm

    i will admit that living out away from all the chaos is extremely nice,, i kinda like the no tv and not being dependent on all thing electric,,


  2. Del permalink
    February 10, 2012 10:17 pm

    Yes Pete even here in Fl we have experienced that… And believe me I am stocked too….. Hurricanes are wild to go though…. I have some of the wildest pictures of hurricane Andrew 2 weeks after the storm went through south Miami… Like a war it was … Had to be prepared for anything…. Really wakes you up natural disasters…


  3. Liz permalink
    February 11, 2012 12:01 pm

    We all should have a supply of food, water, ways to cook and heat in this day and age. Anyone who doesn’t is totally out of touch with reality! Each time I get groceries, I get a little extra something to put away. One should really remember that things aren’;t going to continue as we know it today and be a bit prepared. Is why I used to like to drive my horses…figured good for them to know those kinds of things, how to work…same as I need to remember how to work.


  4. AussieAlaskan permalink
    February 11, 2012 12:28 pm

    One of my pet peeves – electric windows on cars – what’s so hard about winding them up and down, mechanically?! And when they go wrong, you got nothing…


  5. Jon permalink
    February 12, 2012 12:20 am

    I remember the little bank in the next small town to my hometown in N.Mn. Same thing, initial the deposit book.
    Never used a reel type mower, though the next door neighbor had one. Might buy one the next time out; $2-300 for a mower is getting up there.
    Then the digital cash register. Last year we went to a little reunion in NE Mn. Stopped in the grocery store & the cashier actually counted the change back to me! Then I heard real church bells on Sun. for the first time in years. Johnny Cash’s Sunday Morning Comin’ Down played through my head. Then modern times hit in the Twin Cities; I had to walk a cashier through my change return when I gave her change to match the change on the total after I’d given her a $20. Jeez Louise!!

    Aussie, I like the power options on cars myself; never had problems with ’em.

    Even in Mn. people shop like crazy for a forecast snow storm, like it’s the end of the world.


  6. AussieAlaskan permalink
    February 12, 2012 8:51 am

    Jon, the new things are all great as long as they work. I just like many things a bit less complicated – scientific advances are truly wonderful but some of the applications aren’t necessary to me :-) – just my opinion, and I am only one :-)


    • kara permalink
      February 12, 2012 1:46 pm

      i have never liked the electric windows just show’s how lazy people have gotten that they can’t take the time to use the winder and it’s now really hard to find a vehicle that doesn’t have everything electric,, i also don’t like aotomatics i prefer a standard but they are also harder to come by,


  7. Rosalyn permalink
    February 12, 2012 3:16 pm

    Of course living out where we live, it is a necessity to stock up some. Sometimes due to weather, it is not so easy to get a car started to drive clear to town for some small item. The higher gas prices go, the less often we drive to town. I like my roll down windows on my truck and even the push down door locks and it is a 2009 model. Wish it was a manual transmission, too. Hate the 11 computers under the hood that kill the battery if it isn’t started ever few days. How energy efficient is that? Really love the no TV, no phone, no light bill. If I run out of fuel for the generator, I go without until I can afford more. No running up a bill I can’t pay.


    • AussieAlaskan permalink
      February 12, 2012 6:27 pm

      Rosalyn, you are in the minority these days but I think you’re right – “a bill you can’t pay”, as in credit, most people accept as the norm nowadays. And it’s part of the problem. Like I referred, I will not, would not, back track science, but there are ways and ways to use it. And I love a standard transmission, too – as well as other things, way easier on the engine to rock than an auto.


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