SHTFblog readers may be asking themselves:
- What has Ranger Man been doing the past year and a half?
- Why did he leave us hanging?
- Why didn’t he write, at least once in a while?
For entertainment’s sake I thought about covering my absence with a fictitious story about following Flower Man to the land of peace, love in super happy Hippyville, but I figured my readers deserved a real answer.
I stopped writing SHTFblog, because life was exceptionally hectic (though not that much less so now). I was trying to balance alternating work schedules with my wife to avoid daycare costs as we’d recently had our second child, and I had various home projects that were past due getting completed.
I had also started SHTFblog as a means of self-entertainment, to humor myself and my immediate friends.
Then the site started to take off and I began feeling obligated to keep writing. This added a bit of pressure to an already busy life. What’s more, focusing my writing on TEOTWAWKI lovin’ all the time began to alter my perspective on daily life. I was always looking for post material in daily life and then meant a continuous focus on doom and gloom, albeit buffered a bit with humor.
After my last post in November, 2008, my intent was to simply let the site sit on the web, as I was receiving a “fair” amount of search engine traffic and loose change continued to trickle in. I’d put a fair amount of time, energy and information into the site, so I thought if nothing else, leaving it up would provide people with something worth reading. I was, of course, continuing to pay for hosting service. Soon thereafter, a friend of mind agreed to take the site over. A little reluctant at first, but eager to see the site regain energy, I sold the site for a very modest sum to offset the loose change I’d be losing by letting the site go. My friend then worked up a sale agreement that included a “lock out clause,” which restricted me from developing or working on any preparedness related site, book, or anything else that could directly or indirectly compete with SHTFblog. I had also agreed to not use “Ranger Man” any more, and to let that identity go with the site. This ended up being quite a formal arrangement for what was expected to be a fairly informal sale.
Time passed and my friend (and his friend) wrote a post once in a while under the name “Ranger Man” (and other names). This explains any discrepancy in writing styles some of you may have noticed since my last true post (the others’ post were lost in the database transfer back to me). Time went by and their energy also receded, posts began to fade away and then ceased altogether.
Meanwhile, after a hiatus, my energy and interest began to return. I was watching the economic meltdown unable to write about it from a SHTF perspective. H1N1 would’ve been fun to cover, I was making more preparedness preps that I wanted to write about, and so forth. I asked my friend if he was interested in selling the site back to me, but he declined the offer. I then asked to be let free of the lockout clause in hopes of starting a new site, but he declined to do that. More time passed, and about 3 weeks ago I made yet another offer to buy the site back and be free of the lockout. This time he agreed and the domain transfer was made and “Ranger Man” is mine again. All of this may sound like a hoity toity business transaction, but I assure you, it was nominal money. So …. now I’m back.
“What is different this time, Ranger Man?” you may ask. “How do we know you won’t leave us again and break our hearts all over again?” Fair questions. Well, a few things have changed:
- My wife was laid off from her job last November and has since gone back to college (to learn a specific, marketable skill), so we no longer have to balance differing work schedules. Yes, we must now balance my work with her school schedule, but that is less cumbersome, and the kids are a year and half older. They still keep me exceptionally busy, but they’re no longer in the young toddler range, which is a particularly time consuming.
- When I stopped writing SHTFblog there was a reduced daily thought focus on doom and gloom, but I’m a survival ninja by nature, so it never completely left (never will). What I also noticed was that my preparedness actions waned to some extent. SHTFblog gave me a focus, an additional reason to continue preparing, in order to both gather post material, and to make sure I practice what I preach.
- I’m a writer by nature, and I need an outlet for words, something I was missing after offloading the site. If I had my choice I’d be writing social commentary and philosophy in a creative non-fiction manner, but that area is difficult to gain traction on, and spending my time writing subject matter that very few people will read (not to mention an area that’s exceptionally competitive and less marketable), is less inspiring.
- Preparedness has become a lot more popular since I took my break. The thought of gaining a wider audience to read my doomsday drivel is inspiring.
- I missed you all, my SHTF posse.
So there you have it, the true story of my absence. I still have some site tinkering/work to do, but the posts will keep coming. Tell your friends I’m back, baby – I’m back!
– Ranger Man