Sunday, January 15, 2017

Winter Decluttering

It's winter, and around here that means that it's too cold to go gallivanting in wood too much or spending days at the range comfortably. So what is there to do besides count calories? Declutter. Go take a look at your supplies. Sell off redundant or outdated gear. Auction off some of those holsters that are piles in a bin out in the garage. Sell that leather MC jacket you don't use or rebuild the carb on the mower that isn't running right. Here's my list.

1. DeGunk and get running the Dirtbike and sell it.
2. Sell my racing equipment since I'm not going to get on the track anymore.
3. Remove one of the racks in my garage and build a new bench for tools.
4. Sell off extra diving equipment
5. Rebuild the Carbs on my vintage motorcycle and sell it off for something newer.
6. Clean out and organize the trailer.
7. Purchase more metal fuel containers and sell the plastic ones.
8. Build high level shelves in the garage for storage.

With nothing else to do, sitting on your computer or video game isn't going to make your life easier. Get to it!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Legislative Look

With the new congress, it seems that we have some new 2A bills that will be heard within the next few weeks. The reciprocity bill for CCW seems like a good thing, but as always, you have to check the fine print. I've heard some rumors of some states being able to fully disallow CCW in order to skirt the bill, but it remains to be seen and amended. I'll stay up to date on it.

In my state, they are looking at doing away with the CCW permit all together. I sure hope so. Nothing like permitting a right and turning it into a privilege.

The Affordable Care Act seems to be on it's final legs, but there is nothing to replace it with as of yet. Maybe we can look at cutting the 10 levels of oversight and governmental meddling to get those costs down. The same with Pharma.

I see that Trump has Hired one of my state's biggest political hacks, Dan Coats to head the DNI. What a joke. C'mon, don't let the establishment entrench itself. 

Building a wall is totally unnecessary and costly. If you make the crime of entering the country bad enough to overcome the benefits of coming here illegally, problem solved. We have the national guard of several states that can take on the protection of our borders. The ROE needs to change, though. See a gun, pop em. Done deal, no more drug lords attempting to cross the border. Pretty easy to overcome situations with a little harshness and frugality. Illegals that have been here for more than 5 years and have kids here can stay. They will never get voting rights and cannot attain citizenship unless they leave and enter properly. They must also pay taxes for the 5 years they have been here and cannot get social security. The idea is to make following the law easier and more beneficial than breaking it. Those migrant workers wishing to work here need a low cost visa with positive identity checks. Farmers hiring illegal workers should be fined heavily.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year, Same you.

I don't subscribe to all that new year's resolution crap. I do believe in goals and constant change. It's really easy to rest on your laurels this year and slack on your goals when we have an apparent change of leadership in Washington. Just remember, the tide didn't turn, it was just a couple offices that swapped sides. We still have the same number of idiots running the country. We still have 20 Trillion dollars of debt. We are still dealing with a broken society and an entire generation of useless snowflakes.

None of this is going to go away rapidly. Globalism and Crony Capitalism is still the law of the land. We have less of a free market than any time in history. The police state is still in every aspect of our lives and the republican congress just gave full scale spying rights to the government. This aint over by a long shot. Dig deep, keep up on your skills and make an effort to cleave waste and sloth from your household.

I added a little kydex porn for the masses. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Ultimate Prep

We in the preparedness mindset always look for that cool new thingamabob that will save us when things go bad. We carefully consider every ounce we put in our packs, scrutinize firearm choices and food calorie to weight ratios, but rarely do we research our most valued and costly item. The one item that can ruin our lives or save it. We leave it purely to chance and whimsy. Yes, I'm talking about our spouses.

You husband or wife can be your greatest asset, or your worst liability. They can literally ruin your life, take everything you've worked for and built. Why is it we don't consider this area of our lives with the same thoughtfulness we apply to other areas? Because we've been programmed with happiness, love and genteel weakness as the ultimate relationship goals.

Let's look at things from a purely clinical point of view. Let's drop the Tinder profiles and dating BS and head straight to the balance sheet. Let's treat a spouse just like any other piece of kit. What is the most important trait to consider? I'd say health. Nobody wants to purchase a knife with a bent blade or a corroded hinge. We want a new or gently used partner that will last a lifetime!

What are some other critically important traits we look for from the clinical point of view. Reliability is a big factor, as well as making sure they fit your lifestyle. You love your Glock 17, but it doesn't fit in for carry at the beach in a swimsuit. The same goes for your spouse. If they can't handle the life you have planned and don't share the goals and life you want to lead, it's not going to go smoothly. The costs for failure are too high to leave it to chance.

Once you get past Healthy, Reliable, and Fit for yous task, things begin to get muddied. Personal preference starts to play as does your personal situation. Do you plan to have kids? Consider genetic disposition for disease and mental instability before you sign on the dotted line. What about personality? Are you better suited with a submissive spouse, or a get it done double A personality? I would think that a person that values items with multiple purpose would want a more dominant person to help make things happen.

What are we missing? Oh yes, all those things that don't matter. Looks are purely useless, as well as dangerous. An attractive partner can be a liability. The more sought after they are, the larger the pool of suitors. Congeniality, while important for a life long partnership, isn't really all that important to their function. As long as they are sane and reasonable, all the rest is window dressing.

You should also consider your choice's family upbringing and religion. Those are things that can be stumbling blocks later in life when the new car smell goes away. If you're marrying into a family with a cousin Eddie that will cause you untold years of anguish, is it really worth it? Will you want a condescending mother in law instilling strife into your life? What about a person with previous children? So many questions with so few rules.

What we should really find attractive, we are taught not to. Independent and confident men are supposed to be admired, but the same traits in a woman give men pause. Career women tend to be less whimsy so they are often overlooked as boring or mundane. I find that to be a shame due to their obvious dedication and reliability. The same is true for low maintenance people. They don't wear flashy, tight clothes or spend hours on their hair, so they are overlooked in a sea of Fabios and Supermodels.

What would I consider as sure tells that the person is incompatible with a preparedness lifestyle? Cosmetic surgery, Tattoos, big debt, no long term relationships, unemployment, useless degrees, endless selfies, health issues, drug use, smoking, nervous habits, promiscuity, alcoholism, and I'm sure I'm missing a few. Some you may not think are big issues for your personal situation, but for me, this is my list.

I'm not saying that I'm perfect, and lord knows that my marriage isn't textbook perfect either, but we've made it over the hump. We've spent 18 years together, and we split up and moved away from each other when we were dating, but got back together and have been married going on 16 years. She's neither the smartest, healthiest, not prettiest woman I've dated, but she is the most reliable, confident and dependable person I've ever been with.

I've been in serious relationships with other women that didn't fit the bill. It wasn't the end of the world and it was surely fun, but many I have no intention of marrying and in some cases told them so and they stuck around. Others didn't. It's not the end of the world if you can't find "the one" for you. It's usually the ones that are looking too hard that miss or gloss over the right person for you because you are looking for the perfect person. Don't focus on the things that really don't matter.

Attraction, that age old mystic want for another person is fleeting. In a few years, it can fade and you can be left with a useless commodity that you paid the highest price for. Be sure of what you are signing up for and don't let your heart override your head.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Winter Survival Planning.

I'm an avid youtube watcher and took the time to watch one from Wranglerstar recently on a big snow storm that was rolling in. It reminded me that I hadn't done some of my winterization intervals for the year. I haven't rotated my fuel yet and my food is past due for a sorting and rotating. Some new food items are being added and some older stuff I like is getting rotated into the pantry. My son eats tuna salad like it's his job, but won't eat it when I rotate in the cheap brand of tuna that I normally buy for the larder. That is just another reminder that some things need to be accounted for on my next purchase run.

I took my nephew out camping the other day and taught him the basics of axe and knife use. Kid wore out my new tomahawk that I'm testing, so that's a positive. I also tried out my new underquilt for my hammock. Worked like a champ. Not enough to do away with the pad, but definitely increased my comfort level when using my 20 degree bag on a 30 degree night. Remember that those ratings are survival ratings, not comfort ratings. My youngest had to sleep in my hammock with me the last night due to it breaking under 30 degrees overnight and his system not holding up as well. Luckily my double nest bag fits us easily.

I was reading an article about an older man remembering his harrowing experience from his high school days. He went camping without the proper gear and didn't accept his limitations. He expected to live off the land so brought very little food. He also brought a woefully inadequate sleeping bag that was rated 20 degrees warmer than the low temp for the night, and just for good measure decided to sweat soak his clothes without enough time to dry them before bed. He climbed out of his snow cave and built a fire to survive the night with barely enough dexterity and energy to bring the fire back to life in order to save his.

Survival isn't an accident. Some times you get lucky, but much of that luck is based on your abilities and readiness level. You may be short the right equipment, but with the right know how, you can survive the night in sub zero conditions even after you've made serious mistakes. Reading books and manuals is a great start, but going out and living in those conditions is vital to making sure you have the proper level of knowledge to overcome adversity when it arrives.

Not every condition is ideal. We can get hurt and not have the ability to gather wood for a fire. That means your sleeping bag becomes your survival nest. You must have enough bag and clothes to be able to survive a frigid night during the winter. Also remember that not all gear is created equal. My Browning 20 degree bag isn't as warm as my son's Kelty 20 degree bag or a black MSS intermediate bag, even though they all have the same rating.

Other factors to remember are increased caloric intake required during cold weather, ease of dehydration, layering for warmth and ditching the cotton. Cotton is rotten pretty much any time you are in the field. Wool and synthetics hold their thermal capabilities fairly well, even when wet. Down doesn't withstand wetness, but lofts better when dry and stays warmer for less weight than synthetic fill.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Long time, no post.

Sorry about my recent absence, but life has conspired against me a bit. I upgraded my teaching status and it required all of my time and energy for quite a while. Add to that a 2 week vacation and surgery for my close family that required I stay attentive to a family member 24 hours a day for a week, and here we are.

I did, however, get a few great days of training in at the range. I work directly with a training partner these days, and we really challenge each other with a regimen that incorporates some pretty fantastic scenarios with the added benefit of rigorous PT. It's nice that my private shooting club is pretty much empty most of the day on weekdays, even during hunting season. We had the ranges to ourselves, so we were able to run all the scenarios faster than anticipated, then did some work clearing mocked up rooms and bounding in pairs. The second day was all long range shooting, 100 to 300 meters.

I was able to put some time in canning and purchasing food. I believe the prices we are paying now will be the lowest we will ever see, so no reason to hold back. The California drought has had an impact, but if it continues, more farms will shut down.

The election "illusion of choice" is in full swing, with the chupacabra v reality star battle becoming all encompassing. I'm so glad to not have cable, my only exposure is in the ads on Youtube videos. They all just suck, there are very few choices that are good for the people. It's mainly choosing the cleanest end of the turd to pick it up with. It's all the same turd, we are just fooling ourselves into participating in the Charade.

The weather is turning so hunting becomes a thing in our household. I'm hoping to do a hunting camp weekend with the boys prior to the end of the year. In the past we have done it earlier, but my son is in marching band, so all weekends are booked until November. I'm considering investing in some trapping gear due to the youth license bundle including trapping. I used to borrow some gear but my family sold off all theirs as they aged. It's a solid investment for self reliance and even urban survivalists will find easy meat with a few well placed traps. They hunt 24 hours a day for you, with a low caloric output for the trapper compared to a hunter.

The current mindset is of a wait and see if Trump makes things better instead of continued progress on your preparedness. Never stop learning is my motto, even when things are going well, you should always take some time to keep skills sharp and learn new ones or expand current skills. There's not a soul out there that cares more for your family than you do, so continue to make your survival a sure thing.

I'm seeing an alarming trend in my community as well. The local LDS church seems to be ramping up their security and having members getting armed as well as trained. My mild mannered LDS neighbor came to me looking for advice on a quality AR so I took him to the gun shop where I have full access and ran him through the ringer with options and such. I will say his choice was a great one. He chose an M&P 15T. It's a really good all around unit that doesn't break the bank. It's a hard lesson when normally mild mannered, non violent congregations are getting themselves prepared for a serious reset event.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Rather Interesting Post on Survivalblog.

 Ryan over at  has a great post on making coherent systems instead of just buying stuff all willy nilly.  Here is the first scenario, and Here he expounds on the systems and their viability. It got some action from people I think are heavily invested in the "more is best" mantra.

In the older post, he proposed a very streamlined, polished EDC and first line gear setup. It's very similar to what I run on a daily basis, and what I would choose for my defense when the progressive zombies get hungry. It's not intended and a do-all, be all kit. It's a cohesive, well used and trained with, system of tools.

I do almost all the work on my vehicles. I have a very expansive tool kit with a few spares. Sometimes you need 2 of the exact same wrenches to get a job done, but not 8. This idea carries over to almost every aspect of our lives. Find the need, fill the need. I've said it a million times!

Let's consider the kits in the scenario, John Q Survivalist.

The EDC kits are really straight forward. Same situation, and in my neck of the woods, I'd carry nearly identical items. I also have a car kit that is just to bolster my EDC for a get home situation. My EDC and car kit are fully independent of my fighting loadout. I don't carry plates in my car, it's just not my thing. I also don't carry a mag carrier or micro rig. I just don't see the advantage when I can just as easily use my pockets to dump a couple mags and and not look as alarming as a kitted commando. That might change is things start to erode, but as it is, I'm going to try to remain as low profile and innocuous as possible.

The rest of the kits are perfectly suited, in my opinion. The "Mountain Man" setup is also pretty slick for an all else fails situation. All the guns listed are hunting friendly and legal in every state. My choices would differ slightly. Remmy 870 combo, Marlin bolt action 22 rifle, Ruger GP100 pistol in 357/38. Watching Dave Cantebury's Longhunter series would give you an idea of the tools you need.

The one thing I would mention, and that takes a long time to lose, is knowledge. Remember to invest in yourself and your capabilities. The more you know, the less stuff you will need. The more situational training you have, the less likely you will be ambushed and forced to defend yourself. I can continue to expand on the theory, but you get the idea.

I'm currently preparing for a grueling 7 day course held next week. Learning never ends, it just slows down a bit. Knowledge is power, and you want to be superman!