Housekeeping · Pre Planning Your Scene

A Model For A Twelve Month Checklist

This was first published on Survivalblog The publisher, James, Rawles, kindly allowed me to reprint it here, for your benefit. Thank you, Jim!

It has been said that amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics. I have attempted to put things aside for rainy days, and, with Mr. Biden at the helm, and Mr. Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation, well, my achy knees tell me that rainy days are a’coming.

This last November, I had the epiphany that I needed to check the condition as well as charge of my batteries. This is a task for me semi annually. I inspect for signs of leakage, I test the strength (using a voltage meter: Radio Shack used to sell them for $10-$20, once upon a time), and contemplate whether I have enough of each size. Unlike ammunition, “MOAR!” is not always the correct answer, for, ammunition keeps nearly forever if kept cool, dry and in the dark. Batteries have a self discharge phenomenon, and both rechargeable as well as alkaline (and carbon-zinc), or “primary”, batteries, will lose their charge over time. (“Primary batteries” are single use, and their charge derives from the chemicals with which they are made. “Secondary”, or rechargeable, batteries can be brought back up to charge, after discharge, although after a sufficient number of charge/discharge cycles, they gradually lose their ability to accept and hold a charge.) Therefore, in an ideal bunker, I would have just enough that I would have fully charged batteries in service, and enough fully charged replacements to cycle back and forth, so that no battery would die a lonely, unused, death, way back in the back of my battery shelf.

I am still striving for that level of efficiency.

When I checked this past month, to my disappointment, I found that most of my rechargeable batteries had discharged. Once I see if they will accept and hold a charge, I will know if they are in need of replacement, or simply every month assessment.

I have some primary cells, for items that are frequently used. I have an LED penlight fueled by AAA batteries, and another identical penlight, except that this LED emits in near UV. That is handy for illuminating rashes, sometimes revealing luminescence typical of certain strains of dermatophytes. You might recognize the rashes caused, such as “ringworm”, or dandruff, or athlete’s foot, among others. Not all the dermatophytes glow under UV, but when it does, it is an “AHA!” moment. (yeah, I am a midlevel provider.)

My Sure Fire and Thor Fire flashlights use CR-123 batteries, and ride in holsters on my belt. They are bright, “Light-up-the-yard” lights. There are two, because should one fail, it is likely that the other will function. I have spare batteries in my “Bag Of Tricks” (h/t to Felix The Cat as well as Commander Zero of “Notes From The Bunker”)

Our vehicles each have one or more “torches”, to differentiate the hand held lights, from the headlamp, the light-up-the-interior-of-the-vehicle lanterns, or the LED warning flashers. One torch is powered by CR-123 batteries, two are powered by C primary cells (the second torch, and one handheld flashlight)

The LED flashers are powered by AAA batteries, and are intended to allow oncoming traffic to see that there is something (Me!) in the roadway, in the event of a breakdown, collision, or other night time deviation from normal. It turns out, when you buy “budget” rechargeable batteries, they have fewer charge/discharge cycles in their make up, than quality cells. Guess which will replace the unsatisfactory batteries? Yep: buy once, cry once. Or cheap out, and cry. In the dark.

Subsequent to my battery experience, I developed a calendar of sorts. Each month has it’s own focus, such that I do not spend every single day off in any one month in my subterranean lair, checking off stores against a checklist. If all goes smoothly, I might get my inventory done in an afternoon. As a starting point for those who might be interested, I have included a representative sample of my present-draft month-to-month checklist.

The batteries that power my hand held radios are on an every month check, because if they are required to be placed in service, they are likely to be required NOW. Secondly, they are powered by battery packs, and the lead times, in good times, to obtain replacements are measured in days-to-weeks. These are NOT “good times”, and therefore vigilance regarding the radio batteries, and their state of charge, is prudent.

My lead off check list is my recurring checks. I list it first, because failing to perform these checks every six months/every month/ as planned, may lead to Bad Things. For instance, failure to check and replace my bug out bag, or first aid kit meds, might lead to administering out dated, for example, Tylenol. THAT might place somebody into liver or kidney failure, and THAT just might be bad, from a kharma perspective, and a “First Do No Harm” perspective, as well as a liability/litigation perspective.


Clean Guns every 6 mos

15 Jan/15 June

Ammo Can Desiccant every 3 mos

15 Feb/15 May/15 Aug/15 Nov

Radio Batteries every month and as indicated

Stored Water change every 6 mos

change 15 Mar/15 Sept

Flush Hot Water Heater every 6 mos

15 Mar/15 August

BOB Food/Water change every other month/even months

BOB summer/winter gear: change every 6 mos

change 15 Apr/15 Oct

Jump Kit/Car Kit/Boo Boo Kit change every 6 mos

check, change 15 Sept/15 May

Generator: Function Check. Run under load. (every 6 mos)

Apr 15/Oct 15

My January checklist is Lights/Heat/Fire, well, because it’s dark in this, The Un Named Fly Over State in the winter, as well as remarkably cold. (well, EVERYBODY remarks upon how cold it is, so, I suppose, THAT makes it “remarkable”, right?) Some of the things on this list, such as “check lanterns”, or “check heaters”, perhaps ought to be performed in more pleasant weather, prior to the likelihood of, ya know, REQUIRING these things to properly function. But, I drew this up in the winter, and am now in the first year of implementation. As may be imagined, there is editing in my future!




propane: Inspect, Function test

battery: Inspect, Function test (inspect batteries!)

AC light bulbs: Inventory, Inspect

Flashlights: Inventory, Inspect, Function Check

Batteries for Flashlights: Inventory, Inspect, Test charge (see Battery checklist for locations, baseline stock levels)


Matches: Inspect


Pocket: Inspect

Barbecue: Inspect

Candles: Inventory, Inspect (3 each day, 30 day supply)

Candle Lanterns (Mason Jar)(Pop can)

Charcoal: (3 bags)(store in tightly closed metal trash can)


Solar Charging (Trickle)(100 watt)

Generator: Function Check. Run under load. (q every 6 mos)

Generator Fuel (amount stored)(fuel stabilizer)(condition)

Butane/Propane stoves: Function check. Fuel stored: amount, condition.

Propane heater: Function check (has batteries: Check same)

Kerosene heater: Function check. Fuel (amount)(condition)(fuel stabilizer) (has batteries. Check same)

Fire extinguishers. Inventory. Check condition.

FIRE PLAN: Review, rethink as indicated. Walk through.


Clean Guns

Check Radios and Batteries

February was christened “Paper/Cleaning/Household” Month, because, basically, it’s the Third Anniversary Of The Covid TP Freak-out. Should you have a reason to check your own paper (etc) stores in a different month, be my guest. OTOH, making such a check in February, and identifying a deficit, gives you a couple of months to make it right, before Spring Cleaning pops up.


TP: 52 rolls/person/year

(TP x 4 persons x 1 year = 200 rolls)

(TP x 8 persons x 1 yr = 400 rolls)



Dish soap x 12, 75 fluid oz ea

Plastic flatware

Paper plates/cups/bowls

Bleach (unscented) gallon x 4 (8?)

Trash Bags, 13 gal, 200 bags/box, x 4 boxes

Trash Bags, 30 gal, 200/box, x 4 boxes

Trash Bags, 55 gal (contractor), 30/box, x 2 boxes

Zip Lock bags (freezer), quart, #100

Zip Lock bags (freezer), gallon, #100

Paper Towels, roll #24

Aluminum Foil, roll, #10

Dish Pans, #3-6

Plastic Wrap, roll, #10


Bar soap, # 52 bars

Shampoo # 12 bottles

Shampoo (Nizoral), #4 bottles

Deodorant (Me) (TDW) #13 each

Lotion, bottle, 20 oz, #12

Liquid hand soap, bottle, 40 oz, # 13

Baby Wipes, package, 100, #36 (VACUUM SEAL)


Sheets x 4 sets/bed

Bath Towels x 2/person

Wash Cloths x 2/person

Pillow Cases x 4/bed

Laundry Bags x 1/person

Blankets x 2/person


Mop/Bucket x 2 (x 4?)

Lysol/Pine Sol x 6 bottles

Whip It x 6 bottles

Scouring Powder x 6

Toilet Cleaner x 6





cats · Fun And Games Off Duty · Gratitude · Having A Good Partner Is Very Important! · Life in Da City!

And, Now, The Rest Of Teh Story!

Momma Kitty went on to have another litter, this one beneath our porch. Again, we provided dry food and water. Again, we saw her parading her kittens onto the porch, eventually, and observed them partaking of the dry food.

TDW would from time to time attempt to approach Momma Kitty, and eventually was able to lay on our porch, and have Momma Kitty approach her, and allow TDW to pet her briefly. So, to our surprise, one day when TDW opened the door, and invited Momma Kitty to enter, she did.

Much like the dog who finally caught the car, we were not altogether clear on what to do next. We settled on encouraging Momma Kitty to take her place in the cat crate (and, surprisingly she did take her place therein). TDW then scouted out the location of the kittens, and retrieved them. One has white and black markings, resembling a miniature, clawed, cow. She was named “Bossie” after TDW’s childhood pet cow. The other kitten, tranquilly accepting his transition to house cat, was named “Oliver” (again, olive branch=peaceful).

So, that is why we are over run with cats, and how they were named. Everybody gets along, they take turns grooming each other, and TDW has several Cute Cat Stories for me, each evening when I return home from work.

cats · Fun And Games Off Duty · Gratitude · Having A Good Partner Is Very Important! · Sometimes You Get to Think That You Have Accomplished Something!

And Now For Something Completely Different

Well, THOSE were some dark stories! And, now for something completely different.

TDW got a kitten from a friend, whom we named Max.

It developed that Max would laze away the afternoon, gazing out the window. After a while, he started to do this sort of “click-click-click” noise, and move from one window to the next, as if following something. Investigation revealed that this something was another cat, who eventually demonstrated that she had had kittens in our window wells. TDW eventually noted that the kittens were eating the dry cat food that she had been putting our for the new cat, who we dubbed Momma Kitty, and we soon retrieved the kittens: Momma Kitty escaped our clutches.

When we got the kittens inside, we locked them in the second bathroom, providing a crate where they could hide, water and food, and litter boxes. We would enter a couple of times a day to clean up the mess, refresh the water, refresh the food, and attempt to play with them, trying to socialize them into their new lives as house cats.

Took some doing. The one kitten would sit in a corner and snarl at us with all the gravitas a 6 ounce kitten could muster. She was named Henrietta, after the chickenhawk character in the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons.

Another kitten would gnaw at our fingers, then rush to lick and pat the same finger, reminiscent of the big blue “Sullie” character in the “Monsters Inc.” cartoon. A third kitten would lay, tranquilly, in our arms, allowing us to pet her and provide neck scritches, purring all the while. She was named Olivia (as in olive branch, the historic symbol of peace).

The final sister was named Dynamite, since she would nearly explode into a fury of claws and fangs upon any approach. She has since calmed down, although she is not altogether sure about the whole “hold still while Ipet you” thing, and would rather get going after a brief interval of tolerating our petting.

Fun And Games Off Duty · Fun With Suits! · Life in Da City! · Pains in my Fifth Point of Contact

“State Employment Agency”. Yeah: About That….

Years ago, I was unemployed. Since I was unemployed, I registered for (surprisingly enough) unemployment insurance payments. THAT necessitated that I register with the state, for assistance obtaining employment.

THAT was a treat! As it developed the folks at the “find this guy a job” office, did not appear to comprehend that I was an RN. Ya know, Registered Nurse. College and everything like that. They persisted in pointing out that they had PLENTY of Nurse’s Aid jobs. “Uh, yeah, about that. I am licensed here in the Great State of The Un Named Fly Over State, as a Registered Nurse. Nurse aids report to the LPNs that work with, and supervise, them. My job is, among other things, when I am working, is to supervise the LPNs. Howzabout you find me a job like THAT, hmm?”.

You might imagine that I did not rely upon them to find me my next job.

Trying to facilitate my return to gainful employment, I observed that I also held licensure as a Physician Assistant. “Oh, yes! Isn’t that like a medical assistant? We have jobs for those!”

Sigh. Another explanation of the collegiate effort required in order to qualify to sit for the board examination. As well as the different responsibilities appertaining to medical assistants, versus physician assistants.

I found employment as a midlevel, through a locums agency. Fat lot of help the unemployment folks were.

Fun And Games Off Duty · Fun With Suits! · guns · Life in Da City! · oops! · Pre Planning Your Scene

Never Fuck Around With A Brooklyn Boy

My Dad was from Brooklyn, He told me, when I was a lad, “Never fuck around with a Brooklyn Boy!”

That is sound advice.

I used to work with a guy who, one time, when his wife was ill, and he was the only income in their two income household, fell behind on some bills. He is an ex street medic, himself, and, well, not in the “shit” business: he did not talk shit, he would not take shit.

So TINS, this one tine he received a call from one creditor, who, once my friend had explained that he, the creditor, would not be receiving money in the near future, and would indeed be paid, once the finances in the household were approaching stabilty, responded (the creditor), “Oh, so you do not think that I can find you?”

My friend paused, and counseled this asshole. “Well, no, I do not think about that issue, one way or the other. But, now that you have brought it up, it is my opinion that, should your luck be exceedingly poor, you just might, indeed, find me. Have a nice day!”

My friend never saw that jackwagon, ever.

Years and years ago, I fell behind on my mortgage. (something about unemployment…) I was in touch with my lender, thinking that absence of surprise would be to my advantage.


I asked about any sort of program for an unemployed soul, whereby I could make partial payments, and have the arrearage added to later payments.


Could I miss a couple of payments, and have them added to the tail end of my mortgage? I would continue to pay interest.


Well, after buying groceries, and sucklike, gotta tell you that there simply was NOT the money to pay the house payment.

So, one day, a month or two into this niceness, I received a phone call from the mortgage company. The mortgage company asshole on the other end of the line advised me, “We are going to come out to inspect the house.”

“Why are you telling me this? You can drive by any time that you like.”

“Uh, no. We will come in and inspect the house.”

(my response)”Uh, no, you are not. You might make an appointment to come out, when I am home, and it is possible that I might escort one of your personnel to view selected portions of my house, but you are not simply going to ‘come in and inspect the house’. Not going to happen.”

(Mortgage Asshole) “You think you can stop us?”

(me) “Interesting that you should ask that question. Yeah, I know that I can stop you. If you do, indeed, plan to simply waltz in here without my permission, send orphaned bachelors, because whoever you send to walk on in, will be carried out.”

“Is that a threat?”

(me) “Nope, that is a prediction. Let’s consider this: you have just now threatened to have stranger or strangers break into my occupied home, and I have told you that that sort of activity will end poorly, for everyone. You threatened me with a B and E, I told you what my response will be. Your move.”

Oddly, nobody came over to “inspect” the house. What a surprise.