Monday, October 26, 2020

Two Is One, And One Is Dumb

Yeah, I know.

It's "Two Is One, And One Is None."
Meaning: Anything you have only one of becomes a single point of failure.
Because Murphy hates your guts.
My version, while pithier, is more accurate.

So you have two of many important things. well and how far have you thought that through?

Be honest.
Maybe (unlike moi) you live in Free America, and a CCW is easy to come by (or not required at all - yay, Constitutional Carry).
So - of course, duh! - you have a second G26, or thug-stabbing stiletto, or at least a second duct-taped roll of dimes, in case something happens to your primary one.

So you're good, right?

Natzsofast, Guido.

Look at EDC again.

What's your real everyday carry?

How about keys? A wallet?
You got a second one of those??

I'm not rich.
Nor a building maintenance supervisor.
But looking at my key ring:
Car remote fob.
Car key for other car. 
Front door key.
Back door key.
Office key.
Locker key.
Safe deposit box key.
Safe key.
Gun safe key.
Bike lock key.
Weapon carry box key.
Generic luggage key for briefcase and suitcase.
Mail drop door key.
PO box key.
Keyring light.
Stash capsule. (For spare $20, or your Rx pill(s), etc.).
Keyring pen knife.

I thought about it one day, and realized I had some spare keys.
But I didn't have a complete-in-every-detail duplicate-of-everything-on-the-ring EXTRA key ring.

Well, I do now.
And not in the house with the primary set, either.

Because that key ring would never fall out of your pocket while you were fishing. Fifteen miles offshore. At night.
(Like all your suddenly banned guns did, or will.)
Your cat will never bat them off the counter and behind the least accessible piece of furniture in your house.
Your dog will never bury them in the rose garden.
There will never be a hurricane, tornado, or 7 point earthquake where you left them on the top of the bedroom dresser, and in the morning, you couldn't find the dresser, or even the bedroom, anymore.
Let alone the darned keys.

Ask me how I know.

I can check several of those boxes.

What about your wallet?

Forget the $10, $20, $50 if you lose it.
That's the smallest problem, every time, if it gets lost, stolen, mislaid, whatever.

But killing a day at the DMV for a new driver's license?
Kill me with a salad fork first, please.
A dull, rusty one.
It gets worse.
There's a professional license in there too.
And half a dozen gotta-have-em certifications.
My permission to buy-a-gun card. (Yes, really. It's Califrutopia.)
My CCW. (Because even though it's Califrutopia, I'm not stupid enough to live in a gun-free county.)
Both a yuuuge PITA to not have, or need to replace in haste.
Then 3 ATM/debit cards, two credit cards, 3 merchants' loyalty discount cards, and - oh, yeah - Uncle's Social Security card, without which I can't get hired 23 times a month on 22 different television or movie productions, because I have to fill out a new I-9 every time I pick up a one-day gig.
And a DoD expired ID.
And a medical insurance card.
And a dental plan card.
And even a passport substitute ID card.
And a shrunken version of an FFL.
All easily and quickly replaceable at 3AM on the Wednesday before the Thanksgiving 4-day holiday, 2500 miles from home, amiright?
And then we get into the other eleventy things in that wallet, even after the quarterly shredding of the no-longer-necessary-or-relevant detritus that accrues therein. 
Oh, and one of my favorite things:
In case you lose your wallet/cards, the toll-free numbers to report them are all printed on the cards.
Right on the back of the cards you lost.
Genius, right there, no?

Spot the Logic Fail in this plan

But you knew Kinko's/FedEx has color copiers, right?
And that your bank will issue you duplicate cards for free, just for asking?
So that if, say, your house burns down, you don't have to wait 72-168 hours to get a new ATM card, to buy a set of clothes, a tank of gas, replace a dropped transmission, and rent a comfy motel room for the night. Nor depend on the kindness of strangers to call you an Uber, so you're not stranded in BFEgypt on a Saturday, and your @$$hole bank shut off your credit, because even though you used your PIN-verified card to purchase a flight to BFEgypt, you didn't tell them you were going there, so they waited until you flew to BFEgypt to cut you off from all your wordly goods and chattels, but only mans the turn-it-back-on customer service phones M-F from 10-4, EST.

Ask me how I know this, too.

And see if you can guess why I have a spare wallet, down to the last detail, including a spare modicum of greenbacks, because 90% of the time, a color copy of your driver's license is good enough (for anyone but the White House gate guards, or Trooper Goober of the BFEgypt State Police when he's pulling you over for a good fleecing for the crime of driving while out of state), and most of the rest can at least be copied, so you have those toll-free 800/888 numbers handy to report loss before you've acquired a new bill for a shopping spree, courtesy of the guy who lifted your real wallet.

And that's just off the top of my head.

If you're going to be prepared, be prepared to deal with the simple stuff, before you worry about the Zompocalypse/black swan events. In the average person's non-Walter Mitty lifetime they're probably going to lose or mislay keys or wallet a lot more often than they're going to have to escape and evade zombie hordes and travel cross-country in a epic 3000 mile journey to a Bond villain lair.

My apologies if this is news to you.

So fix that, and see what else you can apply the wisdom of a belt and suspenders to in order to not be caught by life with your figurative pants around your ankles.


  1. Periodically I take every card out of my wallet, lay it on the flatbed scanner and take a .jpg of it, flip 'em all over, and take a .jpeg of the other sides, print it out and tuck it in the safe. That way if I lose the wallet I know exactly what cards (and their numbers) were lost.

  2. 'zackly the point.
    Backups aren't just for hard drives.

    FWIW, I use to periodically scan and print the greenbacks in my wallet, so I'd know what was missing if I lost my wallet too.

    I tried sending th scans in to the IRS.

    They replied that I had merely sent them worthless colored paper.

    I pointed out that that's what they'd been getting from me for decades, so what was their beef?

    Their rejoinder to that was to note that if I agreed to substitute the actual greenbacks, they would agree not to prosecute me for counterfeiting.

    I granted their lesser point, and we agreed to disagree on the greater point at issue.

    Kids, don't try this at home. Some people have no sense of humor.

  3. ROTFLMAO (Literally, I had to get back in my chair to respond)

    Only you would send the IRS a fax of money.... They rarely have a sense of humor.

    Both this and the next post are excellent, get your real world ID and keys figured out indeed AND your shots updated.

    I will be getting my Tdap renewed tomorrow Sir! Thanks for the reminder.

    I would however like to add a real world sanitation thought here. If you happen to have a septic tank WHEN WAS the Last Pump Out? They are designed to take care of a limited number of people and used with care (no toys, used female products etc. flushed down the pipes) for a number of years between pump outs.

    I suspect a LOT of us will have EXTRA Guests when things get stupid and that septic system will get ah overworked?

    Nothing like Mr. Murphy's delight when the toilets backup and that brown stinky stuff in the shower isn't bad cooking....

    Disease *still* kills more that bullets. Most are preventable.

  4. Yeah a few more chores to add to my neverending list. I do have a printed scan of my wallet in the file cabinet, but it's been a year or more since I last checked it. And the Alameda fire came within a block of our old home in Phoenix Oregon, so there's the question of what if I come home one day to the smoking rubble of what was my home? Lotta good that file cabinet will be then. Yeah, the fire safe in the closet? Dig it out of the rubble and find that it got hot enough long enough that everything in it is charcoal?
    True hard drive backups MUST be in a different physical location. What about the sim chip in your phone? Have a backup for all those contact lists and pictures?
    It may be amusing to wargame for the zombie 'pockyclips, but REAL prepping looks for the most likely disaster scenarios. Thanks for a great heads up Aesop.

  5. GREAT ARTICLE! Lots of great info and scenarios that I had not thought about. And I thought I was prepped :) Today I will be xeroxing everything in my wallet.


  6. I went to code locks for every day use at the house, and each vehicle has it's own key ring. My "janitor's ring" rides separately in my man bag. The vehicle key ring has the fob, key, one house key (in case the code batteries die), and any other specific to that vehicle key (like a chain around the spare tire.) I take the vehicle ring for whatever I'm driving, my little bag, and the other vehicle keys stay home. When we go on vacation, the key hanger gets stripped and the keys put away.

    There is a spare house key in a code lock box tucked away from the house in an out of the way spot. Rent house and storage locker keys are in each vehicle as well as the "janitor's ring".

    When I traveled all the time, I got a second passport for arab states and kept it separate from my everyday passport. I no longer carry my passport unless I'm traveling. Now that I'm married with kids the chances of me needing it for anything other than local backup ID are slim.

    Admittedly, I don't have good copies of most of the cards in my wallet. I think I'll do that and put printouts under the carpet in each vehicle along with the cash...

    Having worked in the industry in Hollywood and surrounds, and having to show my SS card for every gig for years, it never made sense to me that Obbamma would have any difficulty producing a card himself. Basically it's the law that employers must verify work eligibility so you have to have the card handy... unless you've never worked.

    I do have backups for all the rest of the stuff in my pockets.

    And I use a money clip, with a business card in it, so I've got that to 'give up' if I'm robbed. At least that has a chance of keeping my wallet and cards in my pocket. The business card is in case I drop it, there is a small chance someone will call...

    Lastly, to combat the very common scenario of leaving a card behind, I don't put my wallet away until I have my card back. It stays in my hand until then.


    (glad you're back to posting)

  7. @ nick,

    I'm glad too.

    Not least of which because I'm constitutionally incapable of shutting up.

  8. Dammit. More work to do amidst a fencing project that's putting the hurt on me because I'm old, cheap and stubborn.

  9. It doesn't help when Pugsley takes my emergency bags (one made for every car) and then puts them somewhere in a time-space continuum that isn't accessible from our mundane existence.

    Kids. Why you prep. Also? They have become chaos, destroyer of prep.