Notes From The Bunker

Web Name: Notes From The Bunker






Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

Posted on by Commander Zero23

In a case of wanting it both ways, the Biden admin says to ignore inflation numbers because that date is from June and outdated..BUT…embrace the employment figures which are..uhm…also from June and equally outdated.

Can’t make this stuff up.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, inflation continues its march. What is interesting is that precious metals prices are down. Gold and silver are down to some pretty attractive prices if you can get past the premiums. Why so down? Dunno. The cynic in me says ‘market manipulation’ but it could be other things…cash strapped entities may be dumping their metals to raise cash. Who knows? I just know that this might be a good time to sink some of your devaluing dollars in bargain-priced metals.

Food prices are definitely on the upswing and you can’t convince me otherwise. Fortunately I have the pickiness of a stray dog, so I don’t mind eating the same thing over and over (if I like it) and i don’t need the top-of-the-line brand for most things (really, any pasta is just like any other brand…and rice is pretty hard to distinguish between brands unless you have epicanthic folds.)

I’m usually pretty cautious with my spending because I’ve been in some ugly situations, but as of late. In this economy (or any economy, really) you can’t take anything for granted. You have to be very aware that every day  is possibly your last day at your job and handle your finances accordingly…because one day that is exactly what is going to happen. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

Reagan ran on the slogan of “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” Someone should bring that back. A  couple years ago under the Other Guy gas was two bucks, I didn’t have to worry about ‘supply chain issues’, the market was doing well, and I didn’t feel like Ragnarok was right around the corner.

But…thats what being a survivalist is about, I guess. Stock it away during the good times so it’s there for the bad. I used the Trump years to clean up finances, buy guns and ammo, and improve my position. As a result, I’m probably well situated to ride out Bidenflation and the other lunacy him and his fellow travelers bring…but that doesn’t mean I’m okay with it.

2024 can’t get here fast enough.

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Replies

Answering an email

Posted on by Commander Zero13

This came in email today;

I was wondering how you came to decide on your quota/budget/allocations you do for things like gold, silver, ammo, IRA’s, cash, storage food etc.  You just figure a percentage of income to each category or?  Was wondering if you did some research to arrive at your system or perhaps you have tweaked it over the years?
So, really, a couple questions there…how do I decide on quotas, budget, and allocations.Well, there’s a ‘baseline’ level.. I want to have X amount of food on-hand. I want X amount of money in the bank. I want X amount of silver set aside. That process is pretty much a “sit and think, then guess” sort of affair. Food? I’d like at least a years worth, right? Okay, so think about what I like to eat and how much a years worth of it looks like. There’s your quota, or total. Same for everything else. Establish a baseline amount and then add to it.Example: I wanted the ‘Dave Ramsey’ style emergency fund. Started with $1000 in the bank. Ok, that covers most small immediate emergencies. Now what? Well, I’d like to have $5k by the end of this year, $10k by next year, $15k the year after that, and I’ll call it ‘fully funded’ when its at $20k. Alright, that looks like $416 a month to put away for emergencies. So..I do that. Extra money comes in, I put it towards that, which reduces the amount I need to come up with each month. If I get a windfall..say $2000…and finish my goal for the year early, great…now I can use the resources that would have gone towards that for other things.Budgeting is easy….You know youre going to make, say, $3000 this month. Spend it all on paper at the beginning of the month. $1000 rent, $400 food, $300 utilities, etc, etc. until you’ve spent all $3000 on paper. Thats your budget. Every greenback has an assignment or mission. There shouldnt be any money that doesnt have a task assigned to it…even if that task is just ‘fun’ or ‘preps’ or ‘hookers-n-blow’.Allocations are very haphazard. Once I write out my budget, I know I’ll  have, say, $375 available to me each month for prep-related stuff. Ok…15% to silver, 15% to gold, 40% to food, 15% to gun stuff, 15% to other gear. Its arbitrary but thats the numbers I choose…you can choose whatever you want….50/50 guns and food. Or 20/80 food and gold. Only you know what your goals are. Unexpected windfall? It gets spent to the same allocation.My budgeting and allocations are based on a yearly budget. If I want to have $5k in the emergency fund by the end of this year, and I get that $5k in the bank by September. Do I put those resources to next years emergency fund budget and get an early start on getting next year done? Not usually. I treat each year on its own. If I finish early for this year, then I work on one of the other goals for this year.I can’t tell you what to do, I can only tell you what works for me. But if you want my suggestion, I’d tell you exactly how I do/did things:1) Establish a baseline amount of the item you want. It could be a period’s worth of food, a dollar value of cash, a weight of silver/gold, a quantity of ammo. Whatever. Just get a number to start shooting for as a goal.2) Figure how much you need to do of that thing each month to get to the end of your yearly goal. X ounces each month, X dollars each month, X gallons each month…whatever.3) If those amounts are do-able, do them. Follow your plan as religiously as possible. If the amounts aren’t do-able, revise your end-of-year goal so that the monthly contributions are do-able.4) Set the goals for several years out. I go two years out past the current one. Life happens, you may not meet your goal in a particular year…carry the unfinished parts through the next one and try harder.5) Decide what happens when your goal is met. I met my emergency fund goal a while back. Do I stop contributing? I could…I met my goal, the amount in the bank is good enough to cover 99% of any emergency. But…you can’t have too much money, so my modest goal is to increase it by 10% every year. An easy enough goal. Some things, like certain guns for instance, when I hit my goal I’m done. Divert the resources elsewhere. Only you can decide what items are ‘enough is enough’ and what items are ‘at desired level, now just maintaining and slightly growing’.Thats really it. Just open a spreadsheet, make a list, and start budgeting. Once you’ve got your budget, You’ll know how much you can spend on a particular need. Stick tot he plan, stick to the budget. Sometimes you gotta go off-script, but if you can stay on the plan, stay on the budget, it makes life a lot easier.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged theory | 13 Replies

First World to Third World

Posted on by Commander Zero40

I noticed that silver was below $20 for the first time in quite a while. I’ve already purchased my quota of silver for the year so that money is going to other things….but even with silver at $20, the premium is dang near 23%. Look, I know that the premium is what the store makes money on, but, dammit, $4.50/oz seems a bit high for silver that, pre-covid, was a buck and a half over.

A better question is why, during inflationary times, precious metals are hitting such lows? The easy answer, of course, is that ‘the markets are being manipulated’. Maybe. I honestly haven’t examined it. But I do know that I feel a bit more secure with a bunch of gold and silver sitting in the bottom of the safe.

Which reminds me, my water heater puked it’s guts out last night. now, since I have a pretty healthy emergency fund I can literally just write a check and not lose any sleep over it. In fact, this happened several years ago with a different water heater I had. The difference now is that after calling several plumbing outfits here in town, the earliest they can get me in is in two weeks. Two weeks???? They blame ‘staffing issues’. When the heck did the US become a Third World country? This is a country where it used to be you could order anything you wanted and it would done in two days, tops. Now its “staffing’ and ‘supply chain issues’ and ‘nobody wants to work’. It’s a slow descent into Third World-ism, but its a descent all the same.

While I fully agree that the news cycle brings us a lot of things these days…Supreme Court decisions, ‘mass shootings’, etc….don’t take your eye off what impacts you the most: this economic donkey show that the Biden people have foisted upon us.

About the only glimmer of hope seen lately is that gas prices are, a smidgen lower than what they were a week ago. Speaking of market manipulation, how much do you want to bet that gas prices will miraculously decrease just in time for the elections?

Posted in Uncategorized | 40 Replies

Independence Day

Posted on by Commander Zero5

Remember, kids…we don’t celebrate the Fourth of July. We celebrate Independence Day. If you keep calling the holiday ‘the Fourth of July’ you’re basically ignoring it’s history. And, speaking of history, here’s actual photographs of the guys that were stacking bodies 246 years ago.

In the meantime, today, like Patriots Day, is a day best celebrated by taking your evil black rifle to the range and practicing the kind of shooting that would have been handy (or will be handy) in a revolution against a tyrannical .gov.

This holiday brought to you by guys with guns.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged holiday | 5 Replies

Scenes from CostCo

Posted on by Commander Zero10

As is my habit, I hit the Co’s today for my shopping (WinCo and CostCo). Standing in the checkout line at CostCo there is a guy behind me with but one item. I ask him if he’d like to get in front of me.

Him: No, but thanks. It’s not like you’ve got a lot of stuff. Not like your preparing for the upcoming famine or anything.
Me: Nah, I got that taken care of months back. I’m all set.
Him: Yeah? I’m just getting started.
Me: You know that WinCo has a section of buckets, lids, and 50# bags of wheat, rice, and stuff like that, right?
Him: No, I didn’t. <Interested voice>
Me: Yeah, head back to the corner where the bulk coffee is. They’ve got buckets, lids, water storage containers, and that sort of thing. Check ’em out, it’s like one-stop shopping.
Him: Thanks!

And that’s how it happens, guys. That’s how you wind up meeting fellow like-minded individuals. My dance card is already filled in terms of ‘enough’ LMI friends, so I’m not particularly interested in adding more to the fold, but I’m more than happy to guide someone to resources that they may not have been aware of. One fed and self-sufficient neighbor is one less potential looter.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged people | 10 Replies

Thoughts on the winters heating issues

Posted on by Commander Zero17

So, it seems like not much has changed lately….inflation? Check. Russia doing Russia things because theyre Russia? Check. Dementia-addled President? Check. Gas still being insane? Check.

This is not the New Normal I was promised.

But…it is what it is, as the kids say. Now that July is here it is time to start thinking about fall and winter. If inflation, ‘supply chain issues’, and fuel prices don’t stop what they are currently doing, I can see this being an uncomfortably cold winter for many folks. Might be a lot of people turning the thermostats down a bit lower than they might do otherwise.

I always keep a cold house in the winter, so it’s no big deal to me. I usually keep the thermostat around 63-65 in the winter. But if you’re one of those people that needs 72 degrees all the time….well… this winter might be the one where youre eyes jump out of your skull likein a Tom-n-Jerry cartoon when you see your heating bill.

Years ago I signed up for ‘budget billing’ with my utility company. Basically, they take the entire previous years worth of utility charges, add them up, divide by twelve, and the result is what they bill you for each month regardless of your usage. At the end of the year you either owe them or you have a credit built up with them. Advantage? Predictable payments every month. In the summer, my heating bill is only a few bucks but in the winter it can be around $150+ per month. (Natural gas, in case youre curious.) But by the time the cold weather rolls around I’ve usually built up enough padding over the summer that the higher winter bills are mitigated by the credits from ‘overpaying’ over the summer. From a monthly budget standpoint, this is the way.

Given the proven adage of there beingno problem that can’t be made worse by having .gov get involved, I can see the Biden people ‘doing something’ to ‘keep Americans warm’ this winter. Tax credits? Price controls? Moratoriums on service disconnections for unpaid bills? Dare I say it….nationalization? Who knows? But what I do know is that now is the time to be making plans for bizarre inflation-adjusted, scarcity-affected heating costs this winter….not five minute after the mercury dips into freezing.

Get the window insulation, weather stripping, electric space  heaters, propane/kero heaters now because a) theyre only going to be more expensive in the fall and b) they won’t be available in the fall. Or, easier and less work, start socking away money now to be ready to pay for the increased heating costs that are virtually guaranteed to be coming this winter.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged heating, theory | 17 Replies

“Past performance is no guarantee of future results”

Posted on by Commander Zero6

If you go hiking in Texas and then go hiking in Colorado, the environment must be exactly the same, right? I hike in Texas, you hike in Colorado…hiking is the same everywhere, right?

Darwin: No.

Seems pretty stupid on its face, but here it is:

“These hikers said they did not understand why it was so cold and rainy in Colorado, because it has been ‘so hot in Texas’ where they hike all the time,” rescuers said.

Mother Nature has no no sense of humour about these things. Look, it’s 90 degrees out this weekend and even though sitting in my truck is like being in an oven I still carry a heavy coat, rain poncho, sleeping bag, and other cold/wet weather gear in my truckbox….year-round.

But, interestingly, there is a bit of a cautionary tale and lesson here: just because something went one way when you experienced it does not necessarily mean that a similar experience will beget similar results. Hiking in Colorado doesn’t mean you will have the same experience as hiking in Texas…so plan accordingly. The lesson there is that just because you survived [name of experience] last time doesn’t mean that you will this time.

Made it through the inflationary period of the late 1970’s? And its gas shortages? That doesn’t mean that you’ll weather the current one. The things you did to mitigate negative outcomes that time may not work as well this time. As the guys at the brokerages say – “Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Don’t get complacent and think that just because you made it through the last blackout, shortage, pandemic, hurricane, etc. that you will therefore make it though the next one by doing the same thing.

The military has that saying about how we’re always planning to fight the last war. The implication being that we assume the next one will be like the last one and therefore whatver we learned from the last one will stand us in good stead on the next one. Sometimes that’s true. But survivalism isn’t about trusting to ‘Usually’ and ‘sometimes’.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged theory | 6 Replies

Where else would I go?

Posted on by Commander ZeroReply

A long, busy, stressful week. I’m looking forward to a bit of a respite this weekend as well as getting to the range for a little Independence Day shooty goodness. And, of course, get caught up on blogging. Being an adult really sucks when it just consumes all your available time and then some.

So, no, not in a FEMA camp or UN interrogation cell….just a victim of adulting.

When 5pm rolls around today, though….I’m outta here like Fred Flintstone.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a reply

NYS gun laws and the Supreme Court

Posted on by Commander Zero33

So the Supreme Court rules that NYS’ famous ‘gotta show a good reason’ clause for carry permits is unconstitutional. For those of us from NY, the answer as to what they will do is obvious – they’ll make the process so onerous that it will be a de facto ban. They’ll require ‘training’ from .gov-approved instructors and then simply not approve any instructors, they’ll raise the fees and prices into the stratosphere, they’ll put so many hoops, hurdles, and obstacles in the way that it may as well be ‘business as usual’ as it was before the decision.

But, take your victories where you can. Especially nowadays.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged news | 33 Replies

The weather

Posted on by Commander Zero19

I don’t watch a lot of television. I simply don’t have the time. There’s always something else i should be doing so sitting in front of the tv for an hour or two is a massive guilt-inducing time waster. But, sometimes I like to run it for background noise while I’m doing stuff. I turned it on today and was welcomes by the EBS/EAS alert tones (they still use  both because dinosaurs like me grew up on the older sounds. Those sounds, by the way, have an interesting backstory .. being chosen specifically for their unpleasantness)

As it turned out, we were in the path of a major thunderstorm. You know, in an era of Bidenflation, pandemic, identity politics run amok, ‘supply chain issues’, and hints of war, it’s easy to forget that sometimes the EOTWAWKI that comes a-knocking is one brought to you by Mother Nature.

As the saying goes, everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it. I can’t control the weather, but I can control my response to it. Made sure the backup power supplies were on standy by, just in case…and just stuck close to the house. Not much else to do.

We get so wrapped up in those big events that we overlook that the smaller ones are more likely to catch us before the big ones do.

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Replies


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