Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Busy

So I have been quite the industrious little prepper. Yesterday I went for a drive up to Kittery Trading Post up in Maine. Was such a beautiful day yesterday with clear skies and a mild 40 degrees. I ordered a few items from amazon and they came in today. I stocked up on more food, and even got in the surgical stapler kit from Cabelas I mentioned a while ago.

So up in Kittery I bought a few things. I picked up additional reloading supplies for my .308 Winchester, including case neck brushes and a sweet primer pocket cleaner from Lee. A $1.89
very well spent as that little tool does an awesome job. I picked up some bulk primers and some 168gr. ballistic tip bullets. Although $30 for 50 bullets, these are supposed to be the cat's meow for hunting. I was disappointed they didn't have the new Nosler 168gr. ballistic tip, but oh well.

I finally got some broadheads for my cedar arrows too. I didn't get carbon shafts because they are two separate models for the compound and recurve bow. I would buy the tougher ones for the recurve and use them in my compound, but they were out of stock.

I also picked up everything I need to start hand loading .45ACP. I got primers, powder and 230gr lead round nose bullets. I've been shopping for JHP's so I can make my own combat ammo, but so far no luck. Guess I need to shop online, although the LRN round would make a mess of anyone dumb enough to come in the house and attack me.

I tried to pick up the supplies for making my own buckshot, but sorry to say, I failed. The wads needed for me to turn my skeet hulls into buckshot are not available. Now I'm going to look into buying all the components: hulls, wads, and shot, and making it myself that way. I'll keep everyone posted. In the meantime I have ~500 .45ACP bass I scavenged to keep my occupied. I have 15 rounds loaded at the minimum load to see how that shoots, then work my way up to the maximum. I am using Unique powder. I know it's dirty as a whore's ass or a sailor's mouth, but it's cheap and it works. My Sig is so easy to clean it's not that big of a deal.

I'm still leaning to a slow slide so that's why I'm focused on the .45 ammo. There is a much higher chance of my carrying around a pistol to protect myself than my shotgun. I can walk the streets and draw minimal attention to myself with a pistol, but I'd be an obvious target with the shotty.

So I also got the regular mason jar sealing attachment thingy for my Foodsaver. I did find some 1 pint jars, and I'm going to put spices in some of them, then vacuum them up to keep the spices fresh. I also bought more bags, since they were on sale. I love my foodsaver, and if you want one cheap then go to survivalblog and look at the bottom of each post, he has the link and code you need there.

I also bought two books. The first, "The Encylopedia of Country Living" is just too handy not to have. I know squat about a lot of things, and this will help me fill in the gaps. I also broke down and bought Rawles book "Patriots!" I'll read it next and let you know what I think.

Tomorrow is new years eve, and I hope everyone will have a safe and happy new year. Don't forget tomorrow, along with St. Patrick's Day, is amature night. All the idiots who don't know how to drink go out and go wild. I'll probably be home, unless I score a ticket for the Mighty Mighty Bosstone's Hometown Throwdown.

Asshats

It's all the rage these days for you to wear your own ass for a hat. One look in the media is proof positive that this new fashion is sweeping the country. while at Mum's for dinner on x-mas, There was something on CBS about Obammy, I didn't watch it, as I rather stick my hand in a blender than listen to that meatball. It was obvious they all had on their asshats sucking up to the media king. Howard Stern thinks he's the "king of all media" well he isn't fit to hold obammy's jockstrap. Obammy even leaked a shirtless photo to the media so he can get E! network blabbing about him. Narcissism anyone?

So leading the asshat brigade is the federal reserve. There is a huge assumption going on that just might bite us in the collective butt. The assumption is that we are facing another Depression like the one in 1929. The question I have to ask is what if we are not? Then all that Heliocopter Berneke is doing is screwing the pooch that much harder.

Let's review. The Fed lowered the interest rate to get the banks to loan the 700B bailout money. But the banks have zero confidence in each other, so they are sitting on huge sums of capital. Plenty of money out there, just everyone is too damn skittish to loan it to each other. Not that I blame them I trust bankers about as much as lawyers and politicians, which is to say not at all.

The problem here is what next? So the Fed has shot the wad, so to speak, but he's far from done. The crisis has not resolved itself one bit and the Fed's empty. They got nothing to bring to the table. They are D-U-N.

Which leads me to the idea that while their head is firmly planted in their ass they might get some harebrained scheme to make banks lend money. Negative interest, taxation on cash-on-hand, or some other terrible notion. I think the Fed has reached the point of desperation, which is not a good thing for the average citizen. I've been re-reading "1984" so I think doubleplusungood is an appropriate term.

I haven't even looked at the Stock market because everyone is quite fat and happy from the holidays, and are starting to look forward to their W2's and thier tax returns. But soon Wall street will start smelling the bullpucky, and will slide all over the place like a pickup in a icestorm without bags of sand in the back.

Then Obammy comes to the rescue. He's talking about another 700 to 1000 billion of dollars to rescue the economy. So where does the line form for my handout? I have just as much right to one as the lazy fucker who won't get a job and lives off welfare. He's going to invest it in infrastructure, he's giving economic stimulus, he's got a plan!

Translation: Bridges to nowhere, print money for a handout, he has no freaking clue what to do.

I'm revising my earlier prediction of deflation, I am back to 50/50 between deflation and hyper inflation. Remember it takes 9 to 18 months to see the effects of a cash infusion in the economy. I'll be prepping like mad in the mean time, and so should you!

Friday, December 26, 2008

I've been thinking it over
And I know just what to do
I've been thinking it over
And I know I just can't trust myself

I'm a Gypsy prince
Covered with diamonds and jewels
But then my lover exposes me
I know I'm just a damn fool

[CHORUS]

I give what I've got to give
I give what I need to live
I give what I've got to give
It's important if I wanna live
I wanna live
I want to live my life
I wanna live
I want to live my life

As I load my pistol
Of fine German steel
I never thought I'd be so down and out
Having my last meal
But I know I can do it
It just took a few years
As I execute my killer
The morning is near
- The Ramones "I wanna Live"
In order to keep my skills sharp I practiced with my pistol yesterday morning. If bad things are going to go down, I want to be ready to defend myself in an efficient and effective manner.

I think it's best to draw as little attention to yourself as possible, but once your singled out, what do you do? I'm a big guy, so I have some innate intimidation that I can work off of. That has pretty much been my mode of operation, act like the Grey Man, but when confronted, puff out the chest and take charge of the situation.

So far, so good for me. The abrupt switch in demeanor and appearance is usually enough to cause enough confusion so that I'm left alone. At some point, I am going to be called out by some meatball who needs their attitude adjusted. Then things will get messy.

Back to the original idea for this post. When and if they come after you, whether it's the zombie mutants, Obammy's thought police, or the fedz. You got to make a stand. The might want to take your guns, or your food, or your freedom. Make them pay dearly for it. Also spread the word so they don't have easy pickings somewhere else.

There comes a time in everyones life when they need to draw a line, and stand tall. It's different for everyone, and it changes as events happen in our world. These are big decisions. To be honest I don't know what I am going to do if I get a knock on my door and it's Obammy's thought police looking for my guns. Surender and live on to fight another day? Is it worth living in a world of fear, barely scraping by?

If "they" told you to go to a FEMA camp "for your own safety" would you comply if you have food, water, and shelter? Would you go if they asked a second time with your house about to be assaulted by the SWAT team?

With hard times you need to make hard decisions. Prep the mind, the body and the soul to give you and those who depend on you the best chance for survival.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Spaghetti-oh's and TEOTWAWKI

As a kid, I loved them. I'd get a grilled cheese on rye and dunk it in the Spaghetti-Oh's and eat it, while scooping out the oh's with salt and vinegar chips. Yummy.

So what's this have to do with The End of the World? Well I made sure that I had a few cans in my preps for boosting morale. Depending on why your digging into your preps, either from a slow slide or from a sudden event like a hurricane, you need to keep your spirits up. That is what this post is about.

The human spirit can take a lot of shots, and keep getting up for more, but let's face facts: It's not a pleasant experience. So to cushion our spirit, we need to stock some supplies ahead of time. So we nourish the body, we need to nourish the soul. Kinda weird coming from and agnostic I know, but Just because I haven't "found God(s)(ess)(es), etc. doesn't mean I' don't believe we have something after this world.

Anyway, be sure to pack some "soul food" away. If you have a female within 1000 miles of your retreat, I cannot stress enough the importance of chocolate. I'm not sure the best way to store it, but I've got some vacuum packed and frozen. Obviously, canned goods are the way to go for durability. They are heavy but the idea is to have some, not a lot. If you love hamburger helper for whatever reason, grab some, and rotate it out. The trick is to have fatty, comfort foods to help you cope in the first 72 hours of trouble.

Also I feel it is very important to have whatever you need for your faith. If you have a religious book, a separate copy should be with your preps, preferably in your BOB waterproofed. Any items like rosary beads or prayer rugs, etc should have backups stored with your preps. Anything that brings serenity and a peaceful frame of mind should be with your preps. I, for example, love the cranberry chutney scented candle from Yankee Candle, so I have half a one stored with my preps. Light + comfort.

So kick back and take inventory of the things that bring peace and serenity and make sure some of those items are with your preps. It'd be a shame to have all the firearms and food for a year, if you go nucking futs after a month.

Monday, December 22, 2008

One of these days

The thing that I tell you now
It may not go over well
And it may not be photo-op
in the way that I spell it out

But you won't hear from the messenger,
don't wanna know bout something that you don't understand,
You got no fear of the underdog,
that's why you will not survive!
-"Underdog" by Spoon
I never believed in the power of subliminal advertising. I never held the thought that peer pressure could make me do anything I didn't want to do. But it has. I bought me a house, and I've been having trouble paying for it. I bought into the American Dream™ lock, stock, and barrel. I figured that the majority of a man's (monetary) wealth was his home, and since I had jack shit for retirement, that by purchasing a home I would be investing in myself.

Now I was at least smart enough to get a 30 year fixed mortgage, not a ARM or whatever other subprime shenanigans that was available at the time. The big problem is that I have come to the conclusion that we are heading for a deflation. Any debt you carry into a deflation is going to fuck you over so fast and hard you would wish you were born without a hoop.

You see, in a deflation, the dollar buys more goods and services, which isn't a bad thing except the $2,300 mortgage payment can now buy a brand new car, and the $75,000 salary you used to make is now $25,000/year. But the bank still wants that $2,300 a month! When that happens I think the mailmen delivering to the banks are all going to throw out their backs because of all they keys being mailed in!

So in a deflation you hoard cash. Cash is king. If it comes to that, I'm going to stop making payments, slap an Obammy sticker on my bumper and wait for a handout. I'll save the cash so when they finally evict me I'll be able to rent a house for $400/month. Something with a swimming pool. Maybe give up the rat race and move up north to Maine and go native. Buy me some land and see if I can telecommute for a job. Live in a tent, poop in the woods. Build me a cabin.

It's not that simple though, is it?

I've been trying to wrap my head around how a few hundred thousand troops and 700,000 cops are going to pacify and control 330,000,000 irate Americans when the economy goes tits-up. I know the media will have a large part, as the propaganda machine for the police state. That will pacify a portion of the population. Jail? Concentration Camps? Obammy's SA civilian police force?

I figure some sections would be too lawless for even troops to enter. Chicago, LA, NY, Boston, Detroit, Atlanta, etc. would be isolated until the population inside self-destructs to the point that a military force can be brought in with air support for a mop-up and pacification. Survivors go to a concentration camp for processing. Maybe this is Obammy's idea of "wealth distribution" as the townhouses are reassigned or sold to the pacified citizenry.

A concerted effort would have to be made to prevent patriots who are sick of the bullpucky from rising up in outright rebellion. I just cannot see the Federal government having the resources to take on it's own population. This is where I see the need for insurgents to conduct anti-propaganda rallies, flashmob protests, cyber warfare, etc. That's what I see myself doing if this scenario happens. A can of spraypaint in one hand and a laptop in the other.

I need to mull this over some more. Perhaps the NSA, CIA, FBI, FEMA, etc. ideas of control are illusionary. Vaporware. Perhaps the beast in every man, woman, and child's soul will rise as the economy crumbles turning America into a giant violent orgy of self-destruction. There will be many of us who will stand against the hordes, some overwhelmed, some still standing when the dust settles.

So here I sit, with beer in hand, exercising the first right, the right of free thought, trying to put the puzzle together before all the bits and pieces are available. Most of this country has given up on that most inalienable right, the right to think for oneself.

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful...

Well New England got turned into a winter wonderland this weekend. This photo is from my buddies deck at halftime on Sunday. It's amazing to me how many chuckleheads slid off the road this weekend. I went to the range on Saturday, froze my beans off, but I got to practice.

It's very important to practice in ALL weather conditions, so if and when you need to make a tough shot that means the difference between supper and starvation, your going to be ready. Plus, I had the place to myself, no one was there, except the plow guy who stated " you're insane to be out here." I was bundled up with four layers, so i was rather toasty. I told him he was crazy for only wearing 2 layers in this weather!

I got paroled early from work in anticipation of the storm, so I made use of the time and built myself a reloading bench.
Not too shabby, considering I have a tradition of drinking many a brew whilst in the middle of a snowstorm. Got the use of all power tools out of the way before I got too hammered. Carrying it into NSB (Natog's Sekret Bunker) was a hoot when I couldn't walk a straight line!

No reloading was done until I was quite sober on Sunday afternoon. I have loaded 28 rounds to see the difference between Nosler and Sierra bullets, and the difference between Winchester and some other mystery cases I inherited with my rifle. They are labeled 7mm-08 but either come perfectly sized or are identical to .308 Winchester brass. I verified them extensively with my calipers before reloading them.

So bright and early Christmas morning I'll be shooting my .308 rifle. Iread that 7 round groups provide the best tradeoff between statistical accuracy and economy, so that's wht I'm using. I'll let you know my results!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Big storm commin'

Yep, the big snowstorm that's been hammering the Midwest is on a road trip to Boston. I drove into work today in anticipation of being let out early. My Jeep is quite the snow pig, and has seen many a winter storm. Just remember that having a4x4 means you don't get stuck, but it does not stop you from sliding around. Also it does jack shit for helping you stop faster. Like any skill, you need to learn how to do it right, then practice it.

We are expecting 1-2" of snow an hour, totaling about a foot. I have plenty of food stored in my pantry and fridge. You won't find me in the supermarket on a BEM run (that's bread, eggs, and milk). It's a snowstorm tradition out here. Panic buying of dairy items that need refrigeration... just when the power might go out. Keep sleeping sheeple!

I'm going to build me a reloading bench. I got all the supplies I need, so as long as the power stays on I'll be in my workshop building it. I'll take photos and post the plans for everyone. Might spark a few ideas for your own gardening, reloading, or work bench.

Woodworking has been a hobby of mine over the years, and you might be wondering why I haven't been mentioning it in my blog over the last seven months. Well I have a heavy workload, that doesn't end when I walk out the door at work. That leaves little time for myself and my hobbies. So I put off all woodworking until I got my preps to such a point that I felt confident in my ability to weather a moderate disaster. I feel I am at that point, so my first project will be to build something with a purpose.

So I'll be making snowangels tonight. Have a safe weekend everyone.
In the comments to my earlier post on grain storage, hotdogjam had this to say.
No insult intended.

Do you like grain? Do you plan on rotating the grain? How long will it take you to work through 50 pounds of grain?

Man, I stick to what I like and eat regularly.
An excellent point. And no insult taken. I wholeheartedly agree that you need to store what you eat, so it can be properly rotated, and you will enjoy eating it in a stressful event.

I love cornbread, and I'm in the process of figuring out the recipe I like the most, and stocking the supplies I need to make it. I also enjoy johnny cakes, and taco's. Both of which come from corn.

The dried corn is intended for me to stretch my prep dollar farther, by supplementing the canned goods I have with wholesome cornbread. Lots of fiber, carbs and protein in there. Depending on the situation I would tap into the corn after using all the corn meal I have in my kitchen. Granted I, do not eat cornbread as often as I would if I was living off of my preps, but I don't eat a lot of canned food either.

Don't overlook the value from storing grains. As best as I can figure without doing any real math, 50# of dried corn would make about 75 - 100 skillet-sized cornbreads. That is a lot of food in a compact form that has a very long shelf life for short money. Dried corn in mylar bags is good for over 10 years. So:
$14 for the corn
$2 for the mylar
$1 for the O2 absorbers
$5 for the bucket and lid
$21 total
That's $2.10 a year it cost me for a lot of wholesome food. $2.10 will buy four cans of generic canned food here, most of it has an expiration date in a little over a year. Economically there is no comparison between storage of whole grain and canned goods. Freeze dried lasts 25+ years but is really, really expensive. I'm eyeballing freeze dried dairy products in #10 cans because that is what makes the most sense. Buying freeze dried noodles seems crazy to me, as the grain to make the noodle has a great shelf life with the simple addition of an O2 barrier.

I'll start worrying about rotating it in about 5 years. I will, however, check it every three months to make sure it's still sealed, and I poke around my food storage every few days to make sure no mice are around. Everything is sealed but I still don't like vermin anywhere near my preps.

So yes, I eat grain. I just process it some.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to store grain

Well things have been very, very busy for me at work. I've been dialed into the job from home too, so no time to post. Sorry about that. I did get in my FoodSaver, and it is SWEET. I also took the time last night to pack the last of my grain up for storage. I'm going to go over exactly how I did it for you, so there is no excuse not to do this yourself.

1) OK the first step is to collect up your gear. You need an iron set on "cotton", a thick oversize paperback book, mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, buckets with lids, and your grain. I'm using the homer buckets because I ate plenty of "wall candy" as a kid, and I am gambling the releasing agents won't eat through the mylar and spoil my grain.

2) Then put a mylar bag in the bucket and fill it to about 1 1/2" below the top.


3) Pull up the mylar and fold it back and forth so you have a nice flat area with no creases. Work out the air pockets in the bottom of the bag while you are at it. You might be able to get more grain in, or have to take some out to get it right.

4) Get as many buckets in this ready position as you can, because once you open the O2 absorbers you don't want to dilly-dally. The longer they are exposed to air, the less O2 they will absorb.

5) Crack open the package of absorbers and put the correct amount in each bucket. I stuff them in different depths and sides to try to maximize their effectiveness. Just remember to take them out before you put the grain in the grinder! I sealed my extra o2 absorbers in a FoodSaver bag as soon as I pulled the ones I needed out.

6) I couldn't snap a photo of the next step as I have yet to grow a third arm, guess I need to eat more wall candy. With the book on one side and the iron on the other, you iron a seam about 1 1/2" wide across the top, leaving a gap so you get the air out. I let that one cool and go down the line of buckets so the first one is cooled off for the next step.

7) Start folding the mylar into the bucket, trying not to manhandle it too much and punch holes in it. After getting as much air out as you can, use your book and iron to seal the last bit you left open.

8) Fold the last of the mylar bag into the bucket and snap on the lid.

9) Finally LABEL IT. What's in it, and when it was packaged. Then store it in a cool, dry spot.


I used my FoodSaver to seal some of the extra corn I couldn't fit into the buckets into bags. I labeled these and put them in the Galvanized trash can with the two full mylar bags I had in there. There is no chance of light getting in there so that's good enough for me.

Hope this helps, and Good luck!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ice Storms

Well last week we got the business end of some serious storms. Many of my coworkers from NH and VT are still without power three days later. Some don't anticipate getting power back for another few days.

I took an informal poll of those affected by the storm, and of the four only one had a generator, Granted it's not working, so that doesn't count for squat. He went and moved the wife and kids to his parents house until they get power back. Another had power back in 6 hours, but when you live on the same street as a hospital, you get power back soon. Another toughed it out in his house with no heat, he's sick as a dog and banged in sick to work today. Another was in, relying on a wood stove to keep the house at a balmy 43 degrees. The last one was in, having showered at the gym before work.

I spoke with all of them, and except for the one who had a generator, none were planning on getting one. This boggles my mind because it's not like ice storms don't happen in New England...

The Inflation Indoctrination

Chart of U.S. Consumer Inflation (CPI)
The title of this post says it all. We consumers are so used to having inflation that without it we wouldn't know what to do without the price of the basic staples going up year after year. In 1974 gas was 53 cents a gallon, and a loaf of bread cost 28 cents. The national average salary was $14, 747 a year. Now, a loaf of bread is $3.80 and gas is (roughly) $2.00 a gallon.

With these numbers gas is about right, 4x the salary, and 4x the price of gas. It's the basic foodstuffs is where our money is going, the price of bread is about 13x as expensive, while the salary has only increased 4x! And I wonder where my disposable income went - I'm eating it.

I get a cost of living raise of 3% a year. Where I work you never get a performance raise - ever. I've personally saved the company millions of dollars of downtime, lawsuits, etc. and will never see a performance raise. But I'm in a recession-proof job. With the real inflation level 7% what the government is saying, no wonder I am having trouble making ends meet. In the next year or so I will be forced to leave just to get a raise so I can keep the house.

Part of this credit crunch is because many, many families were using their credit cards to make up the difference between their salaries and the inflated cost of living. I personally have friends that have a $300k mortgage and $62k in credit card debt. I'm at $260k and $476 myself...

Break the cycle. Learn what the real inflation rate is and bitch about it to your congressperson and other reps in state and federal government. Push to have the real numbers published, not the "cooked" ones. Keep your eye on the real number so you can plan your household finances accordingly.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gear Check - Mini BOB

Last night I took some time to bust out my mini-BOB and see what I could improve. It's kinda big and heavy to carry in my work bag, and I would like to improve upon that.

Now I busted it open and immediately saw some problems. I had a small plastic case with some candles in it, and they melted some - Not enough to seal the case shut, but enough to get all over each other and make a mess. The roll of quarters had busted open and worked themselves into every nook and cranny in the mini-BOB. The three day emergency food pack was no longer vacuum sealed, and had to be tossed. My first aid kit is missing some meds.

I also need to get one of those collapsible water bottles. I have a 1L bottle at work, and one stashed in the truck, but I would like to have one with the mini-BOB. I need the 1L bottle to use the water purification tablets I have in the kit.

Using my new food vacuum sealer, I would like to make my own food pack. I would double bag it to make it more durable. I could wrap electrical tape on the corners to prevent wear. I'm thinking a pack of hot chocolate, energy bar, package of soup mix, and some nuts would be good for a "meal". This gives me fats, sugars and some protein from the chicken soup and nuts. Also I've seen people using the food saver to make single-use packages of meds - I need to do this.

I could take care of the candle-problem too by sealing them in a little vacuum bag. I have five tea light candles in the kit, I really only need two or three. Every gram saved makes a difference.

Curretly in the kit is a mini-maglight, and a 9LED flashlight that runs on three AAA batteries. I think I'll swap out the mini-maglite with a tiny keychain led light to save weight. It would just be a backup for the 9LED light anyway as it is plenty bright enough.

So here is what I need to do:
  1. Use the vacuum sealer to make small packets of meds.
  2. Add Tums, Amonium AD, Nyquil, and Dayquil to the first aid kit.
  3. Build a one or two day supply of food for the kit.
  4. I need to add a needle and some thread.
  5. I need to figure out how to add a small cup for boiling water to the kit.
  6. I need some sunscreen wipes.
  7. I need to add some babywipes, like 20 or so for TP and field bathing.
  8. Find or build a smaller bag for the kit, belt mountable or with it's own sling.
Now the container would have to be a little roomier that the kit is in it's most compressed form because when you start using it you will not have the time to pack it all back up.

The lesson learned from this is twofold. First, you need to go through your gear on a regular basis. Secondly, no matter how good your kit is, there are always a few improvements that can be made.

Interesting Pamphlet

A while ago, in one of my utility bills, I got a flyer from the MRC - the Medical Reserve Corps. They list all the area chapters contacts and phone numbers,and a bit about what they do. They even offer free training if you join for family preparedness, first aid, CPR, pandemic planning and even behavioral health. Interesting.

In the flyer they also list a complete guide on what everyone should have in a "Emergency supply kit" Basically a week of water (1 gal per day per person) and a week of food. Also on the list is the various bits that everyone should have, flashlight & extra batteries, Bleach, garbage bags TP, battery powered radio, etc.

If I knew nothing about it, this pamphlet is a good list to start from. I know better so I'm up to nine months worth of food, and over three weeks of water. I also have way more than a "basic first aid kit" and so on and so forth. I just find it very interesting that the flyer is going out now. I just poked around FEMA's site and nothing new is there.

Other than this flyer, the prevailing message from the media is this "SLEEP" Go back to bed, wrap yourself back up in the Comforter of Ignorance, and Sleep. Meanwhile, the dare I say it enlightened among the populace are yelling "Wake Up!" at the top of their lungs.

Over the next year or so we preppers need to maintain a rational and keen mind. The blanace between planning for a collapse tomorrow and one in 6 months, or twelve, etc. must be maintained. Don't max your credit cards buying gear or food. Go out for dinner and dancing every now and then, some might not because "it" could happen then. Well you have to do stuff for your mental health and well being every now and then. Just think of it as a mental preperation when you tippy-toe out the bunker to wonder what the bright thing in the sky is...

The Sleeper Must Awaken!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Economy

My head hurts. For an engineer like me to make sense of the inflation vs. deflation crap is going to throw a vein in my noggin'. I'm understanding on a macro level what would happen is easy, what that means to my daily life is another story altogether.

I braved a few large retail stores this weekend, and even a mall. I hate malls. Malls are all that is evil in the consumer economy we have in the US. Even the store that sells useful gear - EMS Mountain Sports - is overpriced, and filled with yuppie camping gear. Yuck.

The one constant was how empty they were. Even the Mall Rats were absent, lending an eerie silence to the place. Even small children were reserved, afraid to wake the boogie-men from their tomb. Sunday afternoon, and I counted about 50 shopping groups in the place. That is absurd with the oncoming x-mas holiday.

My buddy recently got a second job at Dick's Sporting Goods, and even he was saying the place wasn't busy at all. I was their to take advantage of the Friends & Family sale, 35% OFF!, but not on Guns or ammo (boo!). I did pick up a bipod, a sling, and an archery target for short money.

Now Obammy on Sunday had this to say:
"We've got to provide a blood infusion to the patient right now to make sure that the patient is stabilized. And that means that we can't worry short term about the deficit. We've got to make sure that the economic stimulus plan is large enough to get the economy moving," Obama said during an interview that aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
I guess the Fed has put the Fear of God into Obammy that deflation = Bad. So much so that he's willing to spend us into whatever comes after Trillions to keep us out of it. Now evidently you don't see Inflation for 9-18 months after an injection of surplus cash into our economy. Slow slide indeed. TARP was passed in October, So we should see effects of this reckless spending starting around June.

That's the trouble with the economy, it's not a linear equation. I see it as two major waves of effect, a bunch on small effects, and a trillion tiny ones. So buy pumping cash into the economy bailing out banks and automakers you get an immediate effect of a rally on wall street. Down the road you have another effect because of the surplus cash. I was a big fan of Chaos Theory long before Jurassic Park made it famous. In short, Chaos Theory deals with math that doesn't exactly add up. Very complex equations are used to model environments where a tiny, almost imperceptible change in one variable has a huge effect on the result. In other words, a Kobe cow farts in Japan and we get a tornado in the Midwest.

So every manipulation made to the economy has wide ranging effects down the road. Well all those changes made by Greenspan over the years has come due. The closer you come to the crash, the bigger a change you need to make to have an effect. As the ETA approaches zero, the amount of money needed to affect change rises to infinity.

Prepping for the long haul


Well it was time to enter the big time of food preservation. This weekend I put up 250# of dried corn packed in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. I learned a LOT, and I would consider this only mostly successful.

I bought my mylar bags and oxygen absorbers from a prevalent online survival-related retailer. It took them a log time to get me the stuff, so no free advertising for them! The O2 absorbers are 500cc and the bags are 4mil.

After reading and watching and reading about a variety of methods let me describe what I was doing. The plan was to pack the corn into mylar bags using the buckets, then pull the bags out and store them in a galvanized trash can I bought a while ago. Now I could over-fill the buckets because the bags were coming out, so I fit about 40# per bag. These were 20" x 30" bags, suitable for 5 or 6 gallon buckets.

Once the bag was full I'd put in four 500cc O2 absorbers, and seal the bag up. To seal it I bought a cheap clothes iron at wally world for $10. I set it on high (cotton) and once heated up, I'd get the bag ready for sealing. What worked for me was to pull the bag up, getting a nice big flap to seal. I'd pull this opening back and forth to fold it nicely across the top where I could get at it to seal it. The actual sealing was done with the iron and a thick paperback book on the other side.

First, I wiped the seal clean with a finger, the corn has a lot of dust in it and I didn't want the seal to be weak. I would seal agross the seam leaving a 2" gap. All I can say is take the time to make it pretty before you start to seal, otherwise you will screw yourself as soon as hot iron touches mylar - any crease is there for good. I'd then compress it to get out as much air as possible and quickly seal the remaining gap.

Now it was recommended to use a teflon coated iron, but I forgot about that part. It worked fine for me, but don't let it linger in any one spot.

Now the first thing I learned is a galvanized garbage can holds only two of the filled mylar bags. So here I am with 4 others trying to figure out what to do with them. I put them in plastic bins, and I'll just have to keep an eye out for rodents. The other thing I learned is that dried corn is sharp as hell, and it will put a bazillion tiny punctures in a mylar bag... only 2 of mine are 100% sealed at this time. I bought extra O2 absorbers and bags, so it's no biggie.

I am buying a few more of the homer buckets this week, and will re-pack the bags that are no longer 100% air proof. To keep the corn from pucturing the bags I'll fill them in buckets, then seal them, fold it all up and put a homer lid on the bucket. The less screwing around means less chance a kernel has enough pressure on it to pop a hole. A lot of hooplah has been made about the chemical residue that may or may not be in the releasing agent for the homer buckets. My grain is in mylar bags so the food never contacts it, and the buckets are cheaper than the internet ones these days. Good enough for me.

I also took advantage of the foodsaver deal advertised on survivalblog and bought one. $60 + $15 for tax, shipping and handling. I wasn't pleased with the $15 bucks extra, but oh well. I think when I repack I'll put some grain in the foodsaver bags so I do not need to crack open a 40# bag for charity. I will need to do some experimentation, as I also want to store some powdered items. So this should be interesting on how to vacuum seal a bag with a powder in it. I bought a 20# bag of baking soda for $6 at BJ's and I'd like to re-package it into smaller containers. Also powdered milk, flour, cocoa, etc would all have thier shelf lives greatly extended by being vacuum packed.

When I re-package the grain I will take better pictures so you guys can see how I did it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Viral Marketing

I have to admit the interest in the New England Prepper Network has been rather low. I'm wondering if I ran my own marketing campaign how successful it would be? My idea is to print off a ton of stickers with the web address and a little logo for the NEPN and slap them on street signs and such. Also print out flyers and stick them on bulletin boards.

Yeah it's technically vandalism, but I think the message has to get out there somehow. If Cartoon Network can do it for a show I think I can to save lives. I'll have to think about this some more, especially on where I can put them to at least reach a few more people.

I suspect the low interest in the NEPN is because of a few factors.
1) The bulk of the population is asleep.
2) We have a larger percentage of Moon-bat liberals.
3) The vast majority of the population is urban, not rural.

I think I'll map out all the local gun ranges in the area, and start with putting flyers up there.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Great article!

I got this from Jim Rawles' site: World Stability hangs by a thread.

Read it. It is loaded with key bits of information that I have not seen in the US news. Here are a few snippits from the article.
Events are moving briskly in China too. Wudu was torched by rioters this month in a pitched battle with police. Violence has spread to the export hub of Guangdong as workers protest at the mass closure of toy, textile, and furniture factories.
I didn't hear squat about rioting in China.
The shocking detail in the World Bank's latest report on China is that wages have fallen from 52pc to 40pc of GDP since 1999. This is evidence of an economic model that is disastrously out of kilter, and unlikely to retain popular support.
So the seemingly invulnerable China has trouble brewing. Through Hong Kong the populace has had a taste of the Western gluttonous lifestyle, and the Commies can't deliver.
Russia is a hostage to oil prices. If Urals oil stays below $50 a barrel for long, we are going to see an earthquake of one kind or another.
Ok, So the US of A, Russia, and China are in trouble. The three major powers have their dicks swinging in the breeze. Add Japan, UK, and Germany as second-tier powers with big problems.
In the 1930s, it was not obvious to people living through debt deflation that their world was coming apart. The crisis came in pulses, each followed by months of apparent normality – like today.
Lulled to sleep by the government outright lying about the inflation and unemployment rates the sheeple don't have a chance. I've found the foreign news is filled with better information the local Media doesn't share with us.

This news is troubling for me. My Grandfather, on his death bed, looked me right in the eye and with a moment of lucidity through the haze of drugs told me: "Beware of China!" It was the last thing he said to me.

The Communist Party lost its ideological mission long ago. The regime depends on perpetual boom to stay in power. As the economy sours, there must be a high risk that it will resort to the nationalist card instead.

Tokyo certainly thinks so. When I visited Japan's Defence Ministry last year the deputy minister showed me charts detailing the intrusion of China's fast-growing fleet of attack submarines into Japanese waters. "We see its warships in the Sea of Japan all the time," he said.

Yikes!

I smell Bullshit

I was born at 7pm, but it wasn't last night. In this article Bernanke claims that this is nothing like the Great Depression. Technically, he's right, but he's not telling the truth: It's much worse.

Let's start with the urban vs rural life of the '30's. Like some Vegan Femnazi or Metrosexual knows how to kill, eviscerate, butcher and cook an animal. I was raised in the sticks and I'm clueless on how to do it.

He talks of a "social structure" we have in the US. He's talking about welfare, food stamps and social security. So I have to ask what happens when the US currency is reduced to Monopoly Money?

These press releases, conferences, statements, etc. are all designed to lull you into sleep. This is what's going on with the stock market. The investors are nodding off at the wheel and trading as if the economy is fine, leading to a 4-5 day rally. Then the next bit of bad news from the real world filters into their dream world, jarring them awake for a dip that wipes out most of the gains. Then another round of Kool-Aid press conferences to lull them back to sleep.

I'm going to quote one of my favorite books, Dune by Frank Hebert,

"The Sleeper must awaken."

To boil down 600+ pages, the book is about a human being evolving. Granted he's doing this to revenge his slain father, and establish himself as the Emperor of the Known Universe. But this man evolved to fit his new circumstances, and triumphed.

This is what I am doing. I am evolving. I'm not planning on growing a third arm, or flippers, but they way I think. They way I look at the world. I am changing how I process information. Not just from the Mass Media but the data from the world around me. Noticing graffiti, deer tracks, or where the Geese poop. Tuning my hearing to catch codewords to alert my attention too.

It's not easy, but I think I have a bit of advantage in that I have had to wrestle with my thought patterns before. Changing my thinking from an ignorant racist, to a more enlightened (but not perfect) way of thinking. Break the mental chains, free your mind.

I guess The Matrix has a similar vein of thought. The protagonist doesn't accept the world he sees is real, and evolves (with a lot of help) to help overthrow their oppressors. The first step is to see the Truth of the situation. The only way to do this is to educate yourself. Read history to bring to light the past influences, to see the foundations of the current event. Then fill in the details until you see what is really going on.

In the past six months I've come to see the Federal Reserve system for what it is. I have always known the Democrat and Republican parties were terrible for the US, but now I'm seeing the depth of just how bad they are for us Serfs. I've always suspected the Mass Media as being corrupt, but the past election has shown just how little they can be trusted. I've found many individuals on the web with similar ways of thinking.

Now it's my turn to pass along my knowledge to others.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Quiet

I don't know it's me, or if it's the blogosphere, or even the news outlets, but for me it seems things are weirdly quiet. Perhaps it's a global hush from the bold and well executed assault on western tourists in Bombay. From what I've read, it seems that the body count is a bit low. There are rumblings that this is a false flag attack from Pakistan. If that is the case I expect a big throw-down out there. Both of them have nukes, so it's no joke.

I cannot shake the thought that I was meant to have that rifle. Now I'm an agnostic, not an atheist, so the call of the divine is something I don't scoff at. I firmly believe in Karma, and the series of events that lead up to me buying the rifle rings of otherworldly influence. Now no angel or demon, no valkyrie or totem animal came up to me and said " wants you to have this." But the series of coincidences that unfolded in such a short piece of time is just too coincidental.

I hope it's all just a weird sense of coincidences, because that means I was meant to use it. That's not a good thing if I have to use that rifle. On the other hand, the touch of a benevolent spiritual being is to be cherished. I really hope I don't need to use it. When I shot that rifle on the weekend, I could put three rounds @ 100 yards so they were touching. That's without a toe bag, just a crappy bench rest I made from plywood. I wouldn't want to be on the other end of that rifle trying to not get shot.

Now combine this with a buddy lending me a whole bunch of American Gunsmithing Institute DVD's on long range shooting, more accurate handloads, and the Sig pistol, M1A, Remington 700, and SKS armorer's courses. That's a lot of information to process, and another coincidence.

And don't forget out of the blue my Fam is on board with the preparedness thing. Very strange set of coincidences. Very strange.

Now I know a preponderance of my readers are Christians, and I respect that. I don't think it's the path I was meant to follow. So for now, let's leave it at that.

Back to the quiet. It's heavy, like the cold mist on a March morning. It's clinging, wrapping it's cold embrace to the bone. Is it a warning? A premonition? Yesterday I took a 3 hour nap in the afternoon. I normally cannot sleep during the day, a bad flaw for an IT professional who pulls all nighters about one a month. But I napped all afternoon, me on the loveseat, and my dogs on the couch. I did not dream, or if I did, I don't remember it.

As an aside, I'm almost done with "The protectors War" the second book of the Change trilogy. It's very, very good. I like the first one better because it dealt more with the crisis itself, and I fear we all can relate to that. I highly recommend the series.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

.308 Rifle


Well there she is. A Remington 700 VS in .308 Winchester. I'm on my way to the range now, and I got a lot of stuff to shoot! I have the .308, I'm bringing my Mosin Nagant, My .22 Marlin, and a Seko .22 my buddy lent me. I'll also hit up the pistol range for 50 rounds to try to sharpen those skills.

The .308 is a shooter. I had a bit of a SNAFU because I didn't understand that high-end scopes have a focal length, and you need to adjust it by turning the big end from 50yds to 100yds, etc. Out of the box it is dropping 180 grain factory rounds in the paper, and with a few clicks I had it in a 2" circle. Not bad for factory 180gr crappy loads.
On Thanksgiving I visited a friends Dad. He's like a father to me, as I've known his son since Kindergarten. He gave me a lyman press he had "floating around"! All I need are shell holders, a good reloading book, and a scale and I'm reloading rife and pistol ammo. I cannot wait to start dialing this gun in with a good handload.

I have all the loading data this fellow has on the .308, and it is quite extensive. But he kept meticulous records, so I will continue to do the same. Everyone have a safe weekend, I'm off to the range to put holes in paper.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Family Conversation

First off, I need to apologize, as my cellphone died a spectacular death, and took the photos of my new rifle with it. I'll post pics of it soon - I promise.

I was surprised during dinner when my brother brought up storing food, getting his firearms license, preparing for social upheaval, etc. I was floored. My brother used to be a card carrying, banner waving liberal. My Mum wasn't too thrilled with the conversation, as she is very much anti-gun. After describing several scenarios of what is possibly on the horizon, she is now concerned that we might be facing a crisis of moderate to devastating severity in the near future.

I confessed I had nine months of food stored, and I was working to getting more. The look on Mum's face was priceless. That's when she got serious, and started asking questions. By the end of the night Mum had a better understanding of what I was doing, and why I've been buying firearms. Neither of them knows about this blog, as it's really for the readers, and not my family or friends. I get to tell them in person!

Mum summed it up when she said, "Oh my! I need to stock up on Zantac!" I was surprised I had her on board so easily. But then again, her parents were teenagers during the Great Depression, and they raised their kids poor. She raised two kids on her own with no child support and working three jobs. Over the years, her tolerance for bullshit has dropped to zero.

So now the rest of my family is on board, and have promised to start storing food and water. I warned my Mum not to go and buy too much too soon. I suggested to buy two boxes of her zantac every time she ran out of one, unless it was on sale. Then rotate her stock. My Mum has about a months food in the house outside of what's in the freezer. That's a good start. I suggested buying a few extra cans of food every trip to the supermarket.

My brother has contacts in Maine, and he's actively looking for property up there. ?He has a line on 70 acres of landlocked land, that abuts his buddies property. This fellow already agreed we could have access if we get it. The hard part is figuring out how much the landlocked land is going to go for. Most land in Maine is going for $2000 and acre. That's way too much! I'm going to be careful with any land purchase - it's all talk for the short term.

My brother is very much a noobie when it comes to planning for a crisis. He thinks we will head north in a caravan of trucks like it's Mad Max or something. I can straighten him out, but it will take some time. I did let them both know that we will meet at Mum's and we can work out where to go or what to do from there.

You can do the same thing. It's not too late for my Mum, it's not to late for you! Start now, at least if the balloon goes up next week, you have a head start. Start with water, food, medicine, shelter. Then move on to personal security and training. Work on financial security. Build a community.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The problem with retreats

I was pondering retreats and how I could get one the other day. I was also processing some information I've gleaned from various sources. I would like to score some land up in New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine for use as a camping site for me and my buddies, and as a retreat location if the poop did hit the fan in a big way.

I was talking with several guys at the gun club, and several have property in Maine. All of them have trouble with the locals breaking in and using the place for a party hangout, looting, and other nefarious purposes. If they lock the door, they break through the windows. If they cover the windows with metal shutters, they are worried the locals would set the place on fire.

One of the guys has a good spot that is behind the house of the guy he bought it from and they keep an eye on it, but still his cabin is broken into by kids looking for booze and as a party place.

So unless you live at a retreat, then building any permanent structure is an exercise in futility. I guess that is lesson number one. No matter how remote you are, eventually a local teen will discover the place and use it for their amusement.

So the options are to live in a tent, or bring your shelter with you like a pop-up or RV. I guess the other option is to build a cabin, but cover all windows with metal security covers, and have a proper security door. They can still burn it, so keep your supplies cached in the ground nearby.

It's still a dream of mine to have, but considering my 401k has a year-to-date return of -52% I doubt I could escape the job anytime in the next 30 years. I have zero intention on moving to a retreat full time unless I had to due to mutant zombie biker ninja's rampaging across eastern Mass. Some survivalists woudl say I'm an idiot for not giving up on the job, but we all have opinions, right?

Unemployment

Well I was prowling for data for a post, and found this site. It has the "official" unemployment statistics for every state. Mass is at 5.5%, and Rhode Island is at 9.3%. These are the official numbers, not the real ones. Remember, the government removes you from the "eligible workforce" if you have been out of work longer than a few months. These numbers also don't reflect those who are short of work and need more. Also if you leave work to have a kid, then try to go back to work, you don't count.

It's chilling. I am witnessing the slide of America into poverty. If this keeps up I wonder what will happen to the illegal immigrants when the "jobs no one wants" are coveted by American citizens? America has always been a heterogeneous mixture, with different ethnic groups clumping together in the melting pot. When one group has it better than the other then you better look out!

I used to push boxes around for a living. For 5 years or so I worked in a variety of warehouses. When I started, There were little, if any immigrants, legal or otherwise. When I left, managers were taking Spanish classes to keep up with the work force. I recently had to go to several warehouses to help out a buddy and we couldn't find anyone who spoke freaking English. I was cracking jokes about INS, and the foreman warned me to knock it off, because they'd beat the crap out of me. This is New England, it's as far as you can get from South America and stay in the continental US, and the menial jobs are all held by immigrants!

As a country we have some tough times ahead. This is going to be made harder by racial tensions, as up here the South Americans all stick to themselves in their own little ghettos where everything is done in Spanish. By excluding themselves from the rest of society they make themselves a target. If your lucky enough to have a retreat, don't segregate yourself, integrate with the communities near you.

Would the federal government, if faced with a total collapse of the economy boot out illegals so citizens could have a job? With a democrat in office, I tend to doubt it. This means the illegals will form the core of the middle class if the American economy recovers in 5-10 years. Now that's funny. See, they way I figure it, if they are working steadily, then they will have the income to invest and grow their own businesses. While the lazy American citizens will live on the dole.

I wonder how the increased strain on the unemployment system impacts the state economies.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New rifle

Well I was shooting skeet in the below-freezing weather with a few other hardy folk on Saturday when a guy came into the club to post a flyer about the gun he is selling. Turns out he's selling a Remington 700 VS chambered in .308 Winchester. Exactly what I am looking for in a bolt-action rifle.

It's got a heavy barrel, which is limiting tactically, but I wouldn't consider it too heavy for hunting moderate distances. I figure I could lug it around for a few hours with a proper sling on it. It is not good for any kind of snap-shooting though. Too cumbersome to whip around. On the plus side, the rifle can shoot 1/2 MOA accuracy and the seller has the ballistic data to back up that claim. The barrel also has a custom muzzle-brake to reduce full power .308 rounds to a recoil equal to a .223, which basically eliminates it. I checked, and no holes are drilled on the bottom of the brake, so it will not kick dust up. The trigger has been professionally done, with a 2# pull. He has a replacement follower for the magazine so it can be used as a bench gun. This follower can be removed easily for hunting.

The rifle has a synthetic stock with aluminum bedding block. The grip is better contoured to larger hands, it's the same stock as the police version. He has a monster 32x scope on it, I'm not sure of the specs but it is optically very clean and has a 50mm bell for good light gathering. He also is including a full set of dies for reloading, all his ballistic and reloading data, bullets, brass, primers, cleaning rods, and a case.

I know I've been mentally masturbating over a MBR like a FN-Fal or a M1A. I realize I cannot afford such a weapon at this time. Once tax time comes again I'll be sure to get one, and it might be too late by then, who knows? I do know this. This is about $2k worth of stuff going for $500. The rifle is plenty big enough to hunt all but moose and grizzly. It's in a common caliber that can provide headshots at 300 meters without batting an eye. I will also get everything I need to start reloading .308 except a press. I can get a used press at Kittery Trading Post up in Maine after the holidays, I'm planning a trip up there in early January. Until then I'll keep my ears open at the club, and on craigslist for a used press locally.

I'm picking it up Wednesday, I'll post pics for sure!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Slow Slide

Well let's face it. The greatest danger we face is a slow economic slide into a 3rd world country. Now the $64,000 dollar question is how to prepare for it. I have been re-reading FerFal's blog heavily, as he has lived through such a slide, and I feel his insight is a key indicator on what to do.

What this means to me is this:

1) I will be employed, but I will have to work longer hours to keep my job.
2) Getting to and from work is going to get very dangerous.
3) I will be forced to live in a high-threat environment.
4) Police help will be available to the rich, who can afford to bribe.
5) My sidearm will be more valuable than any rifle.
6) Food and electricity will available most of the time.

I agree with FerFAL's assessment that you would not be allowed to walk down main street with a shotgun or your MBR. Unless there is a complete collapse of law and order then it's best to leave the long guns home. Likewise, if there is a complete collapse, then a lone person waltzing down to the supermarket with a MBR will be attacked for his weapon.

So in a slow slide, until society collapses then your sidearm would be the most important piece of gear you own. If you live in a very rural environment then a rifle or shotgun might be acceptable in your truck, but even then, a concealed handgun would be nice to have. To this end I have begun shopping for a shoulder holster for my Sig. I also am not a fan of the factory grips, I want to see about replacing them with something more robust, and less slippery. I also want to upgrade my sights to Tritium or whatever it's called. Practicing last night in the dark, I couldn't see where my weapon was pointed - not good.

Add to this line of reasoning that Obammy might ban handgun sales outright, or make the licensing procedure too long and complex that it is an effective ban. I just hope I am grandfathered in. Even if you don't have the money for a handgun I encourage everyone to start the licensing procedure.

As for what to buy. There were a few features I felt were a 100% necessity for a daily carry handgun. It had to be a double action firearm, chambered in a common, but large caliber. And it needed to be reliable. I found a Sig P220 on sale, and fell in love with it. It holds 8+1 of .45 ACP so there is plenty of firepower. It is accurate, and very reliable. Earlier posts fully detail what I love about my Sig, so check the "firearm" posts to see them.

I have already started to be more aware of my surroundings, checking my house out as I pull up. This is a good thing to do all the time, regardless of the current threat level. I think I will have to beef up my security system, as FerFAL mentions dogs get poisoned, so they are of limited help.

Victory!

It was a hard-fought campaign, many lost hours on both sides of the brawl, but Natog has emerged victorious!

I have been fighting a running battle with my old cell phone company for the last 6 weeks. I had switched from Helio (aka Sprint) in disgust of their poor cell coverage in my area, and they double charged my account when I made a payment online. Then they took 4 days to get the money back to me.

The trick in dealing with the situation was to have excellent notes. I jotted down everyone's name and ID number I spoke with, dates and times, and highlights of the conversation to jog my memory. As with all cell phone companies their customer service is abysmal. This is intentional, as they don't want to cough up a nickle unless they had to. After 10+ hours on the phone, I have no early cancellation fee, and my account is retroactively canceled to when I ported my number out.

Without good notes, I would have been screwed, with my only recourse to not pay them and then have to deal with a credit agency going after me.

So anytime you have an issue with any company, or the Fedz for that matter.
1) Take good notes. Get ID #'s of the people you talk to with dates and times.
2) Establish your expectations clearly, then don't budge an inch.
3) Persistence.
4) DO NOT YELL. Explain to them you are very upset with their company, but you don't yell and scream. Tell them you are furious, but it's not their fault so yelling at them will not make anything better. You want the rep to be on your side.
5) If they cannot help you bump up to their supervisor.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gun Grab

A lot of people are worried about a gun grab, where the federal government takes away your firearms by force. I think this is overblown a bit.

I fully believe that a new version of the Assault Weapons Ban will go back into effect. Banning all imported military-style arms. I fully expect a ban on all new non-LEO, non-military magazine sizes to be 10 rounds or less. Perhaps to go so far as California's fixed magazine requirement. That's about as much as he could ram through congress and the senate before the 2010 elections. I do not see him being able to do more than that. Although the hardcore democrats would like more, he has to split his time with other projects, like working on the welfare state, righting all the "wrongs" of the past administration, dealing with the financial crisis. He won't have time, and I doubt he will try to take on the Gun Lobby, the NRA, and the bulk of the middle class during his first term.

I say the middle class because as crime increases, more and more from the shrinking middle class will buy guns to "defend" themselves. Without training, whatever they buy is useless, but they won't want to give up their protection. I might be off base with this part, but unless martial law is declared, I don't see a gun grab happening.

His second term is a different story. If Obama maintains a Democratic Senate and Congress, I fully expect a gun grab of some kind. I also expect a lot of situations to come up like Ruby Ridge and Waco. I expect a lot of people in law enforcement and civilians to die from it.

Back in the Real World

Vacation is over. Oh well. For 6 days I didn't read the news, check my e-mail, or watch any TV. Mentally I am refreshed and ready to take on the world. Physically I hurt like hell. Playing a video game for 16 hours a day in a chair that's bad for your back can break you down.

I did get out a bit, especially yesterday. In the morning I practiced shooting, and scored my best to date with my 22 rifle. At 50 yards I could cover the 5 shot group with a nickle. Considering I have a low-end .22 rifle, I am pleased as punch. I have no intention on buying a better .22 rifle at this time. Although there is a strong desire to compete, I got more important things to buy.

I still have a major hard-on for an FN-FAL or an M1A battle rifle. Maybe it's foolish because obama might take them away, but I want something handy in case it really goes to hell in a handbasket.

I picked up more food supplies for my preps. My main batch of seeds came in! I have what I need to grow food for myself if push comes to shove. It's a load off of my mind, but there is more to do. I could not find any hard red winter wheat, but the crops should come in the spring, so I'll buy some then. I didn't get a chance to grab another 150# of corn, but I will this weekend.

I've been over my supplies and there are a few items I need to grab. I need cheap garden tools from a flea market or yard sale. I also need to grab some cheap LED headlamps. And I also got to grab a solar battery charger, with a second set of NiMH batteries in AA and AAA. I'll order these items this week. Having vacation at home and cooking (most) of your own meals saved me a ton of cash. All of which will be set aside for a MBR, or put into food preps. That's it for me on an update now, I'm also writing up an article I'll post later on.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Monster Within

A bit of a philosophical post before going on vacation. I firmly believe that every human being has the willingness to commit murder in their hearts. Scrub away the Saab, the Cardigan sweater, the espresso enemas and you essentially have a wild beast, held in check by a thin layer of morality and social customs. Granted, most social customs are an extension of morality, but not all. For example, is it a violation of morals to eat with your hands instead of silverware?

Obviously the social customs would be the first to go in a societal collapse. Things like polygamy and polyamory would rise in acceptance quickly. Especially if the female to male ratio is out of balance in either direction. I know for the Christian segment of my readership is not going to be too happy with me lumping marriage with "social customs." I just would like to point out that Christians have affairs, just like everybody else. Although that is a poor example, as breaking an Oath is a moral issue.

Back to my original point, as I try to avoind the slippery slope of religion, everyone is capable of murder. If you had a child who was sick with some horrible disease, and some corp offered you a cure if you killed a death-row inmate for his stem cells? If you were starving, and you saw a group of thugs kill someone for food, would you kill the thugs for the food?

I could go on and on with these thought exercises. What does that mean to us?

If the poop hits the fan in a bad way, then I fully expect to have to kill for my survival. Let's face it, I work in a densely populated urban environment, surrounded by a lot of people with questionable moral standards. How bad an incident has to be criminals take advantage of the reduced law enforcement presence? What did that study find? After 3 days the average human would steal to eat, after 7 they would kill.

I don't mean to dwell on such negative aspects of our preparedness. It is a situation I never want to face, I hope all the prepping we do is in vain. But if something really bad does happen, the woman in the pantsuit might try to kill you for the MRE you are eating. My plan is to avoid as much humanity as possible, so I won't be forced into such a situation. But I prepare for the situation, in case it presents itself.

I am currently reading "Dies the Fire" by S.M. Stirling. I'm only half way through and I think it's an excellent book, well written and entertaining. I will be buying the remainder of the series and passing them to friends once I am done. This is what got me to thinking. Any book that makes you use your noggin is a sound time investment.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Neat item

Check this out @ Cabelas.

It's a disposable sterile stapler for stitching wounds, 15 staples for $25. Next time I order from there I'm going to buy one. Unless I manage to take the drive down to Hartford, CT first.

I should buy some sutures too, I know.

Prep Time

Well I've been blessed with a half-day today in return for working 6+ hours in the middle of the night last week. So this post will be a little short.

I cannot find any hard red winter wheat at the feed stores, so I'm going to try the earthy-crunchy stores next. I'll have to pay more, but if it's less than $25 a bag I'll still buy some.

I have yet to bag up the corn I bought into mylar bags, I am concerned I do not have an airtight container to put the O2 absorbers in so they will stay good. If I don't find any wheat by Sunday I'll buy 150# more corn and put that up. That reminds me, I need to buy a cheap iron to seal the bags.

Well the rest of the day will be spent prepping. I want to change the oil in my jeep, and I need to do some housework, and yardwork. Harbor freight has a bowsaw for $7, (with coupon) so I might swing by and see if it's worth it.

I am on vacation thursday - tuesday so I doubt I will be able to post. I'm not doing anything special, but I'm not going to be hitting the boards, or checking the news, nothing. A complete mental and physical vascation. I need it real bad.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Busy Weekend

First off, let me admit to being a damn nitwit. I went to pick up some long term supplies of grains, and they were out of Hard Red Winter wheat, and they were not going to get any in for a long time. Dammit! I should have bought it when they had it. Granted it would have been sitting there for 3 months, but now I got to scramble to get some. Now I have to spend time tracking it down.

So I bought 100# of corn for $25. They did have winter rye, but I knew jack shit about it and passed. Cornmeal is good. Cornbread and johnnie cakes. Yummy.

On Saturday, I had my own three-gun shoot. Pistol, rifle, and shotgun shooting. I'm very happy with my progression in all three weapons. Not that I'm the best shot around, but I would say I'm good enough to get by. Any training from here on in would need to be tactics training on how to clear rooms, handle prisoners, etc.

I am somewhat disappointed with the reloader I bought. Turns out the re-sizer is a separate ring, and I wasn't using it for many of shells, and it bit me in the ass on Sunday. From now on, I need to check all my hulls and separate them into piles that need to be re-sized and those that do not. I figure if I take the barrel off of my shotgun, and use a wooden dowel to pop them out, I can quickly go through the shells. The cheapest MEC reloader with the re-sizing die

I was shooting in a league on Sunday, and missed four or five shells because of jams. These hulls were the oldest ones I had, so I was an idiot for using them in the competition. Live and learn. Pretty much any shell I load buck into and store, I will re-size. By the time I use it, who knows what shotgun (or barrel) I'll be using it out of.

I bid on a replacement barrel for my 870 on gunbroker.com but the bidding went too high for me for a snap purchase. I do want to get a longer barrel for my 870, this will help with Skeet, as well as duck and goose hunting, which I might like to do next year.

A friend I made at the club is going piggy hunting down south soon. evidently there is a big feral pig problem in NC,SC, and TN. I like to eat piggies. Bacon tastes good, pork chops taste good. Roast tenderloin done rotisserie style in my grill is wicked pissah. I just might have to go and get me a pig.

I've never been into hunting, but with the financial crisis we are in it will be a damn handy skill to have. I also don't like the idea of feral species damaging the environment. If I ever get to go to Australia, I always said I book a cat hunting safari. Plus, did I mention I like to eat piggies? Looks like you can stock a freezer for short money, especially if you drive down with others so you can split gas. Worth looking into.

Well that's it for now, So much crap going on I cannot keep it straight. There was a picture up on CNN with obammy standing at a podium with "PRESIDENT-ELECT" on it. I thought that was a little full of himself, proving to me he's a narcissist. CNN pulled the picture down before I could get back up here and grab a copy.

The economy is still fucked. Had a great conversation with a guy who ran a DJ business on the side. He's had 50 or so major companies cancel thier holiday parties. That's not good.

Good Pistol Drill

I saw a link to Commander zero's blog on Rawles survivalblog.

It's a pistol drill I wasn't aware of but doing it anyway. At my range you are only allowed to shoot at 25 or 50 yards. So I was blazing away at the standard NRA pistol targets. I even bought some replacement centers. Turns out the replacement centers are exactly the size of a average man's chest. So I can shoot at a silhouette without breaking the clubs rules about no silhouette shooting.

Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to move while shooting, but when no one else is around I'll practice shooting while kneeling or while using a post or bench as support. I only do this once in a blue moon as I am so accurate when supported, I don't need the practice and it's not worth getting talked to by a range officer when it's perfectly safe, just not what the club wants.

Anyway, I shot this weekend and I am keeping it in the 7 ring at 25 yards, which is about 8 inches across. Not too shabby for someone who started this summer.

Now go out there buy a good pistol and practice. Get a .45 unless you cannot handle the recoil, then get as big a caliber as you can handle. Then practice your ass off!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Northeast Prepper Network?

Sorry for the intermittent posting this week. I've been on call which means long days and my pager going off all damn night. I have been trying to formulate a good post idea for the last half-hour, but I've failed in that department.

So I have been mulling about the idea of a New England Prepper network. With a big tip-o-the-hat to Riverwalker for doing the Texas Prepper's Network.

I am limited with the amount of slack time I have, so I will not be able to provide enough content to make it worthwhile. I did notice that there is a way of allowing other people access to the blog as guest authors. So I won't have to do all the work, and others who might not have time to blog regularly can post information that is beneficial to everyone.

In the past in comments here and there there has been some interest, so if you New Englanders are interested in working together to keep a site focused on New England filled with content, please post a comment or drop me a line. I'll post my e-mail below.

I noticed on survivalblog.com that someone noticed that cheaperthandirt.com has already increased the price of their high-capacity magazines. Big shocker there. I already have a tough time with buying magazines here in Mass so I already figured price hikes were going to happen on Nov 4th. I still need a battle rifle, so until I get one I'll just save any money to put towards that, and then buy mags once I have it in my hands. An AR-15 mag does me squat, if I get an AK-47 or an M1A.

Speaking of AK's there is one in the gun shop near my house for $650. It's new, but I think a M1 would be a better buy for the same money. Or you could get two SKS's for that. I need to look into the SKS, some can take AK mags and are cheap. I need to educate myself a bit on these firearms. I might be forced into settling for one, if I can't save enough money for the M1A or FN-FAL I want.

Well, my e-mail is teotwawkiaiff@gmail.com, feel free to drop me any non-spam mail. I'll do my best to get back to you promptly.

So for now I think M.A.S.S or the Massachusetts Anti-Sheeple Society has a good ring to it. e-mail me ideas for names or articles and let's see what we can put together. Eventually I'd like to see this blossom into something a little bit larger, maybe group buys of equipment and supplies. Face to face meets. Who knows? For now, let's focus on getting the ball rolling. I see the potential for a lot of good community building in this. I know there is a silent crowd here in New England who wish to pass on information, but do not want to give any exposure to themselves, their families, and thier preps. I can respect that. Any personal information would never hit the blog(s) unless you specifically want it to. If anyone has some good information that could help us in hurricanes, blizzards, or mutant zombie infestation. Please send it and I'll post it anonymously.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The King is Crowned

Well Obama has won. Big shocker there. I was surprised with the lack of violence post- announcement. If Detroit and New Orleans burns after a NBA victory, then a (half) Black president is worth at least a dozen overturned cars and several fires.

Now what does that mean for us preppers? I am no oracle, no seer of visions so take this with a grain of salt. I actually see the financial markets calming down, although I think the bailouts are having no effect. AIG might go tits up any day now and we are seeing the Lehmans CDS fiasco still working its way through the system. I think of it along the lines of gorging yourself on beer, Taco Bell, and questionably good ice cream for dessert. It probably won't kill you but your going to have all sorts of "fun" passing it. Plan on living in tennis shoes and boxers for a day or so while it works its way out. Like wise keep your mental acuity sharp, your awareness heightened. I wouldn't get bogged down in the fine detail, skim the surface so your not slowed down with the media masturbation going on because their chosen one was elected.

So banks will still continue to fail, and the economy will still be shaky (at best), how could Wall St. be stable? It's simple, everyone is drinking the Magic Kool-Aid that Obama is handing out. False hope. Things will get better before they get worse. I'll make no bones about it, if his presidency fails, then you will see rioting across most urban areas. If he is assassinated, there will be even more rioting. Maybe bad enough those nitwit white supremacists might have the race war they want.

I have a very pessimistic view of humanity in large groups. There has already been three foiled assassination plots on Obama already. Granted these are the kind of chuckleheads that could barely tie their shoelaces, but that's three attempts. I would not be surprised in the least if there are more plots, and not just from chuckleheads, but serious men of evil intent.

Time for me to share a bit more of myself on the web. Language used from here on in will offend you, so please read it in context before judging me.

I used to be a racist. I was a racist out of ignorance. My Maternal Grandfather was the most racist man I have ever met. He was half German and half Irish and would call my Grandmother, who was also half German and half Irish, a drunken Mic when he had enough wild turkey. If I wore my baseball hat backwards he'd call me a N****r. Everyone was a Mic, a wetback, a wop, etc. My father was racist against Blacks and Latinos, and I never knew better.

Granted, I never yelled insults to people or egged minorities homes on Halloween or anything like that. No, it was much more insidious. I just thought I was better than all non-white. Which is weird because my father and I are part Cherokee.

It wasn't until high school, when I started to meet minorities in classes that I had to sit down and do some thinking. I guess that is what separates me from 90% of America, I actually thought about my attitudes and beliefs and consciously changed them. It's hard, something I work on on an almost daily basis. I am a better man because I am less ignorant.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Calm before the storm

Well all the liberal moon-bats are preparing for the second coming tomorrow. All of Massachusetts is just moist in anticipation. The anti-Question #1 people are out in droves, their war chest of 5 million is being spent to snuff out the voice of liberty. They want to stop busting people with less than an ounce of pot. They want to ban dog racing. Nanny state knows best.

I listen to a local sports radio station a lot, WEEI. They are top dogs for sports radio in the US. We Boston sports fans have a lot to chat and listen about. The morning show guys are about as anti-liberal as you can get - to the point that if their favorite ice cream was Rocky Road and they saw John Kerry eating it, they wouldn't touch it for the rest of their lives.

Now on the show the do chat about politics, but this time of year it's about half the show. I personally cannot stand their knee-jerk reaction to anything without really thinking about the issue. Their Neo-Conservative tirades are annoying, but I put up with it to hear about sports.

One caller did bring up an interesting point about the decriminalizing of pot. It would be better to just legalize it and tax the fuck out of it than to just decriminalize it. If it's decriminalized, then there still is a large black market operating which makes big bucks for the criminals. I thought about it at lunch and I agree. I don't smoke pot, I would advise anyone and everyone not to smoke pot, but I rather see the cash go to buy schools and fire trucks than buy some drug dealer a new Mercedes.

Tomorrow, I'm not going to set foot outside my house once I get home from work. Just in case a race riot breaks out or anything weird goes on. I would suggest that if you live in an urban or suburban area you do the same. Being prepared is not just stuff you buy, it's actions you take to avoid trouble.

I'm not going out on a limb to say there will be trouble in major cities if he wins or not. I was waiting in line for my lunch and a very urban/hip-hop/thug young black man asked me if I was voting for Obama or not. I threw him off his little rant by stating I was writing in Colin Powell. So the young man said "'bout time an black man who understands the American black experience gets elected to da white house."

I raised my eyebrow at that, and the young man went on about being descended from slaves, etc. I stopped him cold by saying Obama's father was a Kenyan, and was not the descendant of a slave. The reply was swift, " Well, what the fuck do you know?" as he squared up to me. That's when my good friend who was watching all of this, laughing his ass off, said "A fuckload more than you."

Such ignorance is prevalent among most of America. So exercise your right to vote tomorrow, while we still can.

Oh did I mention my friend from work was Black? And he's voting for McCain. I couldn't convince him to write in Colin Powell.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Great Quote for Obama

"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."
-Winston Churchill

Hey, Obama, chew on that you socialist nitwit.

"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."
- Norman Thomas (US Socialist Presidential Candidate)

Crunch Time

Well it's crunch time in a few ways. I have come to the conclusion that Obama is a god damn Commie pink-O, and we are fucked if he wins. Work's been going bonkers with server maintenance, We are rolling out a new AV program, and patching the servers with the out-of-band patch I mentioned last week. Working nights and days is starting to make me grumpy.

I heard a Smiths song I have not heard for a while, and here is some of it:
They said :
"There's too much caffeine
In your bloodstream
And a lack of real spice
In your life"

I said :
"Leave me alone
Because I'm alright, dad
Surprised to still
Be on my own..."

Oh, but don't mention love
I'd hate the strain of the pain again
A rush and a push and the land that
We stand on is ours
It has been before
So it shall be again
And people who are uglier than you and I
They take what they need, and just leave
I know The Smiths are not everyone's cup-o-tea, but they have that 80's British angst. Figure in another 20 years when we Americans realize that the heyday is over, we will have a similar angst.

I live where the blood of patriots soaks the ground. I was out last week and swung by the site of the Boston Massacre. To me, it's holy ground. I asked myself if we had the men of character, the men of action, the people with enough gumption to be the second wave of patriots. Would there be another Tea Party when Obama takes form the middle class and gives it to the poor? Will there be another senseless massacre of people to prove the Will of the American Citizen?

Would enough of us tell the Fed to fuck off when they tax us harder so the poor can buy more booze, crack, meth, and heroin? I am firmly convinced that the vast majority of the population on welfare wants to be on welfare. Money for nothing. Fat and happy on the government dime. My fucking dime.

Biden already slipped up and said those who made more than $150k would be taxed for the wealth redistribution. I figure by Jan 20th, anyone making over $20k will be taxed for this sham, this farce, this whoring of this great country of ours.

The problem is if something is not earned than it has no value. I remember the first paycheck I got. I was 9, and busted my ass in a fishmarket for 40hours in 4 days. That check for $120 was a treasure, riches beyond belief. My aching fingers and back didn't hurt quite as much as I held out my hand and the boss counted those sawbucks into my hand. Life was good.

Contrast that with when I was on unemployment. I got "laid off" because I was three times as smart as my new boss and he wasn't too pleased that I was the go-to guy to keep the company going. I was up at the crack of noon, loafed off all day, went and played games with some friends until oh god thirty in the morning then crashed. Nothing productive came form this time in my life. I didn't study, I didn't write. Hell, I could have written a novel, but did I? Fuck no. Why should I? I got a check every week, and I worked a few hours here and there to make some cash under the table. It wasn't until unemployment was running out that I got off my ass and got a job.

I have to admit it was relaxing not to have to run the rat race every day.

So although I understand the lure of the slacker lifestyle I know that's not how to succeed. After that slacker phase I busted my ass for years, taking my natural gift for tinkering and engineering and forging it into a technical skillset that took me to the pinnacle of my field. I used to get home from working all day and studying into the night, tinkering and fiddling with Windows NT and Linux. It's payed off, as I make five times what I did in those days. It's a lot of work, but I now have a house, something I never dreamed I would get. I might get to retire at some point.

These welfare-people who get this Obama-money will just buy more crack and booze. They didn't earn it so it might as well be Monopoly money. Make the fuckers earn it, just like I had to.

"The dignity of man is not shattered in a single blow, but slowly softened, bent, and eventually neutered. Men are seldom forced to act, but are constantly restrained from acting. Such power does not destroy outright, but prevents genuine existence. It does not tyrannize immediately, but it dampens, weakens, and ultimately suffocates, until the entire population is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid, uninspired animals, of which the government is shepherd."
- Alexis de Tocqueville

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Just too much going on

Well things are going bonkers in a major way. At work we have that security patch to hit all of our servers with. At home I'm reading up on what's going on with the election and the economy. And trying to relax some for the next days work. Then trying to get a good nights sleep. Fat chance of that happening.

I have reloaded about 75 shotgun shells so far for skeet. It's easy enough to do, but there seems to be a trick to get the shells to stay closed tightly. Some shells I just need to hold in the pres for 2-3 seconds and they are fine, others will open up no matter what I do. Some shells seem to not want to close correctly, leaving a hole big enough for shot to leak out of - I just jammed a little paper in there to hold it and marked the shell with a marker so I'd toss it.

I still have to test these shells to see if they are up to snuff. They look just like the shells the other guys have reloaded, so my confidence is high. I'm not using a lot of powder either, so I'm not too worried it will blow up in my face.

I am buying a book on shotgun shell reloading, It will have better info than the manual that came with the press, and I hope it has more info on how to load oo buck, including what wads to buy. I want to store up a bunch of oo buckshot, makes a good home defense round.

Onto other preps. My mylar bags and O2 absorbers have arrived! Now I can move up to the "big leagues" and add grain storage to my preps. If you are going to store for very long term, you cannot beat whole wheat in mylar bags. It should last 15 years at least!

Now I just need a flour mill. If push comes to shove I can grind it like they do in 3rd world contries. Not sure how they do that, but I'll look it up online soon.

I just went through the post I made in August about what I'd like to have done before winter. And I've met most of my goals. I still want to buy a generator, but I just cannot swing that much cash right now. I need supplies for my Jeep, mostly spare parts, but that is of secondary importance to food. I really, really want to get my hands on a battle rifle as well. Saving is hard enough, but I am saving some every week for this.

It's a never-ending project, just like owning a house. With the progress I have made in my physical preps and in my increased knowledge, I am getting more confident that I will survive the oncoming problems. Even with a blizzard or two thrown in. If you are not prepping then start. It's not too late to start stacking the deck in your favor.