“Hoard Anything You Can’t Download” – Douglas Coupland

28 thoughts on ““Hoard Anything You Can’t Download” – Douglas Coupland”

  1. Johnny,

    The top picture doesn’t look like a bad neighborhood, so why’s that wall there? It looks ugly from the outside and, I’d wager, feels like being in a prison on the inside.

    1. Almost all new American subdivisions (housing estates) have privacy walls around them. It’s a selling feature that signifies security and exclusivity. The walls also buffer back gardens from the sight and sound of eight lane suburban roadways.

      1. Walled subdivisions are more a Western/California thing. More likely in other regions is a privacy fence and/or landscape mound, even if the subdivision is gated. And there is often nothing around a lower end “tan vinyl village” subdivision.

        Land is much cheaper here and we can afford bigger buffers.

  2. Hey man, just wanted to let you know that rodents will chew through plastic buckets with food in them, so you still need to take anti rodent precautions. We lost hundreds of dollars worth of grain and dried vegi/fruit in 5 gallon plastic buckets that way.

    1. Yes, I understand. My plastic buckets are used frequently and are stored in active areas I’m in nearly daily – under the bed, next to the laundry room, near tools of frequent use…

      In order to lose large amounts of stored food before you noticed the rodent droppings and chewed evidence you must have had your stuff well out of sight for a really long time.

      The balance between perfect containers and cost effective convenient ones is tricky. The glass jars in the kitchen will break in an earthquake, but that’s only about 5% of my supplies so I’m willing to sacrifice it. Metal containers would be rodent proof, but far less manageable in terms of size, shape, cost, etc especially in a one bedroom apartment. Active management fills the gap.

  3. That shed isn’t anything new, that’s just a regular old cheap garden shed like the one dad got at Sears in 1986 before sheds (like everything else) became supersized. Who cares if it’s short because you just duck in there to get the mower or wheelbarrow (mowers used to be smaller too).

  4. Do you know Canadian country singer Corb Lund? I can’t help but think of “Gettin’ Down on the Mountain” when I read the prepper columns.

    1. Never heard of Cob Lund.

      As I always say, I’m not prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse. I’m more concerned about unemployment and money troubles. It makes me feel more secure to have a year or two of good food and cash set aside for life’s little bumpy bits.

  5. Johnny are you prepping or what? I’ve read a number of your posts, and hadn’t picked up on that vibe from you before. Not that I disagree with drying some fruit and veg, especially if you’re growing it. But not so keen on buying at the store to dry it…. I wish I had a dehydrator, I’m drying an excess of chillis the old fashioned way (hanging on a string), and I am losing some along the way.

  6. Love those quotes!

    HOA’s can be even more awful than government, as there is often no due process or recourse for bad faith, poor judgement, or arbitrary decisions.

    What is the shelf life of dehydrated foods?

    1. Dehydrated food can last for years if properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry, dark, place. It’s easier to store dry goods in Arizona than Louisiana. “Your milage may vary.” Inside the climate controlled house (rather than in a shed or garage) is usually best. Keep in mind, if you store food you need to continually use it and rotate by eating the oldest stuff first and putting new stuff back on a regular basis.

  7. It’s not “hoarding” until there’s a shortage. Until then, it’s just stimulating the supply chain, and investing in physical assets!

    A favorite ironicly-aware expression in my household is “better take as much of that as you can now, before The Hoarders show up.”

  8. Gen X angst/anxiety seems to be universal but how we deal with it varies. Preparedness is one. Entrepreneurship is another. Passion pursuit (e.g. arts instead of money) is another. I see a lot of fight and fire left in Gen X.

    However, I see a greater number of my generation in dead end jobs, listless, indebted, cynical and going through the motions, basking in nostalgia and craft beer. Maybe divorced with custody issues. Too old to (easily) pick up a new skill or have a big idea. But 20 years away from that SS check, if it ever comes. The world was ripe for the picking but we didn’t see it until it was too late.

    1. The very same might be said of the late boomers just a few years older (like me) who were in college during the hyperinflation of the Carter “malaise” years and graduated into a recession everyone conveniently forgets was worse in many ways than the one in 2008 (10% inflation, 10% unemployment, and 18% prime rate).

      And try getting a new job in your late 50s, long after the divorce and custody issues are a distant memory…still 10 years from that SS check.

      1. I feel your pain! Especially as techie slamming against a notoriously ageist industry. I feel more akin to Gen Xrs (although they were treated worse than late boomers) than earlier boomers still stuck in a 50’s or 60’s time warp.

  9. What type of dehydrator is that? My wife and I bought one a few years ago, but it took a loooong time to dehydrate stuff. We’ve been canning what we can (pun not intended) instead.

    1. My dehydrator is a Nesco. It’s not super fast, but it does the job. I hear the Excalibur is a better brand, but I wanted to get started with a less expensive machine to see if I actually like dehydrating. I can upgrade in the future and give the Nesco to a friend or use both in high volume season.

      I also do a lot of pressure canning with my All American 930 (holds 19 pints or 14 quarts at a time.) I did a jar count a couple of months ago and I have 540 jars of meat, soups, stews, and such put up.

      This is on top of plain old regular dry goods like rice and beans which I store in five gallon buckets with Gamma Seal lids.

      Don’t forget to store lots of water too. You never know.

        1. There are two types of canning – canning single ingredients so it’s possible to cook flexible meals, and canning soups and stews that are ready to eat. I do both. I don’t offer recipes, but I’ve blogged plenty about cooking.




  10. You can get those food grade plastic buckets for free or nearly free at a donut shop or bakery. All that goop they put in and on them comes in those exact buckets. Thanks for the link to your friend’s writing – had me laughing just from the titles!

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