Archives for posts with tag: skills

I shot my crossbow for the first time today. I’m such a wuss, my shoulders/pinched nerve is hurting. I’m going to have to get used to that.

Anyway, Rich over at Gander Mountain at 290 & Hwy 6 was very helpful on the range. I’m going to call customer service and give him some props.

The pic was of my last 3 shots. I shot a total of about 10. I had to buy an arrow puller for next time cause it shot the bolt so far into the block. I actually had to use 2 blocks back to back because of the power. 😉

Uhm… No!  I’m not talking about Harry Potter!  This can be considered pt.2 of my previous post, Our Lost Skills.

I don’t think anyone would deny that our advances in society are great.  I’m really glad I can go to the restroom in my nice, comfortable, warm restroom and not have to take a walk to the out-house.  But as things have become easier to make, buy, etc… we have lost some of the skills that were just common knowledge years ago.

Just the other day my dad was telling me about a lady on his block that would pay him for cutting her grass with canned fruit.  She would go to the local grocery store and buy fruit, at a reduced price, that was about to go bad and can it.  She was an old school prepper!  But something that was so common back then, is almost forgotten now…  Not everybody…you know what I mean.  It’s like those skills have become arts now.

But what if you could learn those skills?  You can go to Youtube and find some great tutorials and people who care about getting the info. out there.  But what if you could have a hands-on experience?  What would you like to learn?

  • canning
  • bread making
  • soap
  • gardening
  • water purification
  • orientation
  • edible plants around your area

Help me out here… Leave me a comment on what you would like to learn and then take the time to answer the poll (to the right).

If you want me to keep you updated… send me an email using the contact button to the right.  Thanks!

I have my hands in a lot of things.  My livelihood and the things that I mostly spend my time on would be considered in the service industry.  But lately,  I have been interested in getting away from my computer and doing some hands-on things in the backyard, like breeding and raising rabbits and starting to plant a garden.  I want to get my hands dirty and feel like I have accomplished something.  Seeing the results of your effort is important!

The problem is that it is harder and harder to see tangible results of your labors.  We have become a service industry nation!  Everywhere we go, we are being served.  If you need something done at home, someone will come out to do it.  If you can’t find someone to come out, you can go to the store where you will be served…and there are a bunch of different types of customer service.  And, if you are not patient to wait till the next day, you can go to a 24 hour Walmart where there is someone there waiting to serve you (“Welcome to Walmart”) with whatever you need: clothes, food, furniture, tires, etc…  We used to be a manufacturing nation.  Now the factories are closed.  We export ideas, which isn’t bad.  But we have lost the magic of building, making and creating tangible goods.

People say that our most precious resource is time.  And so in an effort to save our precious time, we pay someone to do the tasks that we used to do years ago.  We have lost some precious skill sets in this country because we have become lazy, service centered and entertainment whores (another post altogether).

The other day I asked some people sitting around a table at work if they knew how to make soap.  They all laughed and promised to drive down to the store and buy me some soap if I needed it.  But what if the store wasn’t available?  What if we just couldn’t go to the store for whatever reason: economics, zombie apocalypse (had to get that in there), earthquake, terrorist attack, a   monster solar flare that knocks out our electrical grid, etc… Our grandparents made their own soap!

But not just soap, what about canning?  What about farming?  What about skinning an animal for food…not for sport?  What about building a fire without a can of lighter fluid and a lighter?  What about building without nails?  Don’t get me wrong, there are pockets of people who are out there who know these skills.  But for the most part, the masses don’t know.

My school has a garden that the Third graders get to go to every Tuesday, get a lesson and actually weed, plant and pull vegetables.  That’s something that not everyone gets to experience.  I’m glad that students are learning about Science, but also that vegetables don’t come from the grocery store.  I hope they internalize that vegetables come from the ground, in which someone took the time to sow seed, water, care and harvest them.  Vegetables don’t just happen by accident.  Someone has the skills to bring this food up from the ground! (You know what I mean.)

So let me come full circle here… Seeing the results of your effort is important!  There is a satisfaction that comes about when you finish something, when you have something to show for it.  So take the time and learn something new.  Turn off the TV and get off your butt! There are plenty of resources on the web and Youtube is great for stuff like this.  You can also go over to American Preppers and check out their various E-books.

Ready to Grow Gardens

In the Walking Dead, episode 4 (Vatos), the crew that goes back into the city has to come up with a way to grab the cache of guns that Rick left in the middle of the street.  At one point, Glenn comes up with the plan. Impressed, Dylan asks him what he used to do for a living.  Glenn responds that he was a pizza delivery guy.

A pizza delivery guy comes up with the plan?

The point is that you have skills that you don’t realize you have!  Or worse, you don’t recognize that they are skills that are valuable to you.

But, skills won’t do you any good if you don’t have the mental capacity to act with them in a time of crisis.  One of the ways you build your mental capacity is to mentally rehearse situations.  Brain research shows that this is a very valuable exercise.

In the web article entitled “Head Games: The Use of Mental Rehearsal to Improve Performance,” Dr. Scott Williams, of Raj Soin College of Business, Wright University, says, “Mental rehearsal of performances is an excellent way to support skill development.”  He continues, “Mental rehearsal involves imagined, mental practice of performing a task as opposed to actual practice.  That is, when engaging in mental rehearsal, one imagines performing without having to actually do anything.”

Dr. Williams does note that there needs to be some skill attainment to effectively do this.  You can’t imagine yourself a 5th degree Black Belt and have never taken Karate in your life!

Remember images of the Winter Olympics when they show skiers who close their eyes and imagine themselves taking the turns, zigging and zagging coming down the hill.  Or imagine the dancer who has to learn a long choreographed dance and goes through it in his/her head.  This type of mental rehearsal helps them perform.

So, identifying your skills and taking time to rehearse your abilities will help you fight off the zombies!  Again, you have to have some kind of skill attainment.  But who doesn’t know how to swing a bat or cut a zombies head off with a sword?

Mentally rehearsing fighting off zombies would have helped wife beater man, who gets eaten in the tent (in episode 4)!  He had no problem beating his wife in plain sight.  But the idiot froze when the zombie shows up at his tent door.  Coming face to face with a hungry zombie should be the first thing you imagine so that you can survive the apocalypse!