Happy yuletide greatings from Wyoming…

As this year rolls to a close just a couple of weeks from now, it seems to be one for the record books. Not so much for SurvivalRing, but pretty much life, health, disease, pestilence, terrorism, treason, crime, racism, graft, corruption, etc…you know the drill…the American Dream.

I’ve been freakishly lax in posting new things on SurvivalRing, and you deserve an explanation…because a LOT of you have followed me for literally YEARS. It’s not due to lack of interest. There have been yoctobytes of news on every worrisome area that we preppers have been talking about and table-topping or gaming for a large part of our lives. Things we’ve never expected to see in our lifetimes are happening right before our eyes, with nearly daily occurrences of mass homicides, domestic and imported terrorism, and lulls and mass strikes of every kind of natural and manmade disaster…and yet here we are…wondering….”What next?”

So, let’s review a few things, after I give you my current status in the world. I’ll follow that with some recent incidents and my take on them, and then follow up and summarize some of this trends, a few of my plans, and some massive changes coming to all that is SurvivalRing. So please, go make yourself a frosty (or warm) beverage, get a small pad of paper to make a few notes, and turn on some soft relaxing music in the background, to set up the ambiance and background to let us communicate some important issues that I consider very worthy of some deep thought on all of our lives.

Probably be easier to use some bullet points, with a little discussion with each. Here goes.

  • About me. Health issues have really cropped up in a huge way this year, starting from events that happened 40 years ago in a little place called Plano, Texas. Specifically, I nearly died when I was literally run over by a drunk driver 4 blocks from my home. Injuries included many broken bones, such as my right femur, a few ribs, and nearly broken neck, and near loss of my right thumb, pinky, and lower leg from severe lacerations and road rash.

    Thank the Lord for having a very good orthopedist and emergency surgeons right there at the hospital when I needed them most.Weeks spent in the hospital, months spent in physical therapy and years of mental recovery brought me back to life, and I was able to do some amazing stuff I’d always dreamed of in the following years, including marrying my high school sweetheart, and starting a family. 40 years, 3 months, and 5 days later, I have a good life, a great job, 5 grandchildren, 3 college degrees, a lust and passion for life, and a body that is falling apart.I’ve developed type 2 diabetes, semi high blood pressure, and my right knee has needed to be replaced for 16 years. I require a full time knee brace and a cane to really get around, and the constant pain of the joint reminds me that I am alive, lucky to be whole, and need to realize I am not a machine.

    Plans for the spring include taking two months off of work to get that knee joint replaced and do some of the things I quite literally moved to Wyoming SIMPLY to follow through on, like hiking and camping in the Rockies, fly fishing the Madison and Firehole rivers in Yellowstone, backpacking up around the peaks of the Cirque in the Wind River Range, and many similar life goals. Hard to do when you can’t walk very well or very far.

    The knee issue has led to days that require all my energy to get through, and once I make it home, I’m not going to get around much…as that knee pain is best described as sucking the life out of me once off work. I’ve not got much done the last several months, and I’ve truly got to get going on a ton of things done, in dozens of projects.

    Downsizing, minimizing, packing, donating, and otherwise culling a huge part of my life for some near future events. Can’t tell you how hard it is to have to decide what two thirds of your life’s collecting has got to do. And it is going to come to that.

    On the positive side, I’ve gotten my blood sugar numbers down by nearly 70% over the last few weeks, and my A1C down by nearly 3 points ( have 4 more to go, to get the go ahead to get surgery scheduled). I got that 3 point drop in only 7 weeks, and I’m shooting for a February date. How?  No more fast food, soda, bread, or candy…of any kind. Snow peas, grape tomatoes, baby carrots, and small slice meat wraps for lunch every day, a gallon of sugar free lemonade, and a couple cups of coffee each morning seems to be working for me, even though it’s getting monotonous.

    Bottom line, I’ve changed my life, to save my life. Not everyone has health issues, and those that do, never truly own the issue, and make the life changes required to get their life right. I’ve crossed that line in the sand, and I’m confident that this time next year, I’ll have a new knee, no pain, and the ability to follow my dreams.

  • Current Events – Hardware -My previous desktop machine killed it’s own power supply after 7 years of heavy use. I have a new power supply to install, but personal issues and family needs have put it to the back burner. You’ll see in a second why it needs to come to the front burner. My replacement desktop recieved the so called “wonderful Windows 10” Update and ever since, I’ve had nothing but problems with it, and as I type this, the only way I can use it for the time being is in safe mode, which disallows running music, videos, and most media normally.

    The speaker driver is gone, MS Office 2010 can’t connect to its valid license, and the box won’t print to any of my 3 printers.I’ve spent the past three days backing up 375 gigs of data from the main drive, and need to backup another 400 gig of data before I do a full reinstall of Windows, probably backtracking to Windows 7.

    The box came with Win8.0, updated to Win8.1, and when 1o came in to install, well, Hell ensued. A few years of Microsoft experience deftly applied using all my secrets, has not brought the OS back to normal ops, including disabling  most boot up programs, full system diagnostics, and the like. I now despise Win10, and will proudly shout it to the world.

    IT. JUST. SUCKS.System restore has no restore points (it did before Win10 installed, and Win10 killed them). Safe mode is impossibly difficult to get to, and I am not a happy camper. Shouldn’t lose any data, but I’ve lost a month of develop time, with more still to lose. The two choices now are to either do a destructive reinstall of Windows, which wipes the entire system drive (MY LAST choice) or try to do a repair install of Windows that doesn’t delete or overwrite any non-system files. Good luck with that.

    Similarly, my DiscMakers CD/DVD duplicator also developed power supply issues, and there is no replacement power supply available for it. I’ll have to replace the system (at $550). Not going to happen any time soon, unless I can get a fundraiser going to fund it. Because of this, I will be shutting down SurvivalRing / SurvivalCD package sales as of 12/31/15.

    Duplicating CDs and DVDs (one at a time) is horribly painful, and I’ve done it before (for a rash of sales that required over 500 disks made in a few weeks back in 2008). As a direct result of this duplicator issue, I’m going to be moving the information of the 14 disk set, to SD Ram chips, SDHC Micro Ram chips, USB pen drives, and eventually 1 terabyte capacity pocket hard drives. I also intend to upload full disk images of every disk, for those with high speed internet to be able to download the entire 30 gigabyte plus package of data at their leisure.

    And, due to an ever increasing amount of hot linking to my thousands of files, I’ll be putting EVERY download behind a membership management  front end. Most files will still be free, but you’ll have to register to get download access them. I’ve been planning to do this for a couple of years, and it’s just time to now.   A series of membership levels will be set up, some digital only, some CD/DVD versions, some pen drive or Ram chip, and ultimately the pocket drive super prepper library…with nearly one terabyte of information.

    It’s time this vast library I’ve created started to cover ALL the costs of maintaining, repairing, hosting, and otherwise making all this information available for nearly 20 years. So, a few bucks a month will take a lot of pressure off, pay for upgrades to file hosting, labor for new scans of hundreds of documents still in paper only, and hopefully, let me start to earn a living off this life’s work of mine.

  • Updates and Life Changes – With the knee replaced, and the ensuing downsizing already in place, there is discussion with my family about potential early retirement.Many large and valid issues are being discussed, with opportunities never discussed before (much less affordable) that might mean a cross country move, and either a career change, or potentially putting SurvivalRing on the top of my life list and taking it to the next level, which includes advertising my digital products (in every format), actual books written on a myriad of prep/survival/self reliance topics (mostly non-fiction, matter of fact, experience based life learning).  I may semi-retire to put every waking moment into writing, programming, and otherwise upgrading my business to become a fully involved innovator and well healed entrepreneur.

    A note here, that I feel is important, and I want you to understand it. A few time in the past, I’ve had hobbies or passtimes that required having a really finite financial allowance. Making the right connections, and becoming a vendor for their products, caused a riff with friends who came to despise me for trying to earn extra money to FUND my interests, and not allowing THEM to get a lot of free things.

    Why were they upset?  Why couldn’t they support my initiative and drive?  Why’d they become haters?  I’ll never know. But with SurvivalRing and the thousands of files I’ve put online for nearly two decades, and seeing files *I* created get sold from 1000 different ebay vendors on cheap CD disks, or shared on 1000 different prepper websites, with NO indication that I created and shared them FIRST on SurvivalRing….well, what goes around comes around.

    I’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars of my own money to purchase the computers, the ORIGINAL HARDCOPY rare documents, the scanners, the printers and duplicators, the raw material to the finished product, and 5 years of my life BACK at college (with $23,000 of student loan debt)…to continue to improve my offerings, my words, my advice and my knowledge to a crowd of what now amounts to millions of people over the last 20 years.  Who else has done this, in this genre?  Really, I’d like to know.

    A redesign of accessibility and navigation to all 14 disks, updates to old or changed data, and creation of several new multimedia titles will be forthcoming. In the queue are also video DVD training, podcasts, and webinars, seminars, and speaking engagements will follow. At least, that’s the short term plan.

    Yeah, I know…I’ve talked about it for a long time, but I’ve also found the time to do live radio 3 hours every Friday, with James T. Stevens, author of Making the Best of Basics, and owner of The Preparedness Radio Network, and have been doing that for nearly two years. We are partners on several new projects, and are creating new opportunities that will help folks who MAKE the time to listen, learn, and practice simple every day things.

    The SurvivalRing website, and all associated websites will be updated, redesigned, simplified, and stream lined. Video WILL be a huge part of the upgrade ( I do have degrees in broadcasting, electronic media, and web development, by the way).  Yep, it’s overdue as well, and with the massive amount of free material I’ve offered since BEFORE 9/11, I want to make sure that the library is ALWAYS available.

  • Career – Yes, I have one, and have had many. Currently, I’m an information specialist for the state of Wyoming, working for the department of Corrections. The 19th of December will be my 7th anniversary. I do love this job, but things are changing at the state financial level that are causing me concern, and therefore looking for alternatives…it has a lot to do with the State Budget, a $600 million dollar shortfall, a hiring freeze, job positions intentionally left unfilled, and what basically has become a glass ceiling (never thought I’d be saying that about a job I love). Have to make a choice, and it’ll be hard, astoundingly painful, and cause all kinds of problems for my wife and I in our quality of life, and our current lifestyle. But, I’ve been here before, and I’m confident in the fact that I’ll make the right decision at the right time…for the right reason.
  • Finally….current events. – You know the ones of which I speak. San Bernardino…Colorado Springs… Baltimore…. Ferguson….good cops doing their job, and getting murdered because of racist rants of radical assholes.

    A president and entire administration out of control, and completely off the reservation when it comes to the boundaries of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Treason…is a real thing…and people used to be hung by the neck until dead for this kind of thing…yet, our sitting president acts as a petulant child, putting the safely and lives of millions of Americans into the hands of terrorists intentionally allowed onto American soil….by his own hand.

    If we, as Americans, allow this fallacy to continue…we get what we deserve. A despot, running a formally free country, like a series of fiedoms across what used to be freedom and liberty from sea to shining sea.If there was EVER a better time to be self reliant, prepared, free, and ready to act to save your family, your neighbors, and your community from fascist / marxist regimes, this is it.

Practice what you preach, know the law, arrest the cheaters, hang the treasonous, and save this nation…for your children, grand children and those who will be following in our footsteps.

I’m getting myself repaired now…so I can make a bigger difference, should the time come, and the balloons go up. Somebody has to make a stand…and I’m somebody. So are you. Get ready, as things are already getting real.

Updated: December 11, 2015 — 6:02 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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