*My First Month In The Rubicon*
A new guy's month in review
By: Roadgrime
30 April 2006

It always amazes me how much things can change in as little a month, once you make up your mind that you want to. Looking back at my first month in the Rubicon, after getting off probation, its not surprising that my views and actions have changed.

First the dues, 15.00 for three months? I have saved that already in my first month on my N100 masks (I'm amazed that the Rubicon members can still get them cheaply, when many other places no longer have them at all!), in fact by next month I will have saved enough just on masks to pay for a year's worth of dues. Considering a lot of places on the web are selling them now for 10.00 each... and we're paying less than $6.00? So aside from the knowledge I have picked up, and everything more I still have to learn, the Rubicon has already paid for itself.

Several of my preps have been moved up in response to the idea of the time to prepare is now. The Rubicon always seems to have "The Scoop" WAY before the media puts it out. In my mind (now) the money sitting in the bank doesn’t do me much good IF something happens, and it does even less good there WHEN something happens. Case in point, last week I talked with the wife and decided we should go ahead and get the generator we had been saving for. The downside to this was the money was set aside for either a generator or a trailer... well the trailer lost this month. No big deal really just means I need to do more consolidating to see what I can fit in the truck.

Anyway I got a good deal on the genny with a rebate and a coupon. Well low and behold 2 days after I bought the generator flooding started around here. On my next trip to home depot no generators were to be had. My place isn’t in danger of flooding so no big deal right? Wrong last night severe thunderstorms rolled through here, 60 mph winds etc, and down goes the power. We were quite comfortable, TV, internet, fridge running, and sitting here watching a DVD player. The only downside is I have yet to figure out how I want to wire in the well since that was the main reason for purchasing it, But Rubicon members are already suggesting how that can easily be done. This week I am going to focus on that and see what I can come up with.

I find now the second question I ask myself for every new idea is, "how can I test it, and/or does it need to be tested?". The first Question now is always, "how do I make it happen"? After having a conversation with some folks this week about "tickets" my next question was, "would it all fit in the truck if a HAVE to leave home"? Which means this next week I am going to load up a 30 day ticket, take some pictures, weigh it, and see if it fits. 1 person’s ticket “should” be no problem, but tickets for 5 could be.

I now see that for me, bugging out is a less than ideal situation, and even less so without a vehicle, and ESPECIALLY if you have no place pre-prepared to bug out TO... but its something I have to deal with and work out. I have always been a skeptic about ideas, and like to question them and try them for myself, so the Facta Non Verba mentality suits me, but the Rubicon is re-focusing HOW I test ideas. Making sure I could get 5 people's tickets into the truck is what’s important. Figuring out how to consolidate and get more in it is secondary, but it all starts with trying it out.

I think after a month of reading articles following topics and adding my knowledge when I have something to share, The Biggest value I have found on the Rubicon is that I have found some glaring holes in my preparations in some areas, and some flaws in my plans. Reading Ragnar Bensons “urban survival” this week really focuses the Rubicon's policy of "backups for back ups" or “Rule of three” In looking at my preps I have some preps in place that are fragile in nature and it would not take much to render them useless, so I need to get to work on those.

Another aspect is "Experts". The Rubicon has "Real" experts. There's a BIG difference between "people who do something a lot" and a "True Expert". We all know someone that we consider to be a guru in some area, but even that is FAR from being a bonified expert. I think the word "Expert" is thrown around way too casually outside of the Rubicon. I also like the fact that no one says "I heard", Or "A friend says"... When people in the Rubicon speak, it's from their own personal experience(s). Information is put forward in a way that YOU can try it out for yourself and duplicate the original author's ideas and achievements.

It's also surprised me how me old threads I have read on other forums have came back to me in the last month, threads that give a person a false sense of security. For instance yesterday, working in the garden, the rototiller up and died. Well knowing I needed to get the work done, it was off to use the hand tools.

While busting my butt doing the work with those tools, A thread came back to me about a person who had seeds stored in case "something happened"... now this person didn't have a garden at that time, but they said they would "put one in" if food got scarce. They had a shovel and hoe and that would be enough they "said"... Now if you have never busted up sod by hand, it stinks in a big bad way. Me, I prefer the tiller, let alone that once food gets scarce its too late to put in a garden.

Can I do it with the shovel? Sure, but after yesterday I dont want too. Not to mention I doubt this person had a clue just how much food you have to grow to live off the garden. This year I am logging how much I get out of the garden so I know how far it goes, how long it takes to grow, and what I can do better next year. I have read articles where Rubicon members have DONE exactly this... Picture articles spanning YEARS.

I also have some veggies growing in the garage, but not well, so the Rubicon's hydroponics articles are on my "must read" list... What if you CAN'T grow outside? Rubies have already thought about this, and experimented heavily with it.

Another thread I remembered this morning from another site was a guy who said he had enough beans to sprout in jars to live off of. Having now TRIED THEM, I can say my family and I dont like them AT ALL, and would have been pretty ticked off having to live off of them if I had just taken their word for it. Again, I am sure some people bought into this idea as the thread went on for days about how many beans to stock for sprouting, and how to store them. On and on... it sounded good, But I never heard anyone say, "I tried this, and it works, and I liked them". In fact those who popped in and expressed concerns were put in their place and quick. Rubies say, "Well, let's give it a try", and then they post about their experiences, good or bad, and then encourage YOU to try it too.

So again let me say thanks to everyone in the Rubicon who shares their knowledge and makes this the great place it is, and especially a big thank you to those who have gone out of their way to answer my questions and help me move forward. Once you have a realistic plan, and have TESTED IT, it allows you to see the glaring flaws in your old plans.

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