Archive for What We Learned Wednesday

8 Things I’ve Learned From Fallout Shelter

I admit it–I play Fallout Shelter on my phone when I have a few minutes around the edges of other tasks. It’s a game where you can take a minute or two to direct your players, then exit out and come back later to pick up where you left off.

So for What We Learned Wednesday, I decided to use Fallout Shelter as my inspiration (future posts will include the TV show Contagion as well as the board game Survival by Doom and Bloom).

What I Learned

  1. Specialization might be good sometimes, but only works if you have enough healthy people to cover all the necessary jobs. In the beginning of the game, you may need to move people around to different rooms to help get levels of the different resources up (food, water, electricity). Later in the game, when you have more people, your players can become more specialized toward working for each type of resource.
  2. Physical fitness is important. Explorers (hunters in real life?) are sometimes out for many hours and need to be able to react to people and events that they find while out.
  3. Even people who cannot work (children and the elderly) need food and water. Plan for extra stored food for the times when people cannot work. Even healthy adults may need to stop work if sick or injured. There needs to be enough extra put away to allow for times like that.
  4. When the raiders come, you need to be able to defend your home. You need to have the right tools to do and know how to use them. It also helps if you can reinforce points of entry. For windows, I recommend this window film. It helps slow down anyone trying to break your window, allowing occupants more time to react to the threat.
  5. Children happen. Plan accordingly. Maybe start planning using the books “Where There is No Doctor” and “A Book for Midwives,” both available from the Hesperian? Both can be downloaded for free. Although, Hesperian is a non-profit, does offer the books bound for sale, and also accepts donations if you are able to do so. Also, there are a lot of books available on Amazon with information about natural childbirth and midwifery. Bonus points if you luck into living close to a midwife or OB/GYN! If you expect to have anyone with you that may become pregnant, you may also want to look into getting a script for childbirth hypnosis.
  6. Pets can be really helpful, even if it is “just” to show us love and help us destress. Of course, many types of dogs can be trained to do “work,” but how many of us actually know anymore how to train a dog to herd or protect? There are a lot of books on Amazon about training herding dogs, as well as several on training your dog as a service dog. Obviously, some dogs are better at some jobs than others.
  7. Store medicine ahead of time. We don’t heal as quickly as players whose health bars refill at the tap of a screen, but keeping first aid supplies and needed/helpful medications on-hand sure go a long way toward helping. Ever seen those people standing in the cold medicine aisle at the grocery store or CVS? Don’t be that person.
  8. Video games are a time sink. It’s great to have something entertaining to fill a few minutes here and there, but make sure you keep it in perspective. If it’s eating into the time you’re supposed to be getting ready for work, maybe it’s time to delete it for a while (guilty; I had to do this before).

I think it’s really neat (do people say that now?) the kinds of useful things you can learn from games! Do you play any prep- or homestead-type games? Which ones do you like? I got us Survival by Doom and Bloom for Christmas. Look for a review soon!


Compost Is Gold!

We’re learning about compost this week (What We Learned Wednesday)! What kinds of systems are there and how much work is involved in each?

What I’ve Learned So Far

You could use a tumbler. You put your compostable scraps in and turn the handle a few times. I’ve heard they’re not too bad as far as work required, but they’re small, expensive, and look to me like they would overheat easily. However, if you only have a small space to work with then they might be the perfect match.

You could make a pile and use a stick turner. There are manual ones that you turn using your muscles and also ones that attach to drills.

If you have the space and time, you could just make a new pile each year and leave the previous ones to rot into whatever state you are happy with.

You could try using worms to do your composting in a worm bin. I haven’t yet been able to quite figure mine out; my worms die and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I think I might be keeping it too wet. I have an older model of the Worm Factory.

Me, I’m a lazy gardener. I do not want to spend time every week/month/year turning compost. I want the glorious bacteria and worms to make compost for me! I like lasagna gardening for this reason. You just make layers of compostable stuff directly on your garden, put a mulch layer on top to help retain water, and let it break down in place. Easy-peasy!

For making larger amounts to amend large areas, I think I like the idea of multiple piles that are turned less frequently, such as in this video:

Regardless of the method you choose, your plants are sure to reward you with healthier plants and higher yields! Do you use a method not discussed above? Let me know about it in the comments!

“The Invisible Path To Success” Review

It’s What We Learned Wednesday and I recently read the book “The Invisible Path to Success” on the advice of a friend. The idea behind the book is that there are “unseen forces” that operate in our lives every day and that those unseen forces can be consciously tapped by us. It does sound a lot like prayer, but may help people who are more spiritual than religious (myself included).

The author proposes that the primary unseen force is actually a part of us–higher self, if you will. He calls it the “director” and uses the analogy of your life being an immersive movie, like a really good 3D movie at the theater. He says that we can get help in our daily lives, either understanding something that’s happening or getting what we want, by addressing this director directly via journaling. My friend said that she thought the author said to name your director, but I did not see that in the book. However, I can see how it might be easier to be able to address your journal entry to a named entity.

Further, many of the unseen forces are the directors or higher selves of others. When you make a request of your director (e.g. “I want to have this type of love experience next.”), your director sends out a casting call to the other directors to see who would be willing to play that part. This aspect of the author’s theory is used to explain why things like children with cancer or widespread starvation such as in Ethiopia decades ago can occur–they are actors who have agreed to play certain parts. Feel like you’re living in a simulation yet? It’s like the Matrix, but with a little more control!

The author gives seven steps for using the Invisible Path to Success:

  1. Let go of opinions and do what works for you. Try things to see if they work. Don’t accept someone else’s truth as absolute.
  2. Take your seats to the best show in town. Part of you is the star of your life’s movie, part is the crew (subconscious) setting it up, and part is the movie director (higher self).
  3. Turn off the cruise control. Live more mindfully. Try to ask consciously, at least sometimes, “What does this mean?” and “How should I respond?” instead of all decisions being based on prior programming.
  4. Reach out and touch someone. We constantly send out “ads” for what we want in our movies (lives); all “ads” are taken literally, including any post scripts such as “I want ____ dollars and this kind of house, but I’m not good enough for that.”
  5. Tap all your resources. Communicate with your director and crew. Increase your intuition using books, CDs, etc. to better be able to listen to your director.
  6. You don’t always get what you want, especially if it goes against your movie script or the current movie scenes. Your conscious self is not running the show.
  7. Sail with the winds of change. Don’t be anchored down by constantly living in the past or future.

He also includes sections on the following:

I found the book very interesting and empowering. It’s kind of comforting, in a way, to think that maybe I agreed to the (major) bad things that have happened in my life rather than think that (1) it’s just random chance or (2) God/Goddess either doesn’t care or has it in for me. I feel like it gives some of the power back to me and that’s a liberating feeling.

I wrote a note down at the end of my notes from the book that I don’t know if it’s the author’s words or mine. Probably the authors:

“You’re never alone and you can’t make a mistake.”

Comforting, don’t you think?