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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Video Review: LED Flashlights


How to build an igloo – 1922 Eskimos

I stumbled upon this old video from a 1922 documentary of an Eskimo family. I thought the ice window was pretty cool.
Here’s a more recent video for those who are really interested in the subject. It really is amazing that they can make these shelters in under 30 minutes.

Disability Insurance

"Insurance: An ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating the man who keeps the table."- Ambrose Bierce Shortly after I got married, my new wife and I attended a free financial planning seminar. We were by far the youngest persons in the room (I was in my late 20's at the time.) Everyone else was near retirement by which point it's a bit late to begin "planning." As a follow-up to the seminar we were offered a free review of our assets with a Financial Planner. We listened carefully to the advice offered and followed all of it EXCEPT for one item: buying Disability Insurance.
The purpose of disability insurance is to compensate for lost wages if you are unable to work due to injury or medical reasons. (AFLAC says the duck.) We decided against buying disability insurance because of the high cost - much more than our car or home insurance.
A reason for the high cost might be the high odds of collecting on the insurance. The book “How To Insure Your Income” claims everyone has an 80% chance of being disabled for 90 days before age 65. Others set the odds much lower at 30% for blue collar jobs and 10% for white collar jobs. In my case I've been "disabled" twice for back surgery, each requiring a six week recovery. In both instances I took a brief sick leave and was allowed to work from home with a laptop computer. I was fortunate.
Alternatives to disability insurance include:
-Social Security. It may take more than a year for your claim to be processed and longer if you appeal a rejection. It pays at best a few thousand dollars a month.
- Worker’s compensation. Covers you only if you were hurt on the job.
Bottom Line
If you're interested in Disability Insurance, check out Questions to Ask Before Buying Disability Insurance. Questions include:
  • What percentage of my income will you replace if I become disabled?
  • Is there a maximum payout that you’ll make (in dollars) per year, no matter what I earn?
  • If I can’t return to the job I had before, can I continue to draw payments forever? Until I’m 65? Or some shorter period of time?
  • Will you guarantee that I can renew the policy each year, at the same price? What about at a higher price?
  • If I’m paying the premium on time, are there any circumstances under which you can cancel my policy?
  • What if I’m unemployed and can’t pay the premium for a short period of time?
  • Is there a waiting period after you become disabled before you can start collecting on a claim?
  • What injuries or illnesses does my policy exclude? If I’ve already been treated for depression or back pain or cancer will you not cover those maladies at all in the future?
Get the answers in writing!

Home Security Preps

Just interested in your preplanning/prepping for enhancing your overall home security. This is something that I've given a lot of thought to over the years and understand the various schools of thought. This is, of course, something that involves decision making in what is likely to be a very fluid environment. I don't have one single way to go about it, for the most part though these are relatively invisible to the outside.

* Included in my "preps" is a general home security container with a variety of hasps and locks, cheap bells, etc.

* I also have a modest # of battery operated audible contact alarms, these have limitations of course, but would serve their purpose for a time.

* I have precut lumber (2X4) for interior door stops. Also precut plywood and OSB for interior window covering. Not for all windows, just the most accessable.

* I also have designated a "safe room" that would be beefed up (with all of the above).

* In addition I plan, as needed, to add radiant "spike strips" (cheap lumber with screws & nails) to the roof under second story windows that access can be gained through.

* Inexpensive bells, tin cans, etc., would also be added strategically.

These are just few relatively inexpensive, simple ideas. The lumber is precut, drilled, marked and stuck in the corner of the garage ready to go. The idea is to put the material in place discretely and/or in a hurry if need be. None of this would necessarily defeat a determined person from entering my home, but would delay them and they would have to make quite a bit of noise allowing me valuable time to react.

I'm not asking for a critique on my advance home security preps as the stuff I listed here is not a complete list of my plans. I'm just wondering if/what everyone is pre-planning along these lines too.

FREE PDF books - Where There Is No Doctor/Dentist, & Army Survival Manual

Hi all,

I just joined here and already feel at home, since every topic seems to be of interest to me. I haven't had a chance to browse much yet, so sorry if this info is already on here somewhere...

Here are a few excellent free PDF books,

1. Where There Is No Doctor, by David Werner

2. Where There Is No Dentist, by Murray Dickson

3. US Army Survival Manual

Also for those interested in bug-out-bags/pocket tin contents, firearms, misc. survival stuff, I made a list of good links at: