Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bear Ridge Update

I have been living full time at Bear Ridge for almost three months. The experience has been close to what I expected. The budget is relatively intact, the house is holding up and summer project are moving forward. I was taking a long break from the internet while I settled in; I needed that separation from my old life to move forward with the new.

I do not consider myself a hardcore survivalist. I am a sustainist; I seek a sustainable existence removed from the trappings of consumer society. I do not want to wall myself off in a bunker, I enjoy my neighbors and actually get pleasure working with them and exchanging ideas. Frankly is it the only way to move forward as a person and as a society.

Here are some of the issues and items I have come across in the past few months.

Injuries are dangerous – Be very careful you are on your own. I had been here for about a month and was working in the sun room. Standing on a ladder drilling holes above my head I fell off the step and dropped the drill. The bit spun into my stomach taking a 3 inch long by ¼ inch wide strip out of my belly. It didn’t cut it but dug out a channel. Anyway this was simply the first of many cuts and punctures I have experienced since living here. Understand you body and be able to deal with these issues.

Plan for trash – There are many homestead sites where you can either burn or bury trash but that is not possible here. The plan was to take the trash away one truckload at a time to the local dump but as the pile grew this became less workable. I finally broke down and rented a 30 cubic yard dumpster. I very nearly filled it with construction refuse, brush and plain trash. No way could I have hauled off all the refuse. Plan your trash removal strategy before hand.

Boredom kills - This has been a big problem. You will be bored. Videos, books and online chats all help deal with the boor monster. I actually took a part time job because of boredom. I now work a couple of days each week for twenty hours. This money is stuck in the well fund. Greatly helps break up the week.

Wood and Propane - I am using about ¾ of a cord or wood each month and the house is staying very very warm. I am using about 80 pounds of propane each month, it is way too much. I only heat with gas when waiting for wood stove to warm up. The water heater is not really efficient; it is an on demand, but still uses a lot of gas. I am now changing that up heating water with sun and on wood stove then using a bucket sprinkler for showering.

Mice are fun – I hate the mice but the boys love them. They spend hours every evening chasing and cornering the mice who have taken up house here in the cabin. The boys love it plus I don’t have to use poisons or mouse traps to catch the beasts.

Shit Freezes – Composting buckets freeze if they are not quickly added to the compost pile. This is really a pain if you only have a few buckets to rotate through the bathroom.

Pee Stinks – I usually will pee off the front porch. If you pee in the same spot that spot quickly becomes stinky. Beware!!!

I will try to post a couple of times every week but you should check me out on twitter where I kick out quick simple thoughts and observations daily.

Always remember that the government still possesses a massive surveillance mechanism whose sights are being set on the counter culture survivalist movement.


Rook said...

Glad to see you are making ok out there. Keep us up to date.


Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you again, any garden updates?

BigBear said...

Garden is in the works. Working on the raised beds and started tomatoes which are now growing in the sun room.

Mayberry said...

GREAT to hear from ya Big Bear! Good advice. And can kiss my arse.....

Northwoods said...

Good to hear from ya again Big Bear.
I was starting to think the aliens hauled you off with your missing neighbors.
What's the latest on them anyway?

BigBear said...


Both still missing

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

Thats some good advice and information BigBear. It is interesting to hear how things are going out there for you.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see your doing ok...

I've been stopping by your blog regularly to check up on you.

Be Safe!

John in Alaska

shakyoten said...

Hey BB, Good to hear from you. Advice (take it for what it is worth from someone still in the rat race - remember the Lily Tomlin quote?)

Boredom is the bane of the hyperactive modern mind. If you don't now, you might consider starting a simple meditation practice... Watching your breath leads to watching birds leads to watching weather leads to... you get the idea. You slow down to actually see the world on the same time "basis".. not always rushing ahead then waiting for the world to "catch up"... Good luck on those tomatoes!

Anonymous said...

I have been backtracking on your blog and saw that you were rabidly anti-bush for his bailouts for one. I was wondering what you thought about obammies gargantuan bailouts because as far as I have read you haven't said too much about it. Interesting read though. Some good ideas. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I hear you on the urine comment - the Pee Tree ain't for hanging around (or maybe it is, lol).

Take a page off of the military manuals - bury a steel pipe into the ground, put in some gravel on inside and pee inside the pipe. Bury about 36" into grade at a steep angle, end of pipe around crotch height.

For guys, a quick fix. Hope this helps.

BigBear said...


Against bailout no matter who is in power. They will not work. The fed/gov is trying to kick start American spending again. The countries who hold our debt are demanding this. Those days are done.

The only way out of this hole is to create middle class manufacturing jobs. America needs to make stuff we can't support a country on money lending.

To solve the problem any company that takes bailout money must bring back off shore jobs. As it is they are taking the money and accelerating off shoring of jobs to keep their profit margins high. All the banks are doing this.

Obama is a much better President than Bush but America's handlers are still the same.

Dragon said...

I was beginning to worry about you...
Then You pop up...Glad to hear you're doin ok.

Anonymous said...

Obama will not keep our country safe. With all the political games he is playing with the torture mess, he will soon have blood on his hands.

BigBear said...

Torture does not work and any American public servant who authorized the torturing of prisoners for information needs to be put on trial for violating the Geneva Convention. If those authorizing torture did nothing wrong then they have nothing to fear...right.

The torture coerced information amounted to nothing more than a few false alarm terror alerts. Personally if you torture me I will tell you anything I think you want to hear.

This was a criminally stupid move by the Bush administration and frankly they should be held accountable. This will amount to nothing more than jail time for those responsible.

Anonymous said...

I was a member of CID in Irag. Believe me, what Bush authorized was not torture. This is just Obama trying to keep the left and the UN happy. Also, to keep our eye of the ball. His house of cards will soon come down. Hopefully his action will not kill any Americans....

judyofthewoods said...

Bear! Lovely to see you back, and still in one piece! Been thinking about you the other day, wondering how you were getting on. Hugs.
Creepy about the missing neighbors. Keep safe. Will follow your tweets.

BigBear said...

By American standards it is torture. Obama is simply trying to stop an international tribunal from finding an American President guilty of war crimes. He is trying to deal with this impossible mess the previous administration left us. Somebody has to be held accountable it is better if we deal with the internally rather than having it tried on the international stage.

By any civilized standard we broke the law. Civilized countries do not torture people...period.

I do not want to see an America where prisoner torture is normalized into our society. We don't want highway patrolmen to be able to pull us over and beat a confession out of us. Torture cannot be acceptable in the country.

This is not a liberal stance this is an American stance. No one should support torturing prisoners.

Anonymous said...

Answer this one question truthfully if you can, if you could save 1, 5, 10, 100 or ever 1,000 American lives by pouring several milliliters of water in a terrorist mouth, would you make the decision? I would and I hope you could… I will make it simple for you, what is the lives were family members?

BigBear said...


Reverse it, would you want your partner or children tortured to reveal where you are storing your guns after they have been made illegal.

In America you can be suspected a terrorist for carrying a copy of the U.S. Constitution.

Would you have supported rounding up anyone who has read the "Turner Diaries" probably would have stopped Timothy Mcveigh.

In the Patriot Act there is no delineation between domestic and foreign terrorists.

Your minister gives a sermon on the evils of big government. Do you want the state to have the power to torture member of your congregation for the names and addresses of the other church members?

I do not. Torture is wrong plus it does not yield truthful information. I doesn't...torture is simply a terror tactic to instill fear in a population.

Anonymous said...

anyone supporting waterboarding etc should be a recipient of it. twice. then check back on the resultant opinion.

squire said...

Glad to see you are doing OK, how HOT will your summers be? I'm with you on just trying to live a simpler life and that will set one up for whatever this old world throws toward us.

Mo said...

Glad to see the posts again. Keep us updated.

Anonymous said...

Former US servicemen and women are against authorized torture in any form. Ask 'em. Waterboarding is used in SERE training, and I assure you, it ain't fun.

Sun Tzu says:
"Treat the captives well, and care for them. This is called 'winning a battle and becoming stronger.'"

And just for emphasis, one ancient Chinese commentator on this passage, Chang Yu, adds:
"All the soldiers taken must be cared for with magnanimity and sincerity so that they may be used by us."
You can't gain good intelligence from captives if you brutalize and torture them. Too bad we failed to heed Sun Tzu...

Good to hear from you again BigBear.

shakyoten said...

BigBear - agree with you fully and thank you for your eloquent and unconditional condemnation of torture. Torture is totally, totally against what I stand for, what I was taught, what I grew up believing "we" were about. I grew up in a world where Audie Murphy was a hero, John McCain is a hero, where we liberated Treblinka, Auschwitz, etc. I do not want to lose American lives, but I refuse to lose America's soul.

theotherryan said...

Very glad to hear you are back. Also glad to hear you didn't "get yourself" with the drill. Looking forward to semi regular posts!

j-rod said...

I have really been enjoying following your journey! keep us updated! i really like how you have used twitter to post quick updates regularly, i check for them all the time

chupacabra said...

There is something ironic about going off grid but yet blogging about it.

These food buckets of yours, have you considered something more bin-like than bucket-like? If storage space is an issue square things would stack together more easily. Just a thought.

I am in the process of building a little cabin in the mountains. It's just a weekend retreat. I am hopelessly shackled to the city but do so enjoy having my own little patch of peace and quiet. It's entirely off grid, more irony since I work for a utility company. I went that way because this place I'm building is my own damn business and I don't want any inspectors nosing around. I found this doing some research into solar power and heating options. Good stuff lots of info on here.

side note - you and I are political friendlies. keep the faith

on a pathetic personal note - I am two generations removed from making a living from the land. I fear the spirit of my grandparents would look at my "plant cemetery" with horror.

Anonymous said...

Beware, do not trust Big Bear he is an agent of the ZOG.

BigBear said...

ZOG = Zionist Occupation Government

I had to look it up I thought it was a sex thing.

Anonymous said...

If you trust this man you might find yourself in the FEMA camps. He is mining data on counter culture survival types for the ZOG.

BigBear said...

I admit it. I am an agent of the ZOG.

Seriously though even though I don't collect any personal information I am sure google does so if any content bothers you don't read cause the government will know you have visited my radical site.

This is not a secrete I have a couple of articles on privacy here.

Anonymous said...

To each his own.

So is keeping a person awake torture? What about playing loud music? Not letting him pray, read, have sex?

Where do you draw the line? You can't. Seriously- it's war. You do what it takes to win. The weak lose the strong survive.

The Islamic extremists are willing to kill themselves for what they believe in. We aren't even willing hasten their desire.

Middle Easterners understand power. They understand brutality. They respect it and expect it.

When they see that we are attacking ourselves politically- they interpret it as weakness. And indeed it is.

They don't play by our rules. They don't play by any rules. There is no moral higher ground- there is no "Geneva Convention" question here. (They don't wear uniforms or are even part of a government's military!)

It's all smoke and daggers here. I seriously can't believe that you think Obama is a good president. He is going to spend the nation into its grave.

The US has grown weak. It is unwilling to do what is necessary to survive- and it won't.

If your interested in a really good blog- check out:

_not affiliated_

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:51 PM

You are wrong. Torture is wrong. Bush was wrong.

Where do you get your information ? Fox News ?

This is crap :

Middle Easterners understand power. They understand brutality. They respect it and expect it.

This is the truth :

The overwhelming majority of middle easterners want peace. They are human beings too,they have a right to live. You are trying to make them out to be devils.You use the language of the nazis.

I feel sorry for you. You are full of hate. You should be enjoying your life with friends or loved ones,instead you are wasting your time spewing all that hate.What a waste.

Good blog BIG BEAR ! You're doing a good job. You practice what you preach,rare these days. Take care.

Anonymous said...

ZOG = zazzy oversized genitals

Karl9x said...

You are more likely to have your rights or life taken by your own government than any middle eastern person. Especially if you look the other way while it commits crimes such a torture or theft. We need to limit our reliance on foreign oil so we can just stay out of the region so that we don't need to send our soldiers out for empire. If you don't want to support middle eastern theocracies limit your consumption of oil and buy local. You can't spend your life afraid of the big bad terrorists, there is no such thing as perfect security even if you have a huge and oppressive federal government. Some hits you just have to take on the chin and drive on.

Anonymous said...

If the big O is so great of a president, then why are you afraid of big brother? You trust him to save the world and fix all your problems, yet you are afraid that he might try to fix you.

"The overwhelming majority of Middle Easterners want peace."

Your right. Do you know what version of peace that is? It's a world without the USA and Israel. That is Iran's solution to world peace. What? you don't believe me?

Watch this before commiting on my post

Read the news

Israel "is an illegitimate regime, there is no legal basis for its existence," he said.

"Wait that's not logical" you say, exactly my point.

And you are worried about our government??

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:18 AM

President Obama is better than President Bush. I didn't vote,never have and never will. That's my choice and my right. I'm going to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt, just like I did President Bush.

You have no clue about the middle east. America has made a lot of enemies in the middle east and the rest of the world because President Bush decided he was chosen by God to bring his brand of democracy to the rest of the world,even if it meant killing thousands of innocent people in the process.

There is a reason why a few folks are pissed at us,we act as if we are above the law.

I don't care about Israel. America is the major threat to world peace,that's what bothers me.

America has the best military in the world,nobody is capable of defeating the USA.

Stop being paranoid. Turn off the boob tube, stop getting bad info from the internet,drink a few beers and try to get laid.You'll feel a lot better about yourself if you do.

Anonymous said...

Big B,

Like to stop by the blog on occasion. Good to see you're still at it and doing well. I always enjoy the updates. Just my opinion, don't get suckered into the political bs in teh comments section. It reminds me of that wrestling with pigs parable.

Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

The conclusion of my analysis of Big Bear is that in my opinion he is most likely an agent of the ZOG and is very dangerous. Most probably his two missing neighbors are his victims deported and interned in the FEMA camps by his own hand. This is a warning to all who follow this man.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Two points: 1)Calling water boarding torture is really stretching it. It wasn't fun but it wasn't torture. 2)Lives were saved and attacks were prevented as a result of water boarding three prisoners. And because of this you are outraged! When a sexual predator hurts or kills a young child we all demand life in prison (which we should, I agree). Do you have any clue what life in a U.S. state prison is like?? I will take a few water boarding sessions over life in prison. Yet you don't call life in prison "torture". Go figure.