Country Codger’s wisdom…..again.

…my thanks to CC, Valuable Patriot.


By Country Codger, on December 3rd, 2011
How do you spell eji-ka-shun?

If you will remember When the Poop Hits the Oscillator I spoke about skillsets. Chris has mentioned numerous times that you need to make yourself more valuable for what will come after the collapse. How do you do this? Please bear with me and I’ll tell you.

I grew up in a small town in south Louisiana. The primary language was French, automobiles were a new “fad” for rich people. (No I am not that old but south Louisiana was that far behind the times). As a result we had 5 blacksmith shops in our small town. I wanted to be a blacksmith so bad it hurt. Imagine my surprise when I discovered many other towns didn’t have a blacksmith shop. By the late 1960’s they were all gone and we were poorer for it. But I never gave up the desire to work metal. I think my dad understood my frustration, even when I was a little fellow and would take me to his shop after hours and gave me the run of the place. My dad was a machinist and a welder, so he taught me to weld and run shop tools. Even so, it just wasn’t the same.

What did I do? As soon as I got big enough I built my own forge. I used some angle iron, a rear brake drum from an old Ford and some fireclay and homemade bellows and I had a passable forge. I did all the usual things. I made knives out of saw blades and flat stock, oyster shuckers out of railroad spikes, frog gigs and a lot more. I never forgot what I learned from that experience. It wasn’t from a book. I wasn’t taught by a professor. I learned by doing. That is the most important way to learn.

When you go to a college or university 90% of what you learn is BS. Not only is it just BS it is liberal BS. And you want to know the worst part, you have to PAY for that BS. And, if you don’t have the money to pay, you have to do the absolute worst thing and BORROW for that BS.

Ask yourself this question, “Do I have to go to a college or a university to learn what it is that I want to know? Unless you want to be a doctor, attorney (notice I did not say lawyer), rocket scientist or a professor so that you too can teach BS, the answer is NO, you do not have to have a degree to have a very valuable skill and a great paying career, if that is what you.

HOW? Simple, find a person who does what you what to know and study under them for awhile. I’ve done this several times during my life and I found what I learned by hands-on knowledge much more valuable than the BS.

Okay, I know what you are thinking. I studied Economics at the University of California, Psychology and Communications at the University of Maryland, Agriculture at he University of Southwestern Louisiana , taught agriculture at USL, studied History at USL, taught history at USL, Theology and Divinity at Washington Bible Collage in Washington DC. I am not telling you, you don’t need a college or university degree because I don’t have one. I’m telling you, you don’t need one because I have five, which includes 2 Ph. D.’s.

I did not attend a university to get a professional education. I went to universities only to fulfill a promise to myself. Other than the short times that I taught at a university, I did not use a degree to go into a particular job field. I worked as a journeyman electrician by studying under a Master electrician. I worked as an engineer by studying under an engineer and taking the test, not by going to a particular school. I am a farmer not because I studied agriculture because I was farming while going to school for agriculture. And, I trained missionaries how to survive in third world nations not because I had a Ph.D. in Theology but because I had survived in third world countries and saw a deficit in their training and started my own training for them.

The Apprenticeship is still the best method to learn. The lessons are taught in the School of Hard Knocks and therefore most will be remembered the rest of your life. How long will you remember who hit John in 1299? Who cares? John and the other guy, and they’re both dead.

Here is a trick that really works. Let’s say you want to learn about diesel mechanics. Ask people who use diesels, who are the top 3 diesel mechanics in your area. (Look for independent mechanics rather than those who work for a dealership or they at least do side work at night or on weekends.) Go to the mechanics place of business, whether it is a shop or a shade tree. Ask the mechanic if they would be willing to take on an assistant in their spare time. Offer to sweep up one day a week in exchange for some tips on diesel mechanics. If you try you will find someone who will say Okay.

I DID NOT SAY ASK FOR A JOB. That comes later. If you can find someone who does night and weekend work you will be able to get some part time work believe me. Pulling an engine or dropping a transmission can be tough work. If the mechanic knows they need a little help, and you have proven yourself, don’t be surprised when they ask, “Hey, are you busy tomorrow night?” This is you cue, your opening. Unless you look really good in a mini-skirt or tight blue jeans, neither of which are needed in a mechanic’s shop you are about to be asked to help out on a big project.

What kind of skills can you learn? The possibilities are limitless. Use this method to learn vital skillsets for your survival group. As I mentioned before, you can even learn valuable trades that will make you a decent living in tough times.

“Hey, Codger, when you were young the Trade Guild and Jedi still had Patowine learners. What about now?” Believe me it still works the same way. I have learned a ton of information, tips and tricks by hanging out at the local tractor dealerships since I moved here in 2004. Believe it or not we may have learned a few things from each other. I still get asked to help them convert tractors, cars and trucks to run on alternative fuels. And, since I am not morally opposed to making some spare change, I have even made a little money after hours, just for research purposes of course.

SO why am I telling you this? Easy, we, you, me, all of us, have a lot to learn before the smelly stuff hit’s the fan. Like what for instance? Glad you asked. Here is a partial list of things that may come in handy after Butch Bernanke and the Wild Bunch finish running our economy into the ground.

Learn how to:

(1) Locate your own wild foods by asking old timers what foods are edible or what they ate back during the First Depression. You better hurry, there are not many of those walking gold mines left alive.

(2) Groom, feed, care for, and ride a horse. (I need a lot of help here myself.) After the crunch, fuel may be difficult to come by. Unless you make your own or have a stockpile of fuel you are going to walk. That is unless, you have a horse and know how to care for and ride one.

(3) Milk a cow, goat, sheep or horse. Where will you get the milk once all your powdered milk and canned milk are exhausted. And yes! You can milk a mare, the Mongolians have been doing it for a millennia or more. Their alcohol is even made from fermented mare’s milk.

(4) Build a durable fence. My neighbor built a fence and the only thing that can’t get through the fence is him, a motorcycle or a car. Everything and everyone else has little difficulty. It is not as easy as you think.

(5) Trades such as plumbing, carpentry, electrician (who’s going to hook up your solar panels and put your batteries into a series or parallel configuration?)

(6) Building a root cellar and learn why you even need a root cellar.

(7) How to “head” a spring.

(8) How to scrape a hog, clean it and use everything you can get from a hog. My Dad always said the only thing we ever lost was the squeal.

(9) How to make your own cheese (without store bought rennet), yogurt, buttermilk (real buttermilk not the store bought imitation) and real, honest-to-God butter.

(10) Gardening. How to grow everything you eat, period.

(11) How to tan leather. (The brain of every animal contains enough material to tan the hide of the animal it came from.)

(12) How to make lye soap and also how to make your own lye.

(13) How to set the teeth of a crosscut saw (passe patout in French).

(14) Raise rabbits, skin a squirrel and make dumplings from either one or both.

(15) Learn to work metal, build your own forge, build your own foundry and cast your own parts of die cast metal, aluminum or cast iron. Learn how to recognize those metals when you walk past them everyday and don’t recognize them.

(16) Fish or raise fish in a pond. When I was a kid we would run trot lines to catch fish at night while we slept and come back the next morning and gather in the fish. I learned how to “cast” a net and cast fish in a river or stream.

Is this all? NO! There are many, many more essential skills that people should learn NOW! Don’t wait until tomorrow. If you don’t know any old timers go to an assisted living center, nursing home, retirement village and talk to the activities directors. They will tell you the people most likely to be able to help you and quite possibly make the introductions. Bring a tape recorder, small camcorder, notebook anything to take notes. If you can get them to open up in front of a camcorder you will have a treasure for life.

Can’t you just download this stuff off the internet? Sure, but why? By seeking out these old timers and

Daniel Boone lived to be 86 years old. Wouldn’t love to listen to him?

listening to their stories and hearing their personal takes on what life was like during hard times, (and some have told me about surviving in Germany before Hitler and some told how they survived during and after WWII. I learned more this way than all the fancy papers I ever got out of a university.) all the knowledge becomes personal, intimate and visceral. Download that in a JPEG file! Will you get your feelings hurt when one of these walking encyclopedias passes on into the next great experience? Sure, but it is the hurt that lets us know we are still human, still capable of caring and loving.

Shortly before the death of my Uncle John, well that’s almost true, he was my 95-year young at the time grandmother’s uncle (You know when people almost 100 years old say that somebody is “real old” that they aren’t joking.) any I digress, Uncle John and I went squirrel hunting. I got six and so did he. It took three hours, not for the lack of squirrels but because I asked too many questions and we would sit down and talk and sip coffee from a thermos. Uncle John was a bullwhacker and could yoke 21-yoke of oxen and drag a 16’ diameter cypress log out of a swamp. That is no brag, I have the picture. I still quote him book, chapter and verse to this very day. That was a REAL EDUCATION or as Uncle John would say EJI-KA-SHUN.

Teaching my nephew how to “charm” a wild deer. Note the “necklace” to keep her safe.

Just remember, maybe, just maybe, if you are lucky enough and the coming collapse causes enough people to seek out knowledge and wisdom instead of just information, just maybe, one day there will be someone to listen to your stories of what it was like to survive the Greatest Depression.

God bless you and yours. Time grows short. Keep stacking and keep packing.


About PlanetPrisoner

Christian, Patriot, Father, MacGyver, Pilot, Architect, Entrepreneur
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Country Codger’s wisdom…..again.

  1. Tess of Kansas says:

    Cool. Not sure why apprentice training as a housekeeper is so out of date. I find it hard to want to pick stuff up. My goal this next season is to get a stove working or get a solar oven and can butter (the store bought kind). I would be delighted to resurrect some of my past education (welding, fix it odd jobs, landscaping).

1st Amendment honored here !

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s