New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Upcoming Events: Self-Reliance/Preparedness Fairs & Appleseed Shoots

What is the Appleseed Project and Shoot?

This is a project sponsored by the Revolutionary War Veterans Association (RWVA) to pass on the skills and history of our country’s first Riflemen.

On the home page of their website ( it states:

“Project Appleseed is an activity of The Revolutionary War Veterans Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills. Our volunteer instructors travel across the country teaching those who attend about the difficult choices, the heroic actions, and the sacrifices that the Founders made on behalf of modern Americans, all of whom are their “progeny.””

At each event you will not only learn marksmanship skills that are great for the novice or the experienced shooter, you will also learn about the skills, tenacity, fortitude and choices made by participants in the battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19th, 1775.

I thoroughly enjoyed the local event this past weekend in my area, as well as sharpened my skills and highly recommend this for any self-reliance, preparedness or survival seeker. I don’t care if you are a professional sharp shooter; I bet you can learn something new at one of these events.

All Appleseed events are 2 (two) days and are free for Active Military, Reserve, National Guard, and Peace Officers.

Women $10.00 and youths under 21 are $5.00

Both Days are $70.00, one day is $45.00 plus any requested Range Fees from the shooting facility.

Although walk-ons are welcome, be sure to pre-register as the Appleseed Project sponsors and RWVA will use the pre-registration count to determine how many “crew members” will be on hand for instruction. You can register online or by mail (USPS).

If you live in New Mexico here is a list of upcoming shoots:

Edgewood, NM - Sep 10-11
Raton, NM - Sep 17-18
Rio Rancho, NM - Sep 17-18

Albuquerque, NM - Oct 15-16
Roswell, NM - Oct 15-16

Rio Rancho, NM - Dec 10-11

To find out when an event is in your area go to: and then select your state. Don’t forget to look at the requirements and suggestions on what to bring besides your desire to learn (From the Home page select Boot Camps, What to Bring).

Since September is National Preparedness Month remember to check for local events in your newspapers and the like. Many Boy Scout Troupes sponsor neighborhood Preparedness fairs.

Here are a few internet/nationally advertized upcoming Expos & Fairs:

The National Self Reliance Organization ( has two upcoming Self-Reliance Expos (

September 16-17, 2011
National Western Complex
4655 Humboldt St.
Denver, CO 80216
Times: Friday Sept 16 : 10AM-8PM and Saturday Sept 17 : 9AM-6PM

October 7-8, 2011
South Towne Expo Center
9575 South State St.
Sandy, UT 84070 (Salt Lake City)

Both events cost: $9 at the door; $2 discount for buying online; Kids 12 and under are free; $2 discount for seniors.

September 24, 2011 9AM LDS Church ( is sponsoring a Preparedness Fair (

LDS Church
13370 N. Lowell Blvd.
Broomfield, CO

Dare to Prepare


Friday, August 26, 2011

Time – Tracking It & Catching It

"The bad news is time flies.
The good news is you're the pilot."

Michael Altshuler
(American Motivational Speaker)

We all seem to feel that we do not have enough time to get done what needs to be done and we all know that preparedness takes time. Yet studies show that most us waste quite a bit of time everyday and don’t even know it.

When people say that they don’t have enough time, it says more about how they spend their time than the actual quantity. After all, no one really has more time, one day is 24 hours for all of us, we just spend that 24 hours in different ways.

Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki, MLK, Gandhi, JFK and Warren Buffet all have just 24 hours a day, not a second more and look what they accomplished. I can hear the collective: “But… they have other people helping them with a lot of their work.” That is true NOW - NOT when they first started. Let’s face it - everyone has to start somewhere.

"Ordinary people think merely of spending time.
Great people think of using it."


When people feel like their time is being spent on very valuable things, they may still run out of time, but there is a completely different level of fulfillment involved.

In the September/October 2005 issue of The Futurist examined Americans’ use of time. According to the article, the common perception that there just isn’t enough time isn’t supported by the stats from a national study using time-diaries. Basically, the findings show that Americans average 35 hours per week of work time and 35 hours per week of free time. This is much more time than what most Americans perceive.

“One reasons for this is that there are many businesses who make money if you don’t feel like you have enough time. Everything from self-help books to prepared foods to services depend on people who feel like they are too busy.

So where does all the free time go? According to the article, over half of it is spent watching television. (However, the article notes that time spent watching television isn’t any higher than it was in 1990.)”

"Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug."
John Lithgow
(born 1945, American actor, musician, poet and author.)

The trick to having enough time is making sure that it is spent on things that you feel are important. This means setting priorities and deciding what is actually valuable to you ahead of time.

Although you won’t actually end up with more time, by spending your busy and free time on things that you feel are truly valuable you can increase your satisfaction with how your time is spent.

"The greatest amount of wasted time
is the time not getting started."

Dawson Trotman
(1906–1956, evangelist, crusader and founder of The Navigators.)

Here are some time saving tips from the pros:

  • Track your time. Don’t think you waste your time? Track it for a week. If you really want to get depressed, have a friend with a child track his/her time and compare the results. This helps you figure out how you’re spending your time and if you’re doing what you want to do be doing. Track your time for a week using various categories, such as sleep, work, food, household tasks, family time and exercise.

  • Make a 'To Do' List/Schedule. The simple act of writing things down on paper has the psychological benefit of making them seem less immense and more accomplishable.

  • Plan and Set Deadlines. Set targets to complete a small number of tasks each month. One of the biggest blockers of progress is being overwhelmed by trying to complete too many tasks at once. Multi-tasking is just a modern day euphemism for being disorganised. Better to concentrate on one task at a time and get it done properly, starting with the highest priority item and working down your list in that order.

  • Prioritize your daily actions, errands and tasks on a 'To Do' list. If you don’t put your priorities first, it won’t matter how fast you work or do things, you may never get to what is important. If you think something is going to take two weeks, start on it a week before it’s due. Force yourself to work more efficient by eliminating dead time.

  • Know Your Obligations. It is common to over commit your time if you are not aware of all your obligations. You need to make a commitment list. List out and budget all of your commitments from work, life, and community. Only then can you know your remaining time balance.

  • Break larger actions/tasks into smaller ones. It is easy to be over-awed by the size of some tasks and often in our minds molehills can quickly turn themselves into mountains. The bigger the task becomes, the less likely we are to start it.

  • Don't Try to Do Everything Yourself. Ignore, minimize or outsource everything else. At a certain point, the only way to get more done is to have someone help. The biggest show stoppers here are some people have trouble letting others help because they feel that no one can do it as well as they can or we flat out don’t think of it. What activities would you rather expel from your schedule? I bet housework, laundry and grocery shopping are on that list. We rarely think to outsource laundry or housework. We think it’s too pricey or we look down on ourselves for not being able to keep up with our chores. Yet, we think nothing of outsourcing our childcare. For many people, outsourcing house stuff means more time with kids and more time spent doing things they love.

  • Spend your spare minutes doing joyful activities - Have this time set aside on your 'To Do' list. Make a list of meaningful activities that take 30 minutes or less. Fill your day with more 'nice' things to do. Schedule an hour for a soak in the tub or at the gym. Plan that 30 minute break to read another chapter in your favorite book. Behaviorists say that the more you do the more productive you will be, but what’s less obvious is the more you do the more efficient you will be. When you have a hundred things happening at once you can get in the zone and get more done more quickly.

  • Say NO. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to take on burdens that do not belong to them. When you don’t say no, you find yourself doing other people’s work. This happens both in the workplace and in day-to-day life. Ever find yourself doing something you didn't want to do and felt "suckered" into; or doing someone else’s job - Simply because you didn't say NO?

  • Reduce your 'Life Frictions'. Life Friction is self-inflicted time management. In other words, you create your own crises by your own actions and disorganization. Life friction means extra re-work, increased stress, and wasted time. Ever get back from running errands and realize you have to go back out because you forgot something?

  • Reduce Lolly-gagging and wasted time. You don’t need to spend every second of the day under a stopwatch, but be aware of when you waste time whether it is gossiping, surfing the Internet, or recapping the weekend for the third time. Know anyone who takes two hours after getting up to be ready to meet the day or who arrives late to work and then spends the next hour and 15 minutes getting ready to start working?

  • Finish What You Start. When you don’t finish tasks, you are only creating more work for yourself. Tasks undone actually create more work for you. They take more time to pick back up when you return to them. They create unnecessary complications when you leave them to the last minute.

  • Just Do It. If you feel that your personal time/task management process is growing into an uncontrollable monster or that you are spending too long trying to do the item perfectly, just remember the concept of Just Do it – JDI. The concept is simple and straightforward – stop procrastinating and just get the job done.

  • Revisit your schedule regularly. Check in with yourself weekly to see if your schedule reflects what you want it to. Now understand that it’s not easy making changes and of course tons of interruptions will pop up from time to time. However, if you stick with it and try your best to avoid interruptions and distractions, it’ll get easier.

"A year from now you will wish you had started today."
Karen Lamb
(American author)

To assist you into determining just where you can “catch time”, download this article (@ and print the two logs on the end of it. These logs will help you with the following exercises:

"The surest way to be late is to have plenty of time."
Leo Kennedy
(1907–2000 a Canadian poet and critic in social criticism)

Tracking Activities-Actions-Tasks: For one week track all your start and stop times for each activity and or task you do each day from sun up to sun down.

Tracking Movements: The next week track your “movements”. Every time you leave a room in your house or leave home - list from where to where, when and why, in your log.

At the end of these two weeks go back and look at your logs. Make a note of the routine tasks, like sleeping, getting up and getting dressed, going to the grocery store, making meals, etc. Make a note of how many times you are traveling from one side of the house to the other or zigzagging all over town when you are running errands.

  • Do you set an alarm clock to wake you up?
  • Do you set out what you are going to wear the next day? Is it handy to where you do your daily 3-S’s (sh_t, shower, shave)?
  • Do you have a ‘To Do List’ for each day, ready the night before? Do you set time frames for this list?
  • Do you plan your errands in advance so that you are traveling the shortest distance throughout the day?

"You will never 'find' time for anything.
If you want time, you must make it"
Charles Buxton
(1823–1871, English brewer, philanthropist, writer and Member of Parliament.)

When you take control and plan out these activities and tasks, that will help you “catch time”.

"A wise person does at once, what a fool does at last.
Both do the same thing; only at different times."
Baltasar Gracián y Morales, SJ
(1601–1658, was a Catholic Priest, Spanish Jesuit, author and baroque prose writer.)

My Thanks go to the following for all the great information and tips:

Mark Shead of Productivity 501
John Suter of Money Saving Challenge
Donald Latumahina of Life Optimizer
Robert Pagliarini of Money Watch on BNet
Craig Jarrow of Time Management Ninja
Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. is an Associate Editor at Psych Central
Laura Vanderkam book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. She is a member of USA Today's Board of Contributors, and her work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Scientific American, Wired, The American, Portfolio and other publications.
Stephen Covey book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Ket-Sang Tai's blog on successful multi-level marketing
The Futurist magazine

"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule,
but to schedule your priorities."

Stephen R. Covey
(1932, Author (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), professional speaker, professor, consultant, management-expert) 

Use the following Priorities

  • Important but Not Urgent This includes education, reading self-improvement or financial books, going to the gym, spending time with love ones etc. These are all very important but not urgent.
  • Important and Urgent These are things like fixing a leaking pipe, going to the doctor because you are ill, paying your credit card bill when the due date is tomorrow, etc.
  • Not important but Urgent Examples of these are dry cleaners, grocery store, buying the lottery ticket for tonight, bidding on something on eBay which is ending soon etc.
  • Not important and Not Urgent These include watching TV, reading non educational magazines, going out to dinner or a movie etc.
  • Spontaneous/Unexpected These things are items you did not even think about. A friend comes to your door for a surprise lunch date. Publishers Clearinghouse comes to your door with a big fat check. You have vehicle problems when out and about. The power goes out or a water pipe bursts and stuff like that.

"The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: I DID NOT HAVE TIME."
Franklin Field
(British author)


Saturday, August 13, 2011

4 Great Sites to Help Keep You Informed & Aware

All four of these sites update regularly and are a great way to keep on top of all kinds of Natural and Man-made Crises.

Threat Matrix (global) Open Source Intelligence Dashboard Control / Fast Jump Menu Maps - Maps, Graphs, Charts, Predictions, Lists of Recent Incidents, and other items are all updated automatically as new data is added to our databases from which it draws.

The Disaster Center Follow for links to: NOAA -- Warnings - Advisories; Current Warning; NWS Active/Special Warnings;Surface Analysis Loop; Graphical Forecasts; National Forecast; National Radar; National Satellite; Satellite Environment Plot; Real Time Water Data; NWS Offices and Centers

Nature's Fury - Real Time Activity/Alerts for Preparedness and research

Earth Observatory NASA - For Risks on: Aerosol Optical Depth; Chlorophyll; Cloud Fraction; Land Surface Temperature; Net Radiation; Sea Surface Temperature; Snow Cover; Total Rainfall; Vegetation, etc.

“If it is to be, it is up to me.”
William H. Johnsen
Depression-era realist/impressionist painter


Friday, August 12, 2011

Take a peak at the new arrangement

Take a peak at the new arrangement to the right panel ;-}

Blog Archives
Links of Interest
Check These Out (my fav blogs)
Hazard and Risk Links - These are links for the Natural and Human-made type of risks.

“Without self-reliance, there is no independence.
Without independence there is no freedom.
Without freedom, there is no self.”


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Situational Awareness and You

When one studies all the “I Survived” stories one quickly realizes that the survivors took control of the few determining factors that were within their realm of control. The key factors were:

  • Awareness of their situation and what needed to be done
  • Applying the Reality Check to the situation
  • Honesty of just what they could and could not do
  • The Will (tenacity) to strive to do what needed to be done to survive

I’ve lived in a few really large cities (Philadelphia, Chicago, San Diego, Fort Worth, Portland, OR) as well as in farm country and one self-defense tactic that proved the most consistent and valuable in both environments was AWARENESS.

Awareness is the first step to avoidance and many not so pleasant situations can be avoided if you are aware of what is going on around you – of your surroundings. Or as the military and law enforcement prefer to call it: Situational Awareness.

"In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity."
Albert Einstein

The term Situational Awareness is fairly recent (WWI) but the concept has its roots in military theory and is recognizable in Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”. The USAF used the term in air-to-air combat in the Korean and Vietnam wars and linked it to the "observe" and "orient" phases of the famous observe-orient-decide-act loop (OODA Loop) or Boyd Cycle (war theorist USAF Col. John Boyd). It also became widely adapted by Human Factor Behavior Scientists in the 1990’s.

Although numerous definitions of SA have been proposed, Endsley's definition, "the perception of elements in the environment within a volume of time and space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status in the near future," is firmly established and widely accepted. While some definitions are specific to the environment from which they were adapted, Endsley's definition is applicable across multiple task domains. Several other definitions of SA have been suggested, generally restating the same themes.

There is an excellent article by Scott Stewart called A Primer on Situational Awarenessthat I highly recommend that everyone read – Prepper, Survivalist or not! In it he states the importance of the “mindset” of situational awareness:

“People who practice situational awareness can often spot this planning process [of a dangerous act/crime] as it unfolds and then take appropriate steps to avoid the dangerous situation or prevent it from happening altogether. Because of this, situational awareness is one of the key building blocks of effective personal security — and when exercised by large numbers of people, it can also be an important facet of national security. Since situational awareness is so important, and because we discuss situational awareness so frequently in our analyses, we thought it would be helpful to discuss the subject in detail and provide a primer that can be used by people in all sorts of situations.

An important element of the proper mindset is to first recognize that threats exist. Ignorance or denial of a threat — or completely tuning out one’s surroundings while in a public place — makes a person’s chances of quickly recognizing the threat and avoiding it slim to none. This is why apathy, denial and complacency can be (and often are) deadly. A second important element is understanding the need to take responsibility for one’s own security. The resources of any government are finite and the authorities simply cannot be everywhere and cannot stop every criminal action. The same principle applies to private security at businesses or other institutions, like places of worship. Therefore, people need to look out for themselves and their neighbors.

Another important facet of this mindset is learning to trust your “gut” or intuition. Many times a person’s subconscious can notice subtle signs of danger that the conscious mind has difficulty quantifying or articulating. Many people who are victimized frequently experience such feelings of danger prior to an incident, but choose to ignore them. Even a potentially threatening person not making an immediate move — or even if the person wanders off quickly after a moment of eye contact — does not mean there was no threat. "

Situational Awareness is not just an individual thing; it is also a Team or Group concept too. Team SA is defined as "the degree to which every team member possesses the SA required for his or her responsibilities" (Endsley, 1995, & 1989).

“A man has got to know his terrain.”
Burt Gummer

(Survivalist – Tremors Movies and TV Series)

Overall the importance of being familiar with your surroundings and any dangers that may be present there is critical to good situational awareness. This includes your “gut feelings”, “the hairs on the back of your neck” and “6th senses”.

Because of all the backpacking I have done over the years, I can attest to the fact that one needs to know how animals (including us humans), weather and terrain behave in your area. Different terrains can give you inklings as to what has transpired there in recent history and are likely to occur again.

I can’t tell you how many times, birds stopped chirping or the sudden stillness and silence of the woods around me, has tipped me off to some kind of interloper into my area – 2 legged or 4 legged; knowing the habits of fish has led me to just the right spot to catch my diner; or watching the birds and insects “batten down” while tree leaves turn bottom side up, has alerted me that this pending storm has a good chance to spawn a tornado.

Think about it; if you avoid hazardous situations, you may never need to open the fancy kits (except to check expiration dates, of course). The techniques of situational awareness, as applied to civilian life, are simple to “learn”, easy to apply and can easily save your life.

"We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then is not an act but a habit."


Yes this takes time and effort. The basics don’t cost more than that. So if you think your time is just too limited and you are just too busy – you better ask yourself and answer honestly, just what priority you give Preparedness.

“Practice makes perfect and repetition is the foundation to learning.”

Practice generates “Muscle Memory” or “Retention of Motor Skills (Motor Learning)”. No not your biceps, the other muscle, your brain. You know those memories stored in your brain that are much like a cache of frequently enacted tasks for your muscles. It's a form of procedural memory that can help you become very good at something through repetition. Of course if you repeatedly do something incorrectly you will have “bad muscle memory” and do no more than repeat your mistakes.

The bottom line is that you can’t really be
“taught” situational awareness – you have to DO IT to LEARN IT and you have to do it – over and over and over, again and again. Until you don’t have to think about it anymore – it becomes a habit and not a chore.

“Failing to learn something new, is failing to be alive.”

To learn how to increase your Situational Awareness get the Tips & Tricks @

Keep on Preppin ;-}