We all have one. That so-called friend that will call every day for no reason other than to discuss your private business so that they can critique your day with the superiority of someone who knows better. The relative or family member who asks about the most mundane aspects of your daily routine then choses to pass judgment. The nosy neighbor who wants to know where you went and why. All of these people are what I call the “needy”. Their existence seems to require a knowledge of someone else’s life that goes beyond being sociable. It is disruptive, it is annoying and dare I say downright rude. And whereas being polite and sociable is a good thing, the excessively needy exhibit a certain arrogance that goes beyond common courtesy. They are unwelcome intruders in to our personal space and potential adversaries that will turn to us for help when and if the SHTF. (See ‘The Givers and The Takers-What Will You Do When SHTF?’) These are harsh words, I know. But to what end does it serve to share every living minute of daily life with someone else? And even more important, how much of our personal security do we sacrifice in order to satisfy the emotional neediness of others? As preppers and planners and models of self-sufficiency, we need to take these questions seriously. Why? These new best friends will be all over us when times are tough. They will expect us to continue to feed their emotional needs and, even more dire, may expect us to take care of their physical needs as well. After all, what are friends for? Call me antisocial, but I feel that these intrusions into my personal life are an invasion of privacy and a disrespect of my right and my desire to live a quiet, peaceful and private life. In my world, embracing quiet solitude is at least as important as the enjoyment of an engaging social life. Perhaps more so. So today’s message is to the the needy. If you are one of those people that always needs to know my business, that always needs to be right, and that always needs to better the next guy, just go away and leave me alone. I don’t need you and will politely dismiss any contact you initiate. After all, this is my life and my choice. You have no say. Period. On the other hand, if you are an ordinary Joe who soldiers through life in a reasonable, respectful and knowledge-seeking manner, come on over and let’s share an afternoon chatting over a cup of coffee. I will find you interesting and engaging and hope you will find me to be the same. Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation! Gaye Emergency Essentials is your source for all things preparedness, from prepackaged foods to water barrels, to first aid kits. From the Bargain Bin: Survival is all about learning to fend for yourself. Growing your own food, cooking and building stuff are all essential. Here are some ideas to get you started. SOG Specialty Knives & Tools M37-N SEAL Pup: This highly rated knife will do it all whether you are an avid hiker, hunter, camper, fisherman or just someone who wants to be prepared for whatever the world will throw at you. Rothco 550lb. Type III Nylon Paracord: As far as I am concerned, paracord ranks up there with duct tape and zip ties. I wish I had know about this stuff years ago. Fiskars 7855 8-Inch Hatchet: I think a common mistake is to pick up a cheap hatchet from Harbor Freight and call it a day. This is something you do not want to skimp on. A Fiskars is easily sharpened and will last a lifetime. For less than $25, what is not to like? Oh, and while you are at it, you might also like the Fiskars Axe & Knife Sharpener for an additional $10. MAGLITE XL50-S3016 LED Flashlight: I own a number of these. Small, sturdy, and easy to handle. Square Foot Gardening: You do not need a lot of space to grow your own food. Start with some awesome greens and branch out from there. This method works. Seed catalogs will be out next month, why not start your planning now? Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: This purchase changed the way I cook. I se my cast iron cookware for everything from salmon, to bacon and eggs, to biscuits. For under $20, there is no excuse not to own this survival basic. Don’t forget the Lodge Set of 2 Pan Scrapers, a must have for cleaning those food bits from your cast iron cookware. 50 – 1 Gallon (10″x14″) Mylar Bags & 50 – 300cc Oxygen Absorbers for Dried Dehydrated and Long Term Food Storage: Anytime you can get 50 Mylar Bags and Oxygen Absorbers for less than $20, make a grab – fast. Prices tend to fluctuate so even a set of 50 for $25 is a good deal.