Author Topic: What made you get into survivalism  (Read 20718 times)

Offline ModernSurvival

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What made you get into survivalism
« on: October 16, 2008, 08:45:29 PM »
Why did you get into being prepared, living a different life, etc.  Was it one thing that opened up a new view or many?  I want to serve my audience better and while about 50% of my emails are from women there is about a 90% domination by males on the forum, so I want to know gals, what made you stand up and take charge of your life and begin living in a different way.

Offline susan1957

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2008, 09:56:33 PM »
I dont' think you get into survivalism...I think you're pushed there.  I have always tried to plan ahead.  At the time I started truthfully I was afraid.  Afraid that Armegeddon was going to happen when my kids were little and how on earth could I live and see them starve to death if there were no food.  What to do if they were injured and I couldn't get help... I think alot of survivalist are people that say "What IF". :) 
I learned that knowledge and answers to those "What if's" would be beneficial.  I learned how to can, sew clothes, quilt, garden, hunt, clean fish, cut hair, make soap, leather work (making belts, mocassins) Fear is a great motivator or a quick killer.  I chose for it to motivate.   

Offline Aunt Bee

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2008, 12:46:25 PM »
I could never stand to run out of anything or need something and not have the money when things were tight so I started out as a young wife with a hefty pantry.  DH's family has to go to the grocery to cook anything and they rediculed me to no end when I would buy three packages of bacon when it was on sale.  As the years went on and we became self employed with a seasonal business, I started keeping enough food for several months and kept that up for years but finally one day a few years back a post on an unrelated board about the possibilty of a flu pandemic became my motivation to take it up a notch.  I knew the possibilty was there but the poster really struck a chord with me.  It's amazing what you can accomplish in a few years even with a modest budget.  I still have a ways to go but I'm prepping as time and money allows.

One person that inspired me early on was a Mormon woman who came to my mother's beauty shop.  I was intrigued with the fact that she kept a year's worth of food.  My mother canned tons of food from the garden and kept a freezer full of meat but this was different and I couldn't even imagine it but I liked the idea even as a young teenager so I guess I've always had this mindset.

Offline Crosstimbers

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2008, 01:08:22 PM »
For as long as I can remember, from childhood on, I have been interested in self-sufficiency.  Not sure why...maybe one too many "duck & cover" films in my formative years during the Cold War!  But I didn't really get on board in a serious way until Hurricane Katrina.  That was an eye-opener!  Then I started learning about peak oil and have gone on from there.  I stumbled upon simplylivingsmart.com last year and have learned a lot from them as well.

Nancy

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2008, 04:32:10 PM »
About three weeks ago when Fannie Mae and Freddy bellied up I started to feel uncomfortable. Then the AIG bailout and the rumors of banks failing. That weekend, I went to Costco and Sams Club, for food, batteries, first aid supplies, charcoal, lighter fluid, paper goods and much more. From the internet, I ordered heirloom seeds,  oil lamps, oil and lanterns, bulk supplies from an organic food company, six months of dog food and food storage containers. Each week I intend to expand the inventory in all critical areas by adding  something to each of my areas of concern - education, food, first aid, manual cooking and food prep utensils, heating, safety and security.

I've got quite a way to go since I just started but the best move I made was to find this site. I visit daily when I can.


Offline DarkEyes

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2008, 08:34:27 PM »
Nothing will make you self sufficient like going through a divorce 700 miles away from your family and realizing that your kids are depending on you.  Then I remarried, had 2 more kids, (the two babies are 13 years apart) and my husband got injured at work, took Vioxx for pain, had a heart attack, and hasn't worked in 7 years.  Once again, if it's to be, it's up to me.  Life is full of all sorts of uncertainties.  There could be pandemic flu, economic collapse, recession, depression, terrorist attack, earthquake, fire or flood, and I KNOW that my family will make it.  I work full time, I am an expert marksman, I can fish, I can grow a garden, and I have tried to teach my children that we do this because "we don't ever want to be caught on a dark night with our pants down. "

Offline Mrs. ElyasWolff

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2008, 09:28:54 PM »
This is the short version:
I grew up on 10 acres and since I was real little helped with gardening, building, taking care of animals. (none of these things I wanted to do) After I grew up and moved out of the parents and into town it gave me a better perspective of the world and realized how gardening and prepping are really essential. Right now I am renting in a smaller city but can't wait to buy my own land and start making a homestead. Another change that also brought me into survivalism is my husband now and boyfriend back then. I didn't really have survivalist friends so even though I was always a survivalist in my heart it was sort of hidden and hungry. (with this forum and jacks podcast I am finding my new friends and lots of good info)

-C :D

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2008, 10:38:22 AM »
Survivalism=money in the bank. We were poor by Houston standards. DH was a pastor and we just had to save every penny to make ends meet. I started by a small garden in the back yard. It had to be small. The yard was small. That was 30 years ago. I discovered that because I could garden in Houston year round, I could feed my family of 4 on the equivalent of a 4 foot by 3 car garage length and an additional 2 foot by 3 foot garage length. I have no idea how much a 3 car garage is in feet so I have to list it like that. That meant that every time a plant came out, something different went in. We composted everything and kept feeding the soil. I was amazed at how much I could grow in that little area. We haven't done as well here in NC. The growing season is shorter, but I have more room.

Later, it became almost a game. How much could I save here by stocking up here? Let's see if I can buy a year's supply of TP in January for half price, how much do I save for the year? So, how much can I save by hanging my laundry instead of drying it in the dryer.

Then, I had a colon tumor. The doctor was stunned that it was bigger than a grapefruit and yet not cancerous. "Eat organic and raw," he said. I couldn't afford to buy organic so I raised it. We expanded into chickens and then onto 5 acres. Canning and dehydrating became my way of life. It was the ultimate instant food and SO GOOD!! You never fixed just one serving of anything....always 2.....one to eat and one for the canner. I learned to can most of my left overs. If I either froze them or canned them, they never ruined in the refrigerator.

All of this to say, as females, we often are the ones who purchase the food, buy the TP, carry kids to soccer practice and piano lessons. The pressure to make ends meet and juggle all of the balls becomes serious pressure to those of us who were never rich.

So, after 36 years of marriage.........because of the survival mode for years.......raising our own food, buying on sale, clipping coupons to get most things for free, taking advantage of CVS and Walmart free toothpaste and toothbrushes.......we are debt free and have money in the bank. It became a way of life. It wasn't really difficult. In fact, it has been fun. There was a new challenge at every turn. How do you pay for the kid's college and on and on? God has been good. They went to college for free and we just kept plugging away.

I have a friend in the mountains of NC. Her husband is out of a job and they are struggling to make the mortgage payment. Yet, they are able to make the payment with his odd jobs. She buys groceries almost every week, but only gets what she can get for free with coupons. She has a huge stockpile in her basement of cereal she got for free with triple coupon week. No, they don't eat all of that cereal, but she can't afford feed for her chickens......so.......the cereal is chicken feed. She has a closet full of free toothpaste, free toothbrushes, free tylenol, free dental floss, free TP and on and on and on. She spends 4 hours a week scouring the coupon forums and web sites. Yes, she spends that kind of time, but her family lives for cheap, cheap, cheap. The extra Walgreens and CVS bucks pay for her milk and on and on. I've learned so much from her. You can live for nothing if you will take the time and advantage of things that are out there for us. She turned off the TV long ago and spends time trying to cut corners for her family. By next summer, hopefully, her husband will have another job. If not, they will survive. It will be tough and she'll have to rely on government insurance for the kids, but you can do it. You can live on almost nothing if you are willing to sacrifice and find the deals. On the side of a mountain she is raising herbs. In her area there is a free tailgate market where folks will pay top dollar for fresh herbs. She hopes to sell next spring again adding to their income. She is amazing. Most women are just as ingenious and industrious as this lady. That's why we are interested in survivalism.

Offline DarkEyes

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2008, 05:44:59 PM »
I'm giving you a Karma Point!! You GO Girl!!!

Offline susan1957

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2008, 09:13:24 PM »
Claytonpiano you really inspired me to do more.  As Dark Eyes stated!  You go girl!  Thanks for posting.  Maybe you can share some tricks for those just beginning on the site. 

coffecat

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2008, 07:40:51 PM »
Saw plans for a Horno Oven.  Discovered Backwoods home Magazine.  Built the oven because we had tons of red clay.  Loved baking stuff outside. Learned to can.  C.

Offline Shadowrider

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2008, 12:36:18 PM »
We always stocked up when items were on sale. That was the start of the pantry after we married. Then we moved into the woods with generator power only and 1/2 mile driveway. When it snowed, we hiked out to our jeep on the road to get to work, then used a toboggan to haul groceries home. After hauling home heavy items, we made it a practice to stock up on everything possible before winter, then only hauled home fresh groceries (milk, eggs, etc) when it snowed. We have a propane fridge with an itty bitty freezer that didn't freeze foods solid, so I canned everything I could. After we had electricity brought to the house, we bought a larger freezer. I still can as much as possible because our power goes out regularly for at least a week at a time every winter.

When business slowed down, we ate from the pantry and I decided our pantry was the equivalent of a savings account, especially since we were buying on sale only. We consider our wood pile another savings account and try to have at least one year's wood ahead in case we aren't able to cut wood next year because of health or whatever. When my husband had a stroke 8 years ago, we had enough wood on hand to get us through 2 extra winters while he recovered. (As an aside, today he continues to cut and split by hand all our firewood even though his left side will never be what it was before the stroke. Amazing.)

We use a credit card to purchase online, but pay that off every month. If we know we can't pay it off, we don't use the card. We use 90 days (or similar time frames) same as cash on Home Depot credit card to pay off larger items like replacement appliances when necessary and never pay interest because the bill is paid off well before the 90 days. If we can't do that, then we do without the item until we can. (Cash is best of course, but doing it this way means we aren't taking from a savings account, but still aren't paying highway robbery interest to the credit company.) We keep our expenses as low as possible. Our mortgage is very low. If we had bought a "dream home" before my husband's stroke, we would have lost the home by now because we were down to one income. Don't get me wrong, we have a lovely home. I just know too many people who bought the largest house possible that they couldn't afford or lost because of illness, loss of job, etc.

We live a very different life from almost everyone we know, but we love it. Stocking up is just part of that and is second nature now.




Offline DarkEyes

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2008, 06:58:59 PM »
I'd can too if I had to depend on a toboggan to get my groceries in.  What part of the country do you live in? 

Offline Shadowrider

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2008, 07:59:36 PM »
DarkEyes, we are in Northern California. 3,500 ft elevation.

edibleyards

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2008, 06:59:15 PM »
I guess I have long been interested in how things were done before it was all done for us. I wondered who tried the foods first, and how they came up with things and just how they did things. I was always fascinated with wild edibles, but didn't really do much to learn more.

When Y2K started being discussed, I became interested in the SHTF aspects of it. As I read more about it, I became comfortable that this wasn't going to be the event, but at some point while I was researching it, I knew something was going to happen years down the road. I didn't know what or when, but I knew something was going to get to the breaking point and things were going to change.

2000 came and went without a hitch, and that was great, because I felt like I now really had some time to prepare for whatever the big deal down the road was. Then we moved into a ridiculously bad financial situation for a couple of years, had another baby, etc. More years went by, in 2005 we moved to this 1/2 acre suburban lot (which I was outvoted on. I had selected the less expensive, more rural house on 2 acres, which we could still afford to pay for when the construction industry subsequently crapped out and hubby would lose his job, which it did and we knew it would, and now we can't afford to pay for the house we are in, though I do have some beautiful soil I have built up).

Anyway, later that year, Katrina hit and it sent me over the edge. I immediately planted some herbs and got into heavy-duty research, neglecting almost everything else. But I learned quite a lot over that time, and have substantially reduced my gardening learning curve, and we are fairly well-prepped. There are still so many things I would like to learn about, though, which I don't really feel prepared for, but I am keeping a list of categories that I want more info on, and printing out info about those subjects.

Sorry this is so long!

Mr.Riley

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2008, 12:31:17 AM »
Since I was a kid I have been interested in making the best of the situation I was in. That morphed into a fixation on what needs to be done in an emergency then Zombies came along (movies that is) and I was like, "Holy crap, what would I have to do to survive if zombies attacked right now." Then Y2K came and I was the only pot head out of about 20 that was smart enough to stock pile water (cuz nobody wants cotton mouth when the world as we know it is going to end). A year or two after Y2K came and past I got saved and became a Christian. Felt a responsibility to take care of the flock if times got hard or even if they didnt. Started stock piling water and food in the event that I have to first take care of my family then my church. And here I am now.

Pokethis

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2008, 05:39:35 PM »
I can remember a feeling of urgency sometimes as I was growing up and would often "be prepared" in case of a small emergency.  As a teen I was into backpacking and still enjoy camping so one does have to be prepared when doing that. 

But it wasn't until this financial meltdown that I really felt any urgency, not even as Y2K came and went did I feel any urgency as I just didn't see any "signs".  But this feels different.  So for quite some time I have been buying gold and silver, not much but enough to have an edge and maybe even make a buck when things settle down.  I've moved some money into Swiss francs as an edge if the dollar does actually plunge. 

I have almost six months worth of food for my family of four so if food does go sky high we can eat for a while, this will be a good return even if food only goes up by 20% or so.  I keep adding to it.  I will be raising vegetables this growing season (North Texas).  First Aid supplies, extra supplies of feminine products and hygiene products.  My goal is to live comfortably and not reduce my lifestyle drastically.  Bought an econoblue water machine thing that condenses water from the humidity and filters it.  It can make up to seven gallons of water a day.  I'm also going to make a solar power plant in case I need some power.

I don't have a place to bug out to so I have to be an urban survivalist.  I bought a shot gun (12 g) and have a hand gun and ammo, not because I'm afraid Obama will take them away (I am a liberal), only because if crime does become bad if the economy keeps going south I'll be able hopefully to keep people away from my area.  My husband thinks I'm paranoid but he is also aware that we may be sliding into a depression and doesn't give me a whole lot of ribbing about it.  Captial preservation is also a concern so the more I can store now the better off I'll be if inflation or hyperinflation hits.

If the economists I listen to are correct we're in for a long run down turn in the economy but we will come out of it eventually.  We all will just need to be able to weather the long night ahead of us.  They say we are along in it enough that Obama won't be able to do much about it and may make it worse or prolong it with stimulation programs.  I don't know, it's just good to be prepared and yes, this time it is different.

Honorbound

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2008, 12:24:34 PM »
It was 1998 and I had an infant son.  I started having these recurrent dreams, well nightmares actually, about the world financial system collapsing, and my son was looking up at me saying, "but mommy I'm hungry".  I would wake up in a cold sweat. After about a week or two of this, I started praying earnestly asking God, what this was all about.  I started doing some research on the internet and came upon a few survival sites.  I read everything I could about it and started  planning.  At the time we lived in a condo in town with no storage space, little yard with "restricitions" about gardening and city water and sewer.  I talked to my DH about it and he of course thought I was nuts.

Well as the years,and hours and hours of prayer went by, we now live out in a more rural area, somewhat self-sustained and have the necessary things should something "come up".  My husband is still not what I would call a "prepper" but he tolerates me all the same  ;D


Offline flagtag

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2008, 10:06:07 PM »
I work a part-time/seasonal job. (The job market here is dying! We have lost so many employers just in the 10 years, the town where I work looks like a ghost town.)

I will be out of work for a couple weeks to several months at a time.  I had to learn to "stock up" during those times when I was working to cover the layoffs.
Watching the news, I realized (some time ago) that things were getting worse. (The price of gas was so high that I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to afford it and would be fired if I couldn't get to work.)

The crime rate in the town where I work has "exploded", and I live only 6 1/2 miles from that town. (Crime rate = "transplants" from Chicago)
No longer can I leave the doors/windows open when I go to bed.


Offline mrs gator

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2008, 05:50:25 PM »
Honestly, my husband is the reason I got into survivalism. He made me realize that I was not prepared in the least if something happened  :(

Offline TXChikk

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2008, 08:17:01 PM »
I've had nightmares too, since I was very young. Being prepared has always been on the back burner of my mind but it all came roaring back when I realized 'bama would likely become our next president and tax us all to oblivion. Of course this financial mess had a lot to do with it, how would I eat? What would I eat? How would I pay my bills? All of those things coupled with a fear that was instilled in me since childhood have me prepping as best and as fast as I can.

 I also have to add a footnote or two here, I think it will all be in vain as I think things will get very terrible in my lifetime and stored food and guns won't help me out of any shackles...on the flip side despite having that innate fear of helplessness I am wired to do everything in my power to fight (aka prepare) so I am.....

Pokethis

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2008, 08:24:55 PM »
I wouldn't worry about 'bama but I do worry about the criminals getting away with the destruction of America culminating in this financial mess that is threatening all of our lives.  It will get much worse before it gets better and they made sure 'bama couldn't do anything about it.

Offline MamaGator

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2008, 05:55:46 PM »
I've always been fascinated by the personal part of history - how the Romans cooked, how the Normans fixed roads - just about everything.   Since I have a deep-seated urge to figure things out myself (a trait my son also bears) I taught myself to sew, knit, embroider, preserve food and do lots of other things.  At that point it was just for personal satisfaction.  My favorite book when I was a teen was Reader's Digest's "Back to Basics".

In 1999 my employer put me on the Y2K committee and my prepping interests were stoked.  I started prepping with 2 liter bottles of water and never looked back.

Prepping is an ingrained behavior now, but I try to keep everything in perspective.

Luckily, my son (Tash) has a comparable mindset.   My DIL (Mrs Tash) has jumped in feet first.  I feel so much better knowing I'm not alone.

Offline firetoad

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2008, 06:31:05 PM »
Not trying to hijack the thread, but I do have to say one thing.  This forum is like none other that I have ever been on!  I can't think of any other forum where we have had entire families on the roster of members.  This is one community that is so unique but yet so open-minded and widely accepting of many things!  It is just great!

Long live TSP!   ;D

Offline MamaGator

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2008, 06:48:09 PM »
This is one of the most positive forums I've experienced.  It truly is a community of people helping people.  Tash said something the other day that rang true - prep topics are often buried in a subsection of the message board, subject to occasional trolling and ridicule by the general membership. 

However, this message board is all about prepping.  It's the entree, not a side dish.  That ensures that the general membership have a common bond and keeps things civil. 

What do you think?

Pokethis

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2008, 06:53:22 PM »
Totally agree with my three negative karma points.

DarkEyes:  I remember being toted on a sled to the grocery store in mid winter in Ohio.  It was great fun and the only way we could get to the store.  Great fun!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2008, 06:58:21 PM by Pokethis »

Offline flagtag

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2008, 08:48:58 AM »
I wouldn't worry about 'bama but I do worry about the criminals getting away with the destruction of America culminating in this financial mess that is threatening all of our lives.  It will get much worse before it gets better and they made sure 'bama couldn't do anything about it.

Obama is one of those "criminals" also.  He not only voted FOR the bailout, he got money from one of those responsible. (One of the RARE times he didn't vote "Present".)

Pokethis

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2008, 10:06:50 AM »
Yeah.  I really don't know about these big spending plans....  These companies need to be let go, they must show and clear their books and default if necessary but we can't keep covering it with TARPs etc.  This economy stuff is really something else and I'm not sure what I think about the plans to take care of it.

Offline TXChikk

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2008, 09:11:20 AM »
I don't know what to think about all these bailout plans either but after contacting my congressman more than once and witnessing what the government is doing in spite of what We The People have to say is making me feel very much left out. Out government does not care what we think in fact they are telling us what to think and what we should do when we know it smells to high heaven and is the opposite of common sense. Our economy is owned by foreign interests and steered by bandits. We as a nation are in deep doo-doo and We The People are being hijacked for the ride.....

I'm pissed because my government doesn't care what I think. I succinctly pointed out to my congressman that I am an active voter (I'm certain many of my fellow constituents did as well based on the press) and he just went along with what his bosses said to do....Needless to say I voted for someone else this time around.

There isn't really much else to say, I'm just trying to take care of my business but it angers me that I'm on a ride I can't get off of....I'm getting motion sickness.....

Pokethis

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2008, 10:41:51 PM »
I know how you feel.  I voted against Cornyn just as I voted against every incumbent.  But alas...  And Hutchinson wants the "hardly ever work" job of Texas Governor....