Spring has sprung…in my world.

Ahhhhhh….the greening of the greenery.

Friday Update…The end of the week…the first week of Spring 2012. A long one, with some stress, worry, anxiety, and finally…relief…so, let’s review…

The new engine, complete except for the intake manifold, getting lowered into the engine bay1. After weeks of work, maybe $3,000 in cost, stitches, scrapes on my arms and hands, dents in my head in various places ( I did all the under

Rich prepping for the new engine install

Rich making Vroom Vroom sounds...

chassis work, dinging my noggin on the frame, calipers, cross members, floor jack, and yes, the floor)…I got my new engine installed and running in my 2000 Nissan Xterra. Brand new 0 mile full block, new manifolds, new water pump, new timing belt, various tubes, belts, and hoses, and so many other things. It runs like new…so very happy. Saved $$$ by doing what I’ve always done…learned the skills, the tools, and the resources to do the job myself. Took investing in the right tools, too. Engine hoist, 60 gallon air compressor, specialized tools….not the best, but effective and workable. Harbor Freight is my friend.

2. None too soon, as our old set of wheels (older than my oldest child), The Beast, died a painfully wheezing death last week, from a cracked valve. Not having any plans to fix it back to What happens when you hit a deer in the dark...at 60mphfull health (especially after the fateful day last July 30th, when we hit a deer at 60 mph), all my work, time, and efforts, along with my oldest son Rob, got the engine ordered, delivered, installed, and tuned in our own garage. What a relief to see the completion of this long awaited project finally come, after months of worry. Today, around 11am, a driver with a roll-back, from Billings, Montana company, arrived to pay us $100 for the hulk of The Beast.

Upper right. The Beast drivable after the deer hit, but REAL ugly. Took a new radiator and replacing shattered headlights, and it got us thru the rest of last year.

I removed several very recently replaced parts, that will be going on eBay, as well as 12 different custom light fixtures that I have future uses for.  12 volt lighting is a VERY good investment for any long term, holy crap, end of the world scenarios…especially if one is forced off the grid by the power that be. Just a deep cycle battery and a decent set of solar cells…lots of possibilities. Had plans, if we didn’t get rid of it, to cut the front cabin off, enclose it with fiberglass, and make a nifty, balanced, and roomy camper out of it. Would have been too heavy for the Xterra though. Drats.

3. After over a year out of work, son Rob got a job in Casper, Wyoming, with benefits that will cover his wife and 3 kids, who have all been staying with us since last year. Very happy for him.  Now we just need to make a day trip to Rawlins, Wyoming and pick up his motorcycle…and do a bit of work on my Kawasaki ZN1300 (valve shims…which may be a yearly thing now, as it’s a 1984 road bike. A 1300cc road bike. Six cylinder, air shocks, top speed of 145 mph. Cruises REALLY nice.

4. Grandson Hudsin, currently in Kindergarten, just learned to read last semester. This past week, they’ve kicked him up to the next level of reading at his elementary. He hates change, but is moving forward with great comprehension. I’m proud of him.  He has worked really, really hard for a 5 year old.

5. Tax Season….OMG. Been doing our own taxes for years, using TaxAct. Haven’t had any problems. Unfortunately, I have to go through ALL our receipts, with Annie’s help, as well as pull records for our business from all affiliate programs, PayPal transactions, offline sales, and more. Hate it, but over the years, I’ve finally comprehended trends, and have plans for this year to upgrade many business models and funnels to the next level.

6. Projects…Finished that CD project for good friend James Stevens, and working on a new HUGE project for another long time business associate. Some urgency in completion, based on world events.

7. Newsletter…I’m fairly deep into my next SurvivalRing Ezine Newsletter, Volume 2, Edition 3. My last newsletter in 2009, pushed 39 pages in length. I’m pretty sure this new edition will push 60 (sounds more like a magazine, eh?). Timely commentary on recent events, societal change, how-to articles, preparedness planning, family safety, frugal living, and so much more. Needless to say, with 15 years online, and thousands of digital ebooks available on my website, I’ve got resources out the proverbial wazoo to share with the world…and you. Read my last newsletter here…


Enough for now. Chew on all the above…comment if you like…spend some time and read this most recent newsletter. In this time of economic fear and terror, global terrorism being ever present, and political chaff and untrustworthy leaders and administrators, the act of self preservation and family preparedness become a moral imperative.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

Updated: April 10, 2012 — 12:32 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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