"Lights Out" by HalfFast

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by albionjessica, May 11, 2006.

  1. albionjessica

    albionjessica Hiccoughs after eating

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    http://www.giltweasel.com/stuff/LightsOut-Current.pdf

    This book has a few homesteading themes, as well as a few survivalist themes. Have you read it? I can't remember who on this site sent me the link, but I am so grateful. I thought it was a good read for those rainy afternoons, like today, when I couldn't get out and do much. What did you think of it, if you have read it?

    I thought the author was on the money when s/he outlined why standing communities were stronger than just-thrown-together groups. I found it interesting that s/he made the survivalist group fail so miserably though. It would be nice to see a well thought out story that included a group of folks like some of the people on HT trying to make a go of it. On my first reading, I thought it kind of shallow to portray city gangs as simple-minded revenge-seeking hoodlums... but then I thought of the inner-city as I knew it and found that s/he wasn't quite off the mark. There are a lot of prideful people in gangs, and long-term effects of actions aren't usually thought out. The biker gang was kind of funny to me, although I can see how the bikes would be handy for bringing a lot of people from one place to another fast in a situation where cars just wouldn't cut it.

    I didn't want to give too much away for those of you who haven't read this book yet, so I'll reserve my more in depth opinions for when someone else joins in.

    If you haven't read it, I heartilly suggest it. I would love to hear your opinions.
     
  2. triana1326

    triana1326 Dances in moonlight

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    I believe that I was the one who posted the link to the story. I really enjoyed reading it - in fact I sat and read it front to back in one sitting (my butt was asleep by then). I thought that it was pretty realistic, but there were a few times where I thought that the things they needed just kinda "fell" into their laps, rather than having them work out a way to do without or create something to replace that item. It also showed how important it is to be prepared for emergencies. If they had stockpiled a few months of supplies/water/tool/ammo, they wouldn't have had to make those dangerous trips out to stores and elsewhere...All in all, a great read and it gives you something to think about while you're canning your veggies from your garden...
     

  3. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I am glad you liked it, I have been meaning to get it since triana 1326 mentioned it. Did you get your strawberries planted? My wife has picked a handful from the 120 berries ( planted last Nov when i was on leave) with the babies she says they dont want to share anywith her and they will not share them with each other says they must get it from me LOL The rabbits are eating all their leaves wish I was home to make a rabbit proof fence for them.
     
  4. albionjessica

    albionjessica Hiccoughs after eating

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    Haven't planted the strawberries yet, actually. Tomatoes neither. We did get the pole beans and their flowers in. We're doing Moonflowers and Morning Glories to add some color to the bean teepees. We also got the straight-8 and pickling cukes in, with sunflowers lining the fence behind them. The big garden has to wait because the rain started before I had even an eighth of it dug up. It's just a big soggy mess now. That, and it was so hard to dig up that eighth by hand that we're just going to rent a tiller to do the rest as soon as the storm passes. Everything should be in this time next week, if all goes well. I'm still undecided on where I want the strawberries. I originally planned them to go in right between the onions, because onions and strawberries are companions... but that's in the big garden that I will be tilling.

    Whoo... what a way to get off topic. Kind of. The folks in the book had to do all this, and I think I remember them having to use a mantis or some other small garden tiller. We were heavily warned against getting a mantis for big veggie gardens. Do you think a mantis would really hold up to as much work as they were doing in the book?

    I agree that some things in the book were a bit miraculous. Like them finding those barrels full of baby clothes and supplies burried in the woods. And defeating the biker gang only to find this huge hoard of usefull items. And finding grenades and whatnot in a vacated house in the neighborhood. What else did you find unrealistic?
     
  5. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    So do you think it is very helpful? I have always wondered what you all consider the situation to be when you say TSHF, I mean, what triggers it, how will it manifest itself etc.
    Any tool that needs gasoline is only as good as the gasoline supply. Once you are cut off from it you have something useless sitting around. I spent this morning sharpening the scythe and then cutting a steep area, too steep for a mower. Faster, and much nicer to use than one of those weedeaters. so, we have a Mantis (15 years old) and my husband and I had a race, he with the mantis and I with some real good handtools, I won. but it was not in breaking sod, though I think I would have won that, definitely. Proper tools are half the work. we have stocked up on real good handtools, I love working with them and want to get to the point we won't use a tiller at all. What I am getting at, I would not want to depend on a Mantis tiller to survive a catastrophy.
     
  6. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    Good point! I dont have a tiller. I use the mulch method and I plan on investing in some good hand tools as well I am tired of replacing broken tools every time I turn around all those $3 shovels I get at auction are starting to add up.
     
  7. albionjessica

    albionjessica Hiccoughs after eating

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    I took out about 200 square feet of sod and hand-turned the soil under it with some peat and compost in two days. That just about killed my muscles. Course, it could be because I had never done that before so I didn't have muscle build in the right places. I still haven't finished the rest of the big garden because I'm so sore (and, of course, our yard is now a muddy mess). I know I could do it all by hand, but goodness it's hard work! I, too, would like to do everything by hand, but I think this year I might have to finish up the last part using a gas-powered tiller. And this is only for a backyard veggie garden for my husband and I. I can't imagine if I had to prepare fields for wheat, corn, barley, potatoes, and hay... on top of a large garden for an extended family. Of course, I probably wouldn't be the only one working then either. :)

    Tabitha, I'm not really one of those TSHTF fanatics. I like to feel prepared for certain things, but I would never take it as far as living in a mud hut, cooking over a wood fire, and eating only the foods we could grow or hunt. I always assume that if something bad happens, we'll still have our house, we'll still have our garden, we'll still be able to visit the store or barter with neighbors for things we don't have, and that society for the most part will go on just as it has. While I think that learning to make fire using just a stick is a neat trick, I would much rather use matches or lighters. While using snares, falls, and primitive hunting tools sounds cool and works for some people... we're banking on guns, fishing poles, and bows for hunting/fishing, and generators to power WalMart in a crisis.

    My TSHTF is my husband or myself being laid off, my parents losing their house, a family member falling ill and needing care, a short-term power outage, a bad storm that somehow keeps us from leaving the house for a while, or one of us becoming injured and unable to work. Nothing that would last indefinitely, but I'd like to be prepared for at least a year, if not longer. Just in case. Like they said in the book, most people probably wouldn't have enough foodstuffs in their cupboards to last more than a week or two. Most people don't have veggie gardens, or even know that they can grow their own spinach and beets. Most people think eggs and meats come from Kroger. How many city people do you think have ever held a live chicken or had fresh eggs? I don't want to be like the Katrina victims that flocked to the shelters for food and water because they weren't prepared beforehand. (I do not mean those who lost their houses and everything in them... obviously there isn't much of a way to prepare for that.)
     
  8. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    "and generators to power Wall-farrt"
    Heck their shelves would be empty if a nasty came along.