Thursday, July 31, 2008

Survival Preparation Phases

So I have been giving some major thought in the last few weeks to line up a system of priorities on what to do and what to buy for survival. It has been a daunting task to say the least. I'm trying to keep this as generic as possible, so it can be used as a common baseline for everyone. I will do my best not to pick specific items or classes for this list, as part of this exercise is to pick what works best for you and your family.

Each of these items is a tree of other items, like the folder structure on your computer or an outline. There is probably a better way to lay this out, but for now, this works for me. the further up the tree you go, the more specialized the decision making will have to be. I tried to put this in a general order of importance in regards to what's needed first. This is (obviously) tailored for my area, the New England area. Enough of that here we go!


Like I mentioned, these are as broad as it gets. I will be going through each of these items in detail in different posts. The need for myself to come up with this is because I started wearing my ass for a hat, and was spending too much money on preparing. I don't use credit cards, so I basically had to eat PB&J sandwiches for lunch this week so I could pay my bills. Lesson learned.

I welcome any and all comment on this project. If I overlooked something let me know and I'll fix it. This is for everyone's benefit, so I'm hoping to get it right for anyone new to the survival mindset. Hopefully they won't get lost as bad as I have recently.

With any suggestions on a new top-level item, make sure it doesn't fit under one of the other ones. For example, "Communications" is missing from the top level because it's a form of Intelligence.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Roving Bands Of Mutant Ninja Biker Zombies? - Or Not?

A popular idea in the survival circles is the Golden Horde. Post TEOWAWKI, sheeple deprived of food, water, shelter would roam the countryside in ever-growing numbers to devour all in their path like a pack of locusts.

With the Great Depression there was (in theory) guaranteed work on the west coast, which caused large numbers of people to migrate west. Also, most of the larger work projects were out west, as rivers still needed to be damned, bridges built, etc. We don't have such public works projects, there is no shortage of workers for the fields of California. Simply put: there is no location to draw a huge number of people.

In the most likely non-natural disaster we face today, the socio-political-economic collapse of the US of A, we face a long slide rather a precipitous drop. So people will stay with what is familiar, what is comfortable. Most people will stay local, to live and die with family and friends.

Within communities I predict those with mobility, whether motorbikes, horses, or methane powered dune buggies, will roam and loot and steal and pillage. I doubt they would be able to muster farther than 30 miles or so without crossing another pack's turf. I'll steal a term from one of my favorite RPG's and use the term Go-Gangs to describe these groups.

I feel that the vast majority of people will be too weak from hunger and disease to get very far. Especially here in the Northeast, where farms are few and far between, and would already be stripped bare by the locals. Without the strength to traverse rough terrain, anyone on the western side of the Appalachians should be safe from refugees from NY or Boston.

These go-gangs will tend to stay local for a number of reasons. First, they will stay close to their home base for fuel, and the accumulated resources they have gathered. Secondly, as I already mentioned, they will run into other go-gangs in their travel. The most compelling reason for them to stay put is that it's better to reign in hell than serve in heaven. The FedGov might be working in Ohio, why go there when we can rape and pillage here?

Monday, July 28, 2008


So last night I'm dead asleep and one of my dogs decides to go spastic. I'm going to be on-call this week, which means little if any sleep for the week. So I'm yelling at him to STFU, so I could return to oblivion.

He woke me up twice. My other dog was just as PO'd as I was his slumber was interrupted. In the morning as I'm getting into my Jeep, I noticed a cigarette butt on the ground. I don't smoke, and since we got a hell of a lot of rain the last few days that was a fresh butt.

So last night I had a Prowler poking around the house. My (attentive) dog let me know, but I was too lazy (along with my other dog) to get up and investigate. If I had an ounce of sense in my head, I would have thrown on some clothes and investigated with my Sig and Maglite.

Alas, I failed. You can bet your last can of beans that from now on I'll be investigating everything at Natog's Ranch.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Civil Disturbance kit

I'm still working out what my BOB should contain, but I have decided on a modular design. This way when I need to bug out, I can take or leave what modules I need. So I present to you the first complete module of my Bug Out Bag.

(No that's not a Bra on the top of the photo...)
The kit is stuffed into a small bag, closed off with a purple ribbon. It weighs about half a pound, but these items will save your hide if your caught in a civil disturbance. The module contains:
Two filter masks
swimming goggles
a pair of nitrile gloves
hearing protection
a black bandanna
two small containers of vinegar
a camouflage headcovering

Seems like an odd assortment of gear. I live in a very populated area, and if my 30,000 neighbors start to riot, I need to get through to my home with a minimum of fuss. If CS gas is used, which it almost certainly will, these items are of immediate survival value.

Swimming goggles are airtight, allowing you to see without getting CS gas in your eyes. To breathe, you take a dustmask and soak it in white vinegar. Vinegar neutralizes the active component of CS gas. Hearing protection is handy to have as there will be gunfire, maybe even flash-bang grenades. The nitrile gloves are to help protect your hands, so you do not later contaminate your eyes or other sensitive spots with the CS residue. The black bandanna, and camo headcovering are to provide some anonymity as you skirt the riot to get home.

When you get to where your going, be sure to cut your clothes off if CS gas was used, then hose yourself off real well. Use the other bottle of vinegar to clean anything you want to keep.

This is not complete kit, as there are a few items missing. A good pair of wirecutters, and a good pair of leather gloves. These two items I have in my mini-bob.

Finally if I was out to cause civil disturbance, a riot is not the way to go. Add a few of those huge permanent markers and cans of spray paint to strike out with words. The most powerful items are not transportable, and those would be a laptop and a laser printer to carry on with a free press.

The Brink

It seems to me that we are on the edge. Not of an abyss, but a long rocky slope. Now an abyss is the worst case, as society plummets to anarchy. But as I see it now, we are looking at a grid-up, slow slide. I have taken a tumble down such a slope while mountain-biking, and as you slide and tumble those boulders you bounce off hurt.

Looks like society, our "civilization" will be doing the same thing. Sometimes falling faster, sometimes a hard crash as it impacts a checkpoint along the slope. These checkpoints could be mass riots, famine, disease outbreaks, war, alien invasion, or the worst - Jeb Bush running for the Presidency!

The market looks to me like it's correcting itself a little bit. Oil is dropping in price some, but that is because we are driving less, and not burning it for home heating fuel. I expect oil to stabilize at about $115 a barrel unless a hurricane wipes out some oil rigs in the gulf, or a refinery.

So if it's one thing I know from living up here in the Northeast my whole life is just how bad it gets financially when the weather gets cold. As a kid we couldn't afford oil so we heated the whole house with wood. in '77-'78 we went through eleven cords of wood. For those of you unfamiliar with the measurement, a cord is 4' logs, piled 4' high and 8' long. That's when I learned to use a chainsaw, and how to split wood. I split all 11 cords myself.

So for those in the northern half of the US, they are feeling a financial crunch from keeping their AC running, taking vacations, etc. When Old Man Winter comes around, these family's will be in deep kimchi. Right now, home heating fuel is up from $3.54 a gallon to $4.95. Most people I know spent about $3k to heat their homes last winter, this year that would be $4200! After the rough summer months, many, many families wouldn't be able to heat their homes this year. That means more families on welfare, food stamps, and most importantly - losing their homes.

Winter is a slow time for real estate, so the banks will have to carry the foreclosed homes longer, or take more of a loss to dump them quickly. I would have to say that November and December will be the months to watch, unless something big happens sooner. When the gas and diesel prices cut back on food in the grocery stores, I expect to see food riots out here on the east cost. Up here in the Northeast we rely on all our food staples to be trucked in from the Midwest, or shipped to us via bulk container. Once these riots start, I expect things to unravel rather quickly.

Then again, The FedGov could stop wearing their asses for hats, and we might get out of this without a major crisis. I am a gambling man, but I'm not dumb enough to play those odds. Store food, spend what money you get wisely, arm yourself, and try to find friends who you can count on.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Well it pays to be sneaky. Getting the drop on another person gives you a huge advantage. You can remain hidden and let them pass, follow them back to their camp and gather info. Or you can take the hard option.

Remaining hidden involves five things to remember. Those are:


Shape - Avoid hard lines, few things in nature have right angles or straight lines. Disguise obvious items like guns, radio antennas, helmets, etc. The Ghillie suit excels at this function.
Shine - Any reflections will give you away farther than anything else. Tape over power LED's, and watch out for cellphone screens, and such. Gloss items are your enemy, if push comes to shove, burn a cork to get carbon to blacken items. Check weapons for places that wear and either paint them or tape them over.
Silhouette - Be aware of your surroundings, do not walk along a ridge line, as the sky behind you makes you stand out as clear as if you had a neon sign over your head. Likewise, be careful when moving across light colored backdrops. A grove of white birch, a pale outcrop of rock, or a snowfield is just as good at giving away your position.
Shadow - Be wary of light overhead, the shadow from a full moon or the sun adds to your size, which increases the chance you are spotted. Plus, the black blob stands out starkly on the ground.
Spacing - When moving as a group, spread out. the bigger you are the more likely you will be picked up by an observer's peripheral vision.

I am a big fan of the Ghillie Suit. I played many a game of paintball where the opponent got within 5' of me without their knowledge. A particular nasty trick of mine is to wait at their flag station, and mark their flag carrier when he was almost to the flag station. When they had to walk the flag all the way back to my station, we called it "the walk of shame."

A full ghillie suit is not needed most of the time, add strips of cut up BDU's and sew or tie them onto your boonie hat. That will break up your outline when peaking out of cover. Most snipers use a cape and leggings that only covers the back of their body. This way their head, back legs and feet are covered, but if they need to haul ass they don't have a giant bulky suit getting in the way. Commercial suits are available too, this is Cabelas' version.

A good thing to have is chicken wire. Stuff local vegetation into it and you have a mat of the perfect camouflage for the local environment.

The Second Revolution

So I was poking around this morning whilst slacking off at work, and found out that there are 600 or so FEMA camps all set up and ready to go. It is claimed by this site that the FedGov has detailed plans on how to deal with the population (i.e. citizens) after declaring martial law. Of course I printed these out in hardcopy so if they decide to suspend the Constitution I'll have a handy reference on how the JBT's will operate.

If the Constitution of the United States is ever suspended for Martial Law in the United States I will immediately begin action to abolish the current FedGov. Best way to do that is get 35 States to declare the Fedgov null and void.

So if the Constitution is declared suspended, does that mean that all the troops who swore to uphold the Constitution can just go home? Just a thought.

So If I cannot get 35 States to disband the Federal Government, looks like I'll become a terrorist. Big shoes to fill since Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and George Washington were terrorists too. Too bad that the Geneva Conventions only apply if two sides who signed it are fighting. For us (second) Revolutionaries expect torture in a CIA holding cell somewhere.

And if you thought you could sit this one out, well the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War only applies if two major powers are fighting. So with Executive order 11000, the Secretary of Labor can draft you into a government-supervised work brigade.

So evidently there is one of these camps in East Boston. I spent a little time on Google maps, and using their wonderful StreetView, but I found nothing that looked like a camp of any kind. Unless I see one of these camps with my own eyes I'm a bit skeptical they are all "ready to go, guarded by armed personnel." Then again, The East Boston could just be a loading area as Logan Airport is there, and a rail spur.

Damn I need to get a battle rifle.

Well I shot a bunch with my .22, and I'm happy to report that I'm getting all the rounds in the black at 50 yards with open iron sights. I'll shoot some more tonight, if I can escape Boston traffic. I fired off the 12ga, and let me tell you, my shoulder still hurts. I know what I'm doing, I know I had it pulled tight to my shoulder, but launching a 1oz slug of lead down range tends to beat you up a bit. I would have hit a man-sized target at 50 yards 6 out of 7 times.

Sunday I shot the .45 but I didn't do as well as I would have liked. I forgot a bunch of things and wasted $15 bucks of ammo being a dumbass. I'm trying to learn how to shoot with both eyes open, and I'm having trouble keeping the right eye dominant. I'm a bit ambidextrous so my right eye isn't as dominant as most peoples are. Then add in my Kosho training and all hell breaks loose with my vision. Maybe I should just shoot with the left eye closed?

I'll detail what Kosho is some other time, very cool stuff.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Well over at Suburbanprepper he had a good idea for an intruder detection system, by using the little snaps that kids toss on the sidewalk. A great idea, except as everything seems to be it's illegal in Mass, I need to come up with something else. Yes, snaps are illegal here. But if your gay you can marry... go figure.

So to 1-up my fellow blogger I present to you two ideas for us nanny-state prisoners. Those would be bubble wrap and beer cans.

I'm a pack rat so I have spare bubble wrap for the gazillion things I buy online. Take enough to cover the area you want to protect, spray paint it a flat black, and tape it down under the window you want to alarm. Put it in hallways and across thresholds. Please resist popping the bubble wrap yourself, and if you have young kids, this won't work at all. :)

As for the beer cans, take an empty beer or soda can and wash it out real well. Then put some pebbles in it, like 5-6. Tie on some mono fishing line and string it about waist high (so the dogs can run under it) tie the other end to something sturdy, and place the can on convenient surface to fall from. this is what a friends dad put in the concertina wire in Vietnam to alert the sentries of VC sneaking through.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Damn Banks

"I wish it were possible to make a single amendment to our constitution. Taking from the federal government their power of borrowing."

-Thomas Jefferson

Well looks like they chewed up a whole ton of bubblegum, and plugged the holes in the dike. The sheeple have bought the line of bullshit from Bernanke, the market rebounded and oil is down. The treasury hasn't bought any Fanny Mae or Freddie Mac stock yet, so there looks to be a glimmer of hope. Then again, the dollar is in a slide compared to other currencies, weaker dollar means everything costs more.

Well look at the stories coming out of the IndyMac collapse. Those people might be the lucky ones. If the banks collapse en mass, then the number of people that actually get their money out will be few and far between.

Well I'm not sold that "things will be ok." I'm waiting for the winter to start, up here we will have a lot of people who won't be able to afford oil to heat their homes. Combine that with the mortgage crisis, higher electric and gas prices and we might see the system break down. If we get a few major hurricanes I don't think that hose will collapse the system, but hasten the collapse when and if it happens.

I need to get back to planning. I'm getting a little out of focus on what's important in my preps. I need a generator real bad if there is any chance I'll be able to bug in. Tough thing is they are real expensive. I have my paintball gear all together and I whipped up a document to show it around. I got 2 guys at work interested, then I'll hit craigslist and eBay. I got like $5k in gear over the last 15 years, and I'll be stoked if I can get $2k for it. That's a generator, a FN Fal, and some additional preps. Just got to keep my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For Mayberry

I found this quote for Mayberry and Selous Scout. They have some tough times going on, and I hope a couple quotes from people a hell of a lot smarter than I am could offer some support.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche

The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood. - Martin Luther King Jr.

From another Non-conformist, I hope you both see better times soon.

I love my Sig!

Sorry for not posting as regularly as I would like, things have been crazy around here.

Anyway, I took my Sig P220 to the range on Sunday and I am very pleased with my purchase. I put 155 rounds of reloads, winchester target, and Wolf rounds through it without any issue. More importantly I hit the paper every time at 25 yards. Look, for you experienced shooters you must be like "Dude, WTF not in the 10 ring! L2shoot!" this is the 3rd time in my life I shot a pistol, so I'm happy with the results.

Massachusetts has some interesting laws. For example it is illegal to shoot at humanoid silhouettes... are you fucking kidding me?!??!!?!? Seriously, that's just stupid. At the range I'm only allowed to load 5 rounds at a time, with no action shooting allowed. I can live with that, as it's so close to my house. I'm there to practice, not cap off rounds willy-nilly. They have a 100m rifle range and a 50m pistol range, along with trap and skeet. SWEET

I've been accepted to the club, and I'll get my ID in the mail today or tomorrow. Can't wait to shoot this weekend!

Patriot Act

So I was thinking the other day, how many people have been caught by the Patriot Act? The answer, as best as I can research, is zero. None, Nada, Zip.

So the Fedgov decides to stomp on my rights to "protect" me, and as a result they were completely unsuccessful. The argument is security vs. freedom, but If I lose the freedom and gain no security I guess I'm doubly screwed.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

So I'll be e-mailing my Congressman and Senators to let them know just how I feel. Since the FedGov is still around I think I can have some fun at their expense. I would encourage everyone to do the same.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Sig P220

The picture quality sucks from my cellphone, but here is my Sig.

My Firearms Battery

Well I broke down and bought myself a .45 handgun, a Sig P220. I had my dream Glock 21 in my hands, but it just didn't feel as good as the Sig. I was determined to buy used, as I am a frugal SOB. Matter-o-fact Glock 21's are only available used, due to the horrible gun laws in Mass.

For a sidearm I wanted a .45ACP pistol that was double action / single action with a decocking lever. Magazine capacity was not a priority for me, as I have heard of feed problems with double-stacked .45 magazines. I also wanted a very reliable and durable handgun. Although I love the 1911 design, including the Auto Arms and Kimber varieties, I didn't want to have to cock the weapon before firing, and I certainly did not want a cocked firearm on my hip. Plus, those 1911's are expensive!

While at the gun store I evaluated the new Ruger .45's. There was one used for $350, but it was very top heavy. The frame is aircraft aluminum or some other light alloy, and makes the stainless barrel and steel slide pull the firearm forward. These are a new design, so I didn't want a battle-untested firearm.

The Glock was nice, but because of the terrible gun laws in Mass, the darn magazines are a PITA to get, and $50 a pop if you can find them. the model I was looking at was well-abused, but had a integral laser site (Laser Max I think) that was $350-$400 new. They wanted $800 for it.

The Sig fit my hand great. With a nice heft, but not too heavy. I still have trouble hitting the magazine eject with my stubby thumbs, but I have been practicing at home and I'm getting better at shifting it in my hand to hit it. Unlike many 1911's I have no trouble with the slide release, or the decocking lever.

The P220 has a capacity of 8+1, with a single stacked magazine. It's got a 4" barrel so should be reasonably accurate. I'll find out Sunday! In comparison the Ruger had 7+1, and the Glock 13+1.

So here is my battery as it stands after 4 days of buying.

Sig P220 .45ACP Pistol
Marlin 60 .22LR
Remington Express 870 12ga.

That's three out of four weapons I figure I need. The forth is the battle rifle. I think it's a good start. I want to buy a .22LR handgun for practice, but I ran out of money.

I bought 200 rounds of .45ACP in FMJ for practice. These are brass cases, so I hope I can find a reloader to reload them for me for time + materials. I will be buying a box of Black Talons er, Golden Sabers for actual use on Mutant Ninja Biker Zombies.

For the 12 gauge I bought 30 3" slugs. Those suckers are as big around as my finger, I would not want to be on the receiving end of those. Before Sunday I'll be going to the gun shop and buying a couple boxes of #7 target shot for practice. I need to buy buckshot, but at $6 for 5, I'm happy with the slugs until I can find something more reasonably priced.

For the Marlin 60, I have 200 cheap target rounds, 500 name brand target rounds and 100 hypervelocity hollowpoints. I need to get a box of subsonic ammunition. This weekend I fully expect to go through all of the .22LR practice ammo.

I need to practice so badly it's not funny. My goal is to be able to consistently hit a man's vitals at 25 feet with my Sig. I also want to be able to consistently hit the black on the targets I bought with my .22LR at 50 feet with iron sights. Finally, I want to be able to put a slug into a man-sized target at 50' with the 12 gauge. That will be tough because I do not have a lot of slugs to practice with.

That is a lot of shooting this weekend. I will be shooting from a variety of positions and at a variety of ranges. They also have an archery range, so I'll get some much-needed practice with my bow as well. I cannot wait!

Back to my original subject, my firearms battery. The last Item I need is a battle rifle. I am not interested in a carbine unless I have no other option. that rules out the AK's (7.62x39mm) and the M16 and variants (5.56mm). They had several beautiful M1A's but they were $1200 used! They also had .30-06 M1 Garands for $600+. I cannot afford to drop that much cake right now. I really, really want a M14 or a FN-FAL, but with the way things are I might not be able to afford it, or find one. Plus the damn magazines are expensive too. No way in Sam Hill I'll be able to have Rawles' recommended 50mags per rifle!

Plus I need to figure out how I can get ammo, going to gun shops or even bass pro shops is expensive. I think I can buy online, but the gun store owner said I couldn't, but the online site will ship to me. I need to find out the answer to this question if I will be gathering the ammo I will need if the poop hits the fan.

With the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae issues that are running through the news, we might be on the brink of economic collapse. More on that when I get home.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Archery Part III - Accessories

There are several accessories that you will need. You will need a quiver for your arrows. Also needed is an arm guard to prevent the slap of the bowstring from chafing your forearm. And you will need a release. If you are using a compound bow, you will also need a rest.

I use a shooting glove, which goes over the first three fingers of the release hand. Some use a shooting tab, which is an oddly shaped piece of leather instead of a glove. Compound bow users can choose from a wide variety of mechanical releases. I have never used a mechanical release so I cannot offer any advice on their use or advantages.

Since I prefer a shooting glove, and this is where you are connected to the energy of the string, here is where I spent some money. The fingers are doeskin, and it has a Velcro strap the keeps it from flapping about. I prefer the glove because shooting tabs have to be re-positioned between shots, and I don’t like the mechanical releases.

One item that I feel is absolutely necessary is a string silencer. This is nothing more than two lumps of fuzzy material that is attached to the top and bottom of the bowstring, about 6-8” from each end. This stops the bowstring from making that “twang” sound. Arrows, unlike bullets, travel slower than the speed of sound, and deer have an innate reflex to squat when startled. I have seen on video an arrow go flying right over the back of the deer because the deer squatted fast enough.

On the sting of the bow is a little round metal thing that you use to nock the arrow up against. This is set by taking a right angle from the bowstring across the rest. Archery shops have special tools to do it, but it is not really that hard to do, unless you’re using a whisker disk or drop rest. (More on those in a second.) This little metal bead allows consistency because every shot starts with the arrow in the same location.

There are brush buttons which go on your string to stop branches from de-stringing the bow, I never used them, but then again I never hunted.

One nice thing to have, I feel, is a protective tip on the bottom of your longbow. These cost a few bucks and are well worth the $.

Onto the next needed accessory. The armguard serves 2 purposes It prevents the string from slapping your bare arm and causing welts, and it keeps clothing from getting caught in the string on release. This is an essential item. There are a bazillion types and styles, mine is about 9” long and is leather with plastic reinforcements sewn inside. If I was hunting in wintertime, I’d have it over my shirt, and would pull my arm out of my coat to shoot. Bulky coats tend to get in my way, but you got to stay warm.

Now there are many rests available for your bow, if you shoot a compound or a modern, take-down recurve. Traditional bows have two, either your finger, or a shelf. For compounds there are drop rests, whisker rests, and arms.

Whisker rests have a bristles that support the arrow shaft, and offer less drag as the shaft passes along it. The vanes then punch through the whiskers and the arrow is on its merry way. Seems to me the advantage is the arrow is not going anywhere, it cannot fall off of the shelf or pins. These are very popular today, but the bristles wear out over time, be sure to grab a spare.

Then there are the drop arm rests. These hold the arrow with little arms that drop out of the way as soon as the arrow starts going forward. Looks like the arrow can flop around and fall off of the tiny arms, but there is zero resistance to the arrow as it leaves the bow. These are more mechanically complex, and therefore will break more often than the whisker biscuits.

Quivers are used to store arrows. I dislike on-bow quivers because they only hold a few arrows, and it’s not a natural, smooth transition from quiver to nock. Then again, I have never hunted from a tree stand. There is a video on youtube on how to make a great quiver from a PVC tube, fabric, and leather. I will be making one of these for myself. Most often quivers are on the hip, or on the back. I do both depending on the situation, so my quiver will be able to do both. When I make mine I’ll be sure to post pictures.

And then there are sights. I use two, my eyes. (har har)I shoot traditional so no sights are allowed on my longbow. Generally attaching sights to a longbow is a pain anyways, so I think it's best to learn without them. For compound bows you can take advantage of many sights, including laser pointers. After taking a look at the offerings, I think the best way to go is with pins and a peep sight.

Attached to the compound bow is a metal plate that has pins set in channels. These are adjustable for windage and elevation, and usually there are 5 or so pins. Each has a different color, so you can tell which pin is for which distance. The peep is a tiny plastic disk that goes in the bowstring. When you drawback you look through this peep sight, and center the pin in the circle to make your shot. Sighting the pins in is a pain in the neck, but it's worth it.

Finally there are targets. They come in many forms, but in my opinion the blocks are the way to go. They can be shot thousands of times, with field points or broadheads, and are reasonable in price. Hang it from a stand to simulate the vitals of a deer when your in your tree stand. I have seen them as cheap as $40 for a generic one to $70 for a six sided monstrosity that would wear out in 20 years...

Well that concludes the equipment portion of Archery. Be sure to post any questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them. Next chapter is how to shoot.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I normally enjoy F'd up dreams, but the one I had last night has me scratching my head. I rarely remember my dreams, with the amount of stress I carry around I'm surprised I haven't booked a three day stay in a rubber room. I firmly believe that there is more to this world than science, or even faith can explain. That's why I'm an Agnostic, and not an Atheist.

So I have a zit on the side of my neck IRL It's one of those deep ones that will take a while to go away. In my dream, I was in front of the mirror in my bathroom, and the zit swelled up like a cartoon, eventually it grew to the size of a grapefruit then burst. It stuck straight out from my neck, not drooping from the weight of the blood, even though it was a sphere of blood only narrowly connected to my neck. While it was swelling, I knew it was blood in there, but I knew I wouldn't bleed out. After it burst I just pressed a towel against my neck to stop the bleeding. In the dream I wasn't alarmed, my heart only sped up a little.

Yeah it's pretty messed up. On waking, I knew this had to do with the future. This morning I figured that it was my subconscious telling me the balloon was going to go up, but the right side of the human mind is not so literal. Then again with the threat of EMP from Iran and the rest of the crap going down the last few days who knows. Then there is the 2012 +/1 sunspot peak, and the end of the Mayan calendar on 12/21/2012. More on the Mayan doomsday soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Housing Crisis

Seems like things are quiet in the mainstream news, but in reality the economy is turning to crap faster than a fat kid eats cake. I found this article linked from the Guardian. Seems like the congressional Bailout Bill is just going to sweep the whole housing mess under the rug to fester some more.

I just tried to figure out how much my property value has dropped, but the damn calculator sucks. I found another calculator and my home was valued at $315K in may of '08, and now it's $270k. Well that is on paper, in reality I think these numbers are hogwash. No houses have sold in my area in quite some time, and I think that is forcing my value down.

I'm still in the black as I've been paying a little extra on the mortgage every month, and I dropped a good chunk of dough when I bought the house. Just for the record I bought it for $299k, less the down payment.

Statewide, houses are down over 18%, median house value is down 58%. that's bad, but at least I don't live in Las Vegas, Florida, or California! I cannot even begin to imagine how bad it is there.

As a nation I feel we are at a crossroads. There is no denial even from staunch Republicans I know that we are in a full-bore recession. One of my close friends is a LEO, and I heard him mention he bought 1000 rounds of ammo the other day for when "The shit hits the fan". I have never, ever heard him mention anything like that before. I'll have to talk with him some more and see what he has planned. He cannot keep his mouth shut to save his life, so I'll be able to figure out how serious he is about prepping. If he is prepping I might have to subtly guide him until he's got the basics covered then let him in on how I'm prepping so we can join forces.

Although he is a friend, he is possible a JBT-to-be, so I need to be careful. Oh, and for those who are not up on the acronyms, a JBT is a Jack-Booted Thug. I know that if his kid was starving he'd have no compunctions of driving to my house and making me "share". So I'll play with my cards close to my chest until I know he can feed his family, then let him in on the big secret. Then again, he might not have food, but has access to the government, has 10x the amount of firepower I have, and is a crack shot with his AR-15. Plus if they come to take my guns, I'll be able to hide them at his place, no problem.

It's sad that as survivalists we need to evaluate our friendships in such a manner. "Will this person shoot me for my food?" I feel it's wise to play it safe. I haven't even told my Mum or my brother about my preps. I figure it's easier to tell them when they need to know then to tell them now and hope they don't let it slip out to another person.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Good news and bad news

Sorry for slacking off on posts, I've been a bit busy with work and errands. :(

Well I was supposed to go on Thursday to pick up my LTC, but work, as usual decided to piss on my parade. Good thing I'm a pessimist and scheduled Monday off. So this fine morning I stopped by the police station and picked it up. With shaking hands I opened the envelope and saw my LTC with my ugly mug, and the best part: Restrictions: None!

I figured I'd have restrictions, so this is just PISSAH, as we say here in the northeast. First stop was the tiny local bank I use for my gambling fund, and withdrew it all. Don't get your hopes up, I'm not that big a gambler.

Swung by the gun shop and picked up a Remington 870 Express in black. No used Mossberg 500's or Remington's anywhere so I had to buy new. Not as much $ as I thought, even scored a couple boxes of slugs, a cleaning snake, and a conventional cleaning kit.

While there I also was looking for a .22LR to putz around with. I need to practice, badly. With the outrageous prices of ammunition .22 is the way to go. All they had was the ruger 10/22. It's nice, but I rather not drop $300 on a .22LR no mater "how tactical I can make it look" Seriously, just because I'm buying a black 12ga because the plastic wood handles looks like crap, and I want the additional capacity, doesn't mean I'm going to go tactical on a .22 LR.

I got a bad jolt of news though, looks like I'll only be able to get a Glock .45 if I'm in law enforcement. I asked about pre-ban Glocks, but they don't think I can get one... AAAARRRGGGHHH I can get a .40 though. I have to decide after doing more research. I am very disappointed that my dream pistol is not on some stupid list of firearms that can be sold in the DA's office.

So I burnt the gas to go down to Bass Pro shops. Found out the $120 hearing protectors I was going to get have a equally good pair for $20, but they were out of stock. I did buy a Marlin 60. Perfect plinking .22LR for me to practice shooting form on. Picked up 400 rounds of ammo and a cleaning kit. I also saw a deal they had for a 3x9 40mm scope and binoculars for $50 and I couldn't resist. I also grabbed a cheap two rifle carrying case.

More bad news, it seems like we cannot buy ammunition and have it shipped to us here in Mass. I am really starting to get perturbed with this state. One of these days I'll be able to move. I cannot believe for a second how much ammo costs. Now I'm dependent on the local gun shop for ammo, and they don't even stock .308 ball ammo. Dammit!

All in all it was a good day. I caught up on the blogs, seems like we all took a break at the same time. I also packed away another weeks worth of food. From a survival forum I learned not to forget spices! So I put away another couple pounds of salt, and they had whole peppercorns in little grinder-containers for $2. I bought 2 and stashed them away. I like to use something called "Nature's Seasoning" by Morton but it is impossible to find. The only place I find it is in a little market near my Mum's house. It's great to sprinkle on steaks before grilling, or mix it in hamburger with worcestershire sauce for the best burgers you ever had. I'll buy a few next time I'm at my Mum's and toss one into the BOB, and the rest into storage.

So it was a good day, all in all. I have my work cut out for me, I need to figure out what battle rifle to get, and what pistol to buy. I also need to look at the ammunition situation here, maybe I can trade brass to a reloader to get target rounds for my pistol and rifle.

I hope everyone had a safe and festive Fourth of July.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Oh happy day!

Monday I got a call from the local Police, saying my Class A LTC is ready to be picked up. This week at work has been real busy, so I was politely told not to "get sick" this week. But today odds are we will be let out early, and if the traffic gods are good to me I should be in town early enough to pick it up.

I have Monday off just in case I can't make it before the 4pm deadline. And Yes I can only pick it up between 8am-4pm Monday to Friday.

Now I did hear them say "Class A" but I'm not sure if there are any restrictions on it or not. I hope not. If I'm lucky enough to beat the traffic, I'll be swinging by the gun shop tonight to start. First on the list is a nice 12ga pump, preferably a Remington 870. I also will put $ down on a .45 Glock. The glock might take 4 months to get, so I need to start pronto.

I'll be swinging by the local gun range Sunday to join up. I'm stoked!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Enemy #1 - Gangs

Today I’d like to address a growing concern of mine. In America, gangs are growing at a phenomenal rate. Gangs that started in LA, or Chicago are now major players in Massachusetts. If you don’t think there are gangs in your neighborhood, well think again. In a disaster situation, whether it’s short or long term, knowing what you have in the area could save the life of you and your family. Here is a site that has a general overview of gangs - how they started, and what their behaviors are.

In my area we have a significant number of MS-13, widely believed to be the most ruthless and bloodthirsty bunch of bastards out there. They recruit as young as 8. Yes, we have eight year olds out there with firearms. Could you shoot an eight-year-old? Could you shoot this boy?

I cannot say I could, I’ll have to find out the hard way if the situation ever presents itself. I’m thinking that in a lawless environment it would be smart to take the fight to them. I am flat-out endorsing the assassination of higher-level gang leadership in a TEOTWAWKI situation. In the long run the world would be a better place. Either someone else rises up to become the leader, or the group disintegrates into chaos and infighting. Either way, there is a period of turmoil you can use to your advantage.

Here is an excellent resource for figuring out what gangs are in your area, their colors, graffiti, etc. It’s very comprehensive, and kept up to date. I think everyone should bookmark it and refer to it after scouting missions.

I’m not done reading it but here is a book written by a sociologist who has studied gangs for ten-plus years. He has interviewed law enforcement, gang members, parents, etc. It’s quite the body of work, and has interesting first-hand data from the front lines of major cities and their fight with gangs.

Neither site has much in the way on biker gangs. Once I get some good info I’ll do my best to pass it along. In my area I would say that biker gangs would be the second most likely organized enemy I would have to face.

Gangs are adapting to law enforcement’s increased pressure by adapting their look. Many of the newer members are forbidden from getting facial or lower arm tattoos so they can blend in. They wear polo’s and jeans, but they are still gang members – selling drugs, running prostitution, and are always well-armed.

Another disturbing trend is many gang members are going into the military, and then coming out of the service with urban combat training. These are the ones that fear me the most. Thankfully it’s a west-coast trend, how soon it gets out here I am not sure.

I will be driving around my area this weekend, during the day, and at night to see what I can find. I’ll snap pictures of any graffiti for later reference. Don’t forget to mark on a map where you saw it! This scouting mission could be invaluable information down the line if the poop does hit the fan. I recommend you scout around, just be VERY careful. Don’t look like a cop, and don’t look like easy prey either! Be careful.