Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Two Preparedness Principles: Buy Quality and Take Care

Survival Mom regularly offers tips to move people down Preparedness Lane where they can gather items for their 72-hour bag.

For years, Citizens have been saying they don't know how to build a 72-hour bag. After 30 minutes reminding folks of "It's happened before. I will happen again.", "where do I start?" is just ONE question. Even the calendar at gets mixed reviews because Americans still tend to be overwhelmed by the elephant, even when shown the small bites it takes to eat it.

Sites like this help take the small bites.


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via The Survival Mom by thesurvivalmom on 11/24/09

Last year about this time, our family was vacationing in Disney World.  We were having the time of our lives when a depressing thought occurred to me. "This could be our last vacation here."  Likewise, when I was admiring a particularly beautiful Brighton purse I own, I thought, "I might not be able to afford one of these again."  Tumultuous times of unemployment, record home foreclosures, and reckless government spending don't exactly portend a prosperous future.

With this in mind, I've decided to always buy the best quality products I possibly can.  In a way, it seems counter-intuitive.  Our income has decreased, so shouldn't we be switching to the cheapest off-brands on the market?  Not at all.  Going, "cheap" is often more expensive than buying quality in the first place. 

Last month I switched to Levis jeans for my son after his knees had poked their way through the eleventh pair of off-brand jeans this year.  So far, the Levis, all bought on eBay, seem to be tougher than he is, and that's saying a lot!  My daughter needs a pair of winter boots and found a pair she liked that was made of faux leather.  The cheap materials won't keep her feet warm nor will they stand up to the wear and tear that I know she'll deliver.  A pair of $19 boots that are scuffed and ruined in a month are more expensive per wear than a $50 pair that ends up being worn by two siblings and later sold at a garage sale for $10!  That's the real bargain!

photo by afsilva

photo by afsilva

A partner principle to buying quality is taking care of what you own!   "Oh, well.  I'll just get another one!" was a common statement when something I owned was lost or broken.  That's not how I think anymore.  I can't think like that anymore!  There is no guarantee that I'll have the extra dollars to buy a pair of replacement sunglasses.  Instead,  the habit of always, always putting my sunglasses in a special pocket in my purse insures they'll be there when I need them and will be far less likely to disappear.  (By the way, I am notorious when it comes to losing sunglasses!)

I've been teaching my children to take care of what they own.  We make sure that every Uno card makes its' way back into the box and that no puzzle pieces go missing.  There are plenty of bookshelves in the house, and that's where our books belong.  Not only do these extra steps insure our belongings remain in good condition, but it teaches responsibility and respect.

Whatever direction our economy and our own personal fortunes take, these two principles will never be outdated.  They make too much sense to ever become obsolete.

© 2009, thesurvivalmom. All rights reserved.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

DHS Unveils Critical Infrastructure Website for the Public

With this, Citizens have a new tool to help them help their government monitor Critical Infrastructure efforts.

Please use this site to its fullest potential.


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via Home Station by Rusty Cawley on 11/20/09

DHS this week unveiled a new website, "Critical Infrastructure Protection," as part of the agency's attempt to raise public awareness of the importance of critical infrastructure and key assets (CIKR).  The page contains links to critical infrastructure protection programs and plans, as well as resources.  The page is geared toward the general public and the familiar layout is the same as other DHS pages.

See the Critical Infrastructure Protection website here.


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Ducks and Eagles

Years ago, my friend, Harvey Mackay, told me a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point. He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey . He handed my friend a laminated card and said: "I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement." Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said: Wally's Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean! As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, "Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf." My friend said jokingly, "No, I'd prefer a soft drink." Wally smiled and said, "No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice." Almost stuttering, Harvey said, "I'll take a Diet Coke." Handing him his drink, Wally said, "If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today."

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card. "These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio." And as if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

"Tell me, Wally," my amazed friend asked the driver, "have you always served customers like this?"

Wally smiled into the rearview mirror. "No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day. He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, `Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.'"

"That hit me right between the eyes," said Wally. "Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more."

"I take it that has paid off for you," Harvey said. "It sure has," Wally replied. "My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action." Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab.

I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting.

Johnny the Bagger and Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. They decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

How about you?

This came from my cousin-in-law in FL. I don't know who the original author it. If it is copyright material, let me know and I will credit or remove.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In typical US fashion, reactionary reactions rule.

However, in Finland, one can get a letter from the North Pole. explains the details.

IF there IS a sex-offender issue in Finland, one can imagine that the local folks managing the program have a plan in place to screen the letter before it's mailed.

Can we in USA learn anything about this from our neighbors?

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Starry-eyed children writing letters to the jolly man at the North Pole this holiday season likely won't get a response from ...

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Monday, November 09, 2009

That mean, hateful Christian.....

The shooting at Fort Hood produced an out-cry from the Muslim community. "Don't judge us based on the action of one man." "After all, he does not represent Islam." "Islam is a religion of peace." A religion of peace?

Can we say the same for the church? Are Christians representative of peace? Can Christians commit adultery, blasphemy, carnality, drunkenness, envy, all the way to zeal for the wrong thing without bringing judgment and probably shame to the Name?

"Oh! John says he's a Christian! Did you hear what he DID?"

Can we be all about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, without producing a judgment in the mind of the worldly? We can't have it both ways. We either are bringing honor to Jesus or we are not.

In the case of the Major, he either represents Islam or he does not.

What kind of church are we building? Search the term one another for ideas. How about being devoted to one another? How about encourage one another? There's even two books on "One Anothering".

When Jesus is lifted up, He will draw all men to Him. When the church acts like the Church, the result is not "that mean hateful Christian" but rather a congregation that focuses on One Anothering.

After all, it's people, not the building, that makes the Church.

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