Bucking Convention

Bucking Convention

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Mic Roland


  1. Modern State Slavery & MLK Day
    15 Jan, 2018
    Modern State Slavery & MLK Day
    While cutting up a downed maple tree today, ( the pond was frozen), I was musing about the subtlety of modern slavery. An editorial in the Sunday paper cited some very brief quotes from Alexis de Tocqueville regarding freedom and the benevolent dictatorship of the modern state.  De Tocqueville's concerns about the tyranny of the modern state seemed an apt topic for a prepper to muse on for MLK Day. Below are extended quotes from Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” (1840), Volume II,
  2. Cold Snap & Shortages
    08 Jan, 2018
    Cold Snap & Shortages
    Around Christmas, the temps dropped to below zero at night: barely cracking single digits during the day. This extended sub-zero cold spell caught me off guard. I nearly ran out of heating oil.  It was also a refresher lesson in supply chain Inelasticity and the need to have alternatives. The house came with oil heat which we use as a supplement to the wood stove and to heat water. We still run the boiler periodically on cold nights to keep one loop from freezing. During the cold wave, we were
  3. Chickens in Winter
    30 Dec, 2017
    Chickens in Winter
    New Hampshire has gotten a long spell of subzero temperatures lately. We've had -10 at the house overnight. Daytime "highs" were in single digits.  While we put on a thicker sweater and sit closer to the wood stove, what about our chickens out back in the coop? Do we provide them with some supplementary heat? Actually, no. Many chicken breeds are quite hardy when it comes to the cold -- often more so than handling the summer heat. After all, the wild turkeys, cardinals, chickadees and such,
  4. Prepper Lessons from Puerto Rico
    23 Nov, 2017
    Prepper Lessons from Puerto Rico
    Even if you don’t live in a hurricane zone, what happened to the people of Puerto Rico — even months after the initial hurricane damage — holds several useful lessons for the attentive prepper. The storm trashed the island’s power grid. Months later, thousands of Puerto Ricans still remain without power. Lesson One: Crime and Chaos are not instantaneous “givens.” As a writer of post-apocalyptic fiction, the most interesting takeaway from the devistation of Puerto Rico was the absence of Mad Max
  5. Survival Food: Sauerkraut
    08 Oct, 2017
    Survival Food: Sauerkraut
    If the trucks stopped resupplying the stores, for whatever reason, serious preppers know they will need to plant a “Crisis Garden” to produce their own sustainable food source. Growing enough food to sustain you and your family through the winter would be challenging. Carbs and protein are necessary but many vitamins are also crucial to staying healthy. Growing vitamins is tougher.  Vitamin C, for instance, is particularly important for keeping your immune system strong. C also helps your body
  6. 3 Sisters Planting: Another fail, another lesson learned
    25 Sep, 2017
    3 Sisters Planting: Another fail, another lesson learned
    For a survival garden, Three Sisters planting is great for dietary self-sufficiency. The corn provides carbs. The beans provide protein. The squash provides veggie-vitamins.  All three are great for winter storage, so well-suited to get one through the “Hunger Season” of winter.  Actually growing Three Sisters well, hasn’t been a slam dunk. Like many survival things, it sounds easier than it is. This year’s attempt at “Three Sisters” planting yielded mixed results again. Every year, something
  7. Hackers & the Grid
    10 Sep, 2017
    Hackers & the Grid
    There was a recent story in the online WIRED magazine (link here) that discussed recent revelations about hackers penetrating power company networks. While the story got some traction in the online tech circles, it was noticeably absent from the Mainstream Media. They, of course, have been preoccupied with agonizing over anything and everything Trump does.  The WIRED story described hacker intrusions into several power companies, both in the US and one in Turkey. They also showed video of a
  8. The Crutch of Omniscience
    22 Jul, 2017
    The Crutch of Omniscience
    One of the style features I'd found fairly common in PAW fiction was that of the Omniscient Narrator. It often makes for a breezy, fast-paced narrative, as the author could say what was going on inside Chinese satellites deep in space, then zoom into a White House briefing room, next to zip over to a far away farm to see what was in the thoughts of a young boy. All that zipping around can feel like action when it really isn't. The Omniscient Narrator, in PAW fiction, is often a vehicle for the
  9. Book 4 finished
    13 Jun, 2017
    Book 4 finished
    The fourth book in the series went public on June 7th. In some ways, it seemed like it was taking forever to finish the writing, edit and then go through the gyrations necessary for publishing on Amazon. In other ways, it all seemed to whoosh by quickly. It does feel good to have that major task completed. There's a vacuum, however, where all the urgency had once been. The next project will be Book 5, naturally enough. Unlike Book 4, I don't have as complete of an outline already. When