PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Share a survival experience with us and explain what you learned from it. You might help someone.

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PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by Vicarious_Lee » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:45 pm

This is my latest venture in what I'm calling my "Reality Check" series of threads.

I've noticed so many times that many of us talk a good game up here, but in real life we may be manning our weapons and checking over our shoulders while all the little Ankle Zombies chew us to the ground and we've got a nest of Tapeworm Zombies up our ass that we're ignoring. Don't worry, I'll start first, and with my most recent fail.

1. I've known that Roxy Junebug (my Subaru) needed brakes soon. I've known for at least 3 months, maybe more. 3 weeks ago, as I crawled out of the parking garage with my windows down, I heard a faint but ominous metal-on-metal noise coming from my wheelwells. At first I thought it was the trolley passing by, as it makes the exact same noise. In the last week, I've noticed that the noise is getting more persistent but not louder. I checked that the brakes and wheel hubs weren't hot or smoking. The pedal feels a little soft, but the brakes work fine otherwise. Today, I had the opportunity to leave work early and I bolted to the only mechanic shop I have ever trusted in my life (that God mercifully placed a mile from my house). Took a dude for a ride in the parking lot. Duh, it's the brakes. He pointed out 2 things: The wear tabs were sticking out like an anorexic's ribs, and that the wear indicators were scoring all 4 rotors.

FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC........

Lesson learned: Really? You're a gearhead. You've been around cars all your life, moron! You could have done this in the last 6 months when you had so much more time! Now you have to pay someone to do it! Welcome to Myopic Asshattia. Population: You.


2. I have a 5-gallon can of gas from Hurricane Rita in my garage. Haven't heard of Rita? That's fine. She hit nearly FIVE DAMN YEARS AGO!!!!!!!!!!

Lesson learned: I need to move out of Asshattia, and quickly.


3. I bought a bunch of guns that I've always wanted during the Panic of '08. I bought them, and a boatload of ammo, at inflated prices because I was a no-prepping sucker. I bought them before I bought other preps. For crying out loud I bought the majority of them BEFORE I EVEN HAD A SINGLE FIRE EXTINGUISHER IN THE HOME!!!!!!! (I now have 4). I bought them before I had an alarm system up and running. :(

Lesson learned: Ammo is generally not dangerous when it "cooks off" in a house fire, which I made far more likely to occur by being a douche for a few months.


4. That frozen debit card while traveling at midnight in frozen temperatures with a trying to freeze toddler in the back that I outlined in the Inconvenience Zombies thread.

Lesson learned: I don't want to relive it here. I have a running credit card and cash stashed so that BS doesn't happen again.


5. Procrastinating on taking out the Licensing and Accreditation Zombies that are now at CQB distance. They're closer, there's more of them, and I'm expending time and energy that I don't have now (that I did have back then) to knock them off. This could turn into a melee before it's all done, and chances of failure are much higher now.

Lesson learned: Look forward. If you have a choice between sniping a problem at 300 yards (or, say, 12 months away) or trying to take a katana to it at toe-touching distance, DON'T BE STUPID! We all know katanas suck goat peen.


So, those are some painful, shameful experiences that I've had since becoming a true prepper. This being the opposite of the DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread, I hope others can post up their opposite-of-victory moments for us to share. Like DEBTSQUAD, feel free to post an accompanying picture to help illustrate your fail and help others out.

This is a recent sagittal cut of a CT scan that I had done a few weeks ago at my doctor's office. I came in because I was experiencing more fail than I usually have, and it wasn't responsive to regular over-the-counter medication or quick wittedness under pressure like it normally is:

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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by shrapnel » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:06 pm

I can't see the picture. :(

I can haz link?
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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by Vicarious_Lee » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:07 pm

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl= ... n%26sa%3DG" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by shrapnel » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:14 pm

Ahh there we go.


Well played, sir. :lol:
OTTB wrote:"What's that you're wearing?"
"This? Oh, just my rabies hat."
shrapnel wrote:Darling, I would never fondle your sphenoid.
Dr. Cox wrote: People aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard fillings.
JamesCannon wrote:Shrapnel, if you were a superhero, you'd be Captain Buzzkill Peener Pain.

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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by GuNs|iNgEr » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:16 pm

A year and a half ago we bought 200 pounds of rice to shore up our food stuff. I planned to get mylar bags and buckets, but there was always something else to spend money on, or I didnt have the time, etc, etc. A few months ago I walk into the kitchen and see little creepy crawlies coming out of the pantry. Fucking weevils. Tons of them. Ended throwing away the 150 pounds of rice we still had, 75 pounds of beans, and some other soft packed stuff they bored their way into.

Laziness really hurts.
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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by Wasz » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:50 pm

First year in my house. Never had an oil furnace before. Well when it gets fuck off cold you burn though that stuff way faster than I realized. Yeah I went 2 sub 15 degrees days without a furnace. Thanks to the preps of others I was decently warm and able to keep my pipes from freezing with a kero heater and a couple of electric heaters.
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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by magdelaina » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:51 pm

I put this in context in it's own post, but I believe a Fail of this magnitude deserves reiterating.
At the time of power loss... The candles and other preps were in a box at the bottom of a pile in the back of the garage, and the only entrance to the windowless garage that wasn't power operated was blocked from the inside by a dresser.
Even if I had been able to get into the garage, I would have probably frozen to death before overcoming my crippling arachnophobia. Spiders were the reason I let the garage get as bad as it was. I should hurry up and drag that issue into therapy before I best my Fail high-score.

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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by WhoShotJR » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:32 pm

GuNs|iNgEr wrote:A year and a half ago we bought 200 pounds of rice to shore up our food stuff. I planned to get mylar bags and buckets, but there was always something else to spend money on, or I didnt have the time, etc, etc. A few months ago I walk into the kitchen and see little creepy crawlies coming out of the pantry. Fucking weevils. Tons of them. Ended throwing away the 150 pounds of rice we still had, 75 pounds of beans, and some other soft packed stuff they bored their way into.

Laziness really hurts.


I had the same damn thing happen to me last year with 120 lbs of rice. Left all of it in one big rubbermaid container for about six months before I finally bought all of my buckets and supplies. Went in to start packaging it up and it was all ruined. Very first thing I do now when I buy rice is to put it in the freezer for a week to kill any hitchhikers.

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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by Istvan56 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:23 am

WhoShotJR wrote:
GuNs|iNgEr wrote:A year and a half ago we bought 200 pounds of rice to shore up our food stuff. I planned to get mylar bags and buckets, but there was always something else to spend money on, or I didnt have the time, etc, etc. A few months ago I walk into the kitchen and see little creepy crawlies coming out of the pantry. Fucking weevils. Tons of them. Ended throwing away the 150 pounds of rice we still had, 75 pounds of beans, and some other soft packed stuff they bored their way into.

Laziness really hurts.


I had the same damn thing happen to me last year with 120 lbs of rice. Left all of it in one big rubbermaid container for about six months before I finally bought all of my buckets and supplies. Went in to start packaging it up and it was all ruined. Very first thing I do now when I buy rice is to put it in the freezer for a week to kill any hitchhikers.
You guys forget that to get a balanced meal out of rice you need to add a little protein. Weevils fit the bill! Just ask any ex-POW about it. :P

My personal epic fail is going through winter without refilling either of my propane tanks due to constant cash shortages and wanting to wait till the price dipped again. We had a power outage two weeks ago and all I had for the backup propane heater, cook stove and the camping lantern were a few of the small Coleman LP tanks. It was a good thing that the power came back on when it did rather than be out for days.

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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by Krustofski » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:48 pm

Istvan56 wrote:You guys forget that to get a balanced meal out of rice you need to add a little protein. Weevils fit the bill! Just ask any ex-POW about it. :P
The weevils themself wouldn't bother me, really. It's the whole weevil shit I don't want in my rice.

Vicarious_Lee wrote:I've noticed so many times that many of us talk a good game up here, but in real life we may be manning our weapons and checking over our shoulders while all the little Ankle Zombies chew us to the ground and we've got a nest of Tapeworm Zombies up our ass that we're ignoring.
Now that you mention it... I do have a full pantry, lot's of drinking water, a propane cooker with enough fuel, essential tools, fire extinguisher, a firearm, and a CRAPLOAD of medical supplies.

Seriously, I do have virtually kilos and kilos of dressings and bandages, plasters, diagnostig equipment and more meds than I could possible use within the expiration date. I am, however, dependent on strong prescription antihistamines. Which I don't have. Not a single dose. The new prescription has been siting here on my desk FOR THREE MONTHS! Yeah, that box of OTC cetirizine I've stacked away will do me a lot of good when I'm dying. Not.

Oh god, I'm stupid. :roll:
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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by Murphy Slaw » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:04 pm

Krustofski wrote:
Istvan56 wrote:You guys forget that to get a balanced meal out of rice you need to add a little protein. Weevils fit the bill! Just ask any ex-POW about it. :P
The weevils themself wouldn't bother me, really. It's the whole weevil shit I don't want in my rice.

Meh, that's just recycled rice, right? :lol:
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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by shrapnel » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:14 pm

Our water bottles may or may not have been stored in the garage, and may or may not have frozen during the past few weeks of Very Cold Weather. And which may or may not have largely ruptured when they froze. :oops: :cry:
OTTB wrote:"What's that you're wearing?"
"This? Oh, just my rabies hat."
shrapnel wrote:Darling, I would never fondle your sphenoid.
Dr. Cox wrote: People aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard fillings.
JamesCannon wrote:Shrapnel, if you were a superhero, you'd be Captain Buzzkill Peener Pain.

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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by raptor » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:22 pm

Vicarious_Lee wrote: 5. Procrastinating on taking out the Licensing and Accreditation Zombies that are now at CQB distance. They're closer, there's more of them, and I'm expending time and energy that I don't have now (that I did have back then) to knock them off. This could turn into a melee before it's all done, and chances of failure are much higher now.

Lesson learned: Look forward. If you have a choice between sniping a problem at 300 yards (or, say, 12 months away) or trying to take a katana to it at toe-touching distance, DON'T BE STUPID! We all know katanas suck goat peen.
That bastard procrastination zombie is the one that is always stalking me. It is one very difficult zombie to eliminate entirely, especially with professional societies requiring more CPE hours, changes in rules, regulations and applicable technology.

I use Outlook to remind me bi-monthly of CPE achieved vs. required and even with this constant nagging I always seem to get behind the power curve.

My problem is that I sign up for the course, pay the fees and then something comes up at the last minute that requires my presence and hence I miss the CPE course. Double whammy, no CPE and no refund of fees. :roll:

My solution? What I have found that works schedule wise anyway for this are the on line courses offered by professional societies and universities. They do not allow networking opportunities but at least I can set my own schedule.

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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by SteveD » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:57 am

I'll admit to one :wink:
My generator has sat for about two to three years. Now when it's cold I know the gas is old and it won't start.
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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by wolf_from_wv » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:37 pm

I had to go to Walmart 20 miles away in another county a year or two ago, when the water for this county was supposedly contaminated by e coli. They were restocking...
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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by Glennbo » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:28 pm

I've got it bass ackwards. I've lost a lot of weight in the last six months. In that period I spent all my spare cash on survival supplies. Next week I need to go to an important event and I have no suit or dress shoes to wear.
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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by DannusMaximus » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:15 pm

I'm relatively new to the prepping thing, but once I got into it a bit, I began to feel VERY smug that the house I lived in had a working fireplace. Source of heat and a place to cook my grub if the power ever goes out, right?

Last year we had a hella ice storm that blacked out the entire region for about a week (some areas around here had outages for nearly a month). Was I able to immediately make things better by stoking up the home fires? FAIL! I didn't have the first stick of firewood set aside. SO, off I go to the local gas station to buy one of the insanely overpriced bundles of wood they sell to idiots like me. About an armload of firewood for $5. Madness...

STILL, now I've got about $50 worth of firewood, so life is good, right? Build a big fire, pull a chair up to the hearth, and relax with my pipe, a good book, and my favorite dog lying at my feet looking adoringly up at me, right? FAIL! A roaring fire in the fireplace would keep you warm - - providing you were no more than 6 inches away from it!!

Fast forward one year, and we've purchased and installed a fireplace insert that will A) passively draw in cold floor air and run it through a series of baffles that return warm air to the room, and B) has a blower attached that will pump out enough hot air to nicely warm my 1000 sq. ft. casa. Purchased an inverter to power the fan if the lights go out, and life is good!
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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by Pondo_Sinatra » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:45 pm

Vicarious_Lee wrote:
Lesson learned: Really? You're a gearhead. You've been around cars all your life, moron! You could have done this in the last 6 months when you had so much more time! Now you have to pay someone to do it! Welcome to Myopic Asshattia. Population: You
LOL (But not really). Something similar happened to me about 4 months ago. I was getting lazy, I can see the brake pads and rotors through my rims, so I've only been checking the outer brake pads (yeah, dumbass, I know) on my car. The outer pads were still at least 1/8" away from the squeal tabs, so I bought a set of pads the month before, meaning to get to the brakes "sometime before winter".

Well, the brakes started acting "funny", so I pulled the tires off and actually looked at the inner pads. Which were completely gone on one side, and there was maybe 1/32" of pad material left on the other side.

Apparently the calipers weren't floating real well. :oops:

At least now I've got a good set of pads and rotors on the front. I had to replace the rear rotors about three years ago when they started warping, I'm glad the fronts were a HELL of a lot easier to replace than the rear ones.

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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by Krustofski » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:40 pm

DannusMaximus wrote:STILL, now I've got about $50 worth of firewood, so life is good, right? Build a big fire, pull a chair up to the hearth, and relax with my pipe, a good book, and my favorite dog lying at my feet looking adoringly up at me, right? FAIL! A roaring fire in the fireplace would keep you warm - - providing you were no more than 6 inches away from it!!
My grandparents could have told ya: You can actually use an open fireplace for AC.
Well, not AC as in "air conditioning", but AC as in "air circulation". Elevate the fire right into the lower part of the chimney by placing your charcoal BBQ into the fireplace. Then get the hell of a fire burning in the BBQ. The hot air completely rises through the chimney and creates negative pressure under, which is enough to get a light breeze blowing through your house. Certainly not enough to keep cool in summer, but good for drying the building structure if necessary. Stuff you learn when living on land that basically is a floodplain :roll: .
(Needless to say, this can be dangerous, depending on how you chimney is constructed, so YMMV.)

So, I'm not at all supprised that an open fireplace doesn't work for heating. That's why a lot of old houses here often have both a fireplace AND and a woodstove. Stove for warmth, fireplace for light and romanticism :lol:
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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by offcamber » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:30 pm

Haha, this is a great thread, I've fucked up so many times its hard to keep track!

1. I took a flashlight on a camping trip that didn't have any batteries in it. I've also fallen asleep reading and have had my headlamp batteries go dead.

2. I walked a ways away from my pack one time in Needles, UT one time and spent 2 hours wandering in circles in the desert looking for it (scary). Normally I would have backtracked my tracks, but endless rock is a bitch.

3. I punctured a tire in my FJ40 one time on the trail only to find the spare was flat on the rim.. pretty impressive considering its hanging on the back of the rig in plain sight and I never noticed..

4. I went surfing in Nags Head, NC ahead of a hurricane only to find I didn't bring the poles for my tent.. the bikini top in my CJ5 didn't do much that night. On a side note, my buddy sat on the hood and pointed left and right to keep me between the lines on the flooded roads the next day, quite amusing.

5. Right before a winter camp one time, I repacked my pack to carry a cookstove and pots my wife didn't want to carry, and somehow forgot to repack the long underwear that was originally on top.. Brrr. That weekend sucked.

6. I got drunk and wandered into my neighbors gigantor cornfield and got lost for an hour. If sober a would have just stayed straight on until I hit woods or a road, but meh, thats what Budweiser is for.

7. Being a badass (in my own mind) I brought only my bowdrill kit to make fire for on a three day campout.. It rained the whole time and we were never successful. Lesson learned: Flic a Bic.

8. I ran out of gas four-wheeling one time only to find out that my wife had used the gas in the Jerry Can to fill the lawn mower and didn't tell me.

And the list is endless.. I'm sure I'll come up with more..

My theory is, if you done enough, and have seen enough, you will have waaay more stories like this than the guy sitting on his couch prepping for the end of the world.

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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by tireiron » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:49 pm

SteveD wrote:I'll admit to one :wink:
My generator has sat for about two to three years. Now when it's cold I know the gas is old and it won't start.
Man, I been there. Not with a genny but chainsaws and bikes. After you've done a couple of carb jobs you get real spooky about leaving gas in anything, or going too long without adding a capful of stabilizer to the tank. :wink:
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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by Napalm{WmD} » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:19 pm

I am known as having a way with fire. Basically anything in my hands is flammable. However every time I'm at a birthday party I can't light the candles due to lighter malfunction or lost matches. (I once got a fire starter stick to do the job, but never again)
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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by shrimpwd » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:38 pm

I used my CRKT folder today while in my mom's van... 10 hours later, after going out again, I notice it's not in my pocket like it's supposed to be. Searched all over my property looking for it, hoping I didn't leave it in Starbucks or on the side of the road or something. It was hanging on the seat belt in the van... Fail because it took me 10 hours to notice it missing. (at least when I was at SB, I had 4 secondary blades, if I'd needed one...)

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Re: PREP FAILURE: THE WALL OF SHAME

Post by MaxRite » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:02 am

I dont own a hand-cranked emergency weather radio... :(
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